Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Politics and Parking

Commissioner Andreana Jackson
Andreana Jackson was appointed by the North Bay Village Commission to serve as Treasure Island Commissioner to replace Wendy Duvall, who resigned last week.  

Andreana will serve until November 2016 when the Treasure Island Commission is back in the election cycle.  As a practical matter, appointing her saves the Village the cost of a special election.  

As a political matter, Andreana is a natural for the position, able to understand complex issues, willing to work with disparate interests and has been deeply involved as chair of the Community Enhancement Board in North Bay Village.  

Full disclosure.  I like Andreana and we are friends, even though she has this irritating habit of not agreeing with me all the time.   I've noticed a lot of people have that habit.  

Welcome, Commissioner Jackson.  

Harbor Island Parking - It's still a mess.  Last night, Michael Hyman, attorney for the Bayshore Yacht and Tennis Club, Steve Reeves, VP of the owner's association, and Al Coletta, landlord for the rented parking lot spoke about a current impasse and the village attorney Robert Switkes spoke about the village's position.  

It's all very unclear but seems to come down to several points:

  • The Village is implementing a Park by Permit program that excludes 7904 West Drive's 179 units from getting street parking permits.  Ticketing is due to start any day now.  
  • The current temporary arrangement of the 7904 Building renting the Al Coletta owned lot ends December 18 and those cars will not be allowed to park there after that.  
  • The building is trying to create  more parking on the tennis courts but needs more time.  
Mr. Hyman asked the commission to postpone the ticketing portion of the permit program for a month.  The commission said no, after a lengthy explanation from the Village Attorney that said both parties are being unreasonable.  

Our Village Attorney offered to mediate, which Al Coletta accepted but it was not clear to me if the building accepted the offer.   

There was some discussion from the dais about postponing the implementation if there is no progress on the parking situation but that was left undecided.   

Where it stands is that they will continue to work on resolving the problem, and we will probably wind up with a special commission meeting next week if they don't come to a resolution  

Kevin Vericker
December 9, 2015


  1. Thank you for the update on the meeting, Kevin. So helpful for those of us that cannot attend. A double YEA for Andreana... and the parking situation is only frustrating in that the solution is in place and simply needs to be enforced. Life on West Drive is a completely different beast now that BSYT is IN the lot that was always planned to be their parking, and hell should freeze over before that situation is reversed. I do have one question about the new regs that you may know... SIGNAGE. How are people, particularly visitors, supposed to KNOW about the resident-only new plan? I see a dozen sign posts with no signs on them, and was only able to find ONE smallish sign in front of the Islander Club along the entire street. Do you know if they are planning to remedy this situation BEFORE they start towing? In this case, ignorance is NOT bliss. Thanks again. Ritch

    1. Ritch, there's a baseline difference of conclusions. I am assuming that the Parking Permit program is not going forward. It is very poorly designed, exception driven and always had as its purpose to force the Bayshore to find off street parking.

      The wrinkle here is that the city cannot produce anything that shows that the Bayshore was ever required to provide off street parking. The building went up in 1961 and there are apparently no requirements for off street parking.

      So the Village can't exclude them from the permit program legally since they are in the exact same situation as the other buildings who were also never required to put parking in place.

      I think the signs are the least of the worries. I think the village administration did not plan this well - the first thing they should have done was pulled all the documents about required off street parking so they would have known what they were dealing with and nobody did that - and they put in a program that only works in neighborhoods with options.

      In South Beach, there are garages and transportation. Not all the streets in midtown have permit requirements so there are places for visitors to park. There are no options on Harbor Island. It's either a residential car or a complex, difficult to execute, undefined "contact the police" program for a visitor pass. No rules published.

      I can't imagine that the village would start towing. I think we are screwed and they are about to screw it up on Treasure Island as well. A new building with 160 units and 98 parking spaces will come online in about 2 months. Many of the 98 spaces are currently occupied by other buildings so we are going to have major overflow.


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