Parking & Building Maintenance: Hallandale Beach Is Examining Problems & Looking For Solutions

By Hallandale Beach Mayor, Joy Cooper

July 22, 2021

“It is difficult to look at parking as a service, but it is. We have had a parking program in our city for years. It simply was at the beach and at Joe Scavo Park. We are now looking at expanding it." Hallandale Beach Mayor, Joy Cooper

This Monday, we held a Town Hall forum to present the new proposals to our Parking Ordinance. The purpose was to answer questions and concerns over the new citywide proposal. There are various views on these changes. Residents that have been using free on street parking services for many years, obviously, are the most impacted, some living in the residential areas are supportive and other outside of parking zones, have not been vocal.

I have been fortunate to travel over the past weeks to both Denver, Utah and Winter Park CO. Each City has unique parking programs that fit their demands. I have to say every city does have one. My son works in downtown Denver and must pay to park a dollar a day as part of their on-street parking. Depending on the neighborhoods, each area has different plans. Denver itself, has an amazing and robust public transit system and whether it is blazing hot in summer or freezing cold in winter, people have grown accustomed and walk to and from their stops.

Park City Utah has a program. Their downtown is a mix of all types of housing and on each street, spots are regulated. There are various rates and passes depending on the season. Their program is based on sustainability. They discourage people from coming and planning to park. They would rather like people to park and ride or simply take public transportation. This is a means to reduce their emissions and during special events, they have special rates.

It is difficult to look at parking as a service, but it is. We have had a parking program in our City, for years. It simply was at the beach and at Joe Scavo Park and now, we are looking at expanding it. The biggest misinformation that I have heard, was charging for parking at our parks. We have two types of parks. Small neighborhood parks intended for residents to walk to and recreate. We also have large parks that have parking built into their footprint. The plan does not include charging to park in our parks, but to have the surrounding on street parking to be for a fee. This is mainly to stop the storage of cars and commercial vehicles. At the original workshop, we also brought up that we could do special sports event waivers.

This program change was conceptually supported, but, not finalized. On-line, you can find out more information. You will get to listen to the commissioner workshop, examine the original documents and there is a good Q and A section.

There are many changes we are going through as a City, that are tied to our budget. I wrote about them in my last article. If you want to read any past articles, you can find them on the South Florida Sun Times Newspaper's web-site at: www.southfloridasuntimes.com/news

While everyone is still alarmed about the Surfside collapse, we as a City, are here to work with all of our residents. I have received so many calls from residents in regards to the lack of maintenance in their buildings. Our staff has been sending letters and monitoring the 40-year inspections. The process does take time and we can make sure they get done and police the process. It is not simply, a City issue. As separate corporate entities, the responsibility does fall on all of the boards and the residents in every building, this is to ensure that they are abiding by the laws and not cutting corners in order to reduce costs.

I also have been hearing plenty of the blame game, when it comes to our permitting process. We are pursuing the hiring of a new building official and replacing clerks that have resigned. These staff losses have delayed the process, but it is not simply our building department. I have spent hours over vacation fielding calls and emails about the department. Typically, we can work through the issues. In many cases though, I have been finding that, the contractors are not filing the proper paperwork. Timelines are being exaggerated in some cases. In one case, I found that a permit was never filed and other permits, had comments that were not addressed. Often the same comment was not addressed multiple times. These all add to delays. I have been asking everyone that has a permit, to please go on-line and review the permits. Our system allows you to put in the permit number and review the permit history and all of the comments. You can simply search, the permit number or click on the permit link and search, go to: www.cohb.org.

I will continue sharing this information, as it does have a direct impact of getting this work completed in a timely manner. If it is a City issue, we will address it. If it is a contractor issue, it is up to the owners or boards to follow up. Everyone is human and there is a good chance during this complex process, that items could be missed.

It seems that our neighbors, both in Haiti and in Cuba, need our help. I have been following the news and my prayers go out to those that have family and friends in these two countries. While I personally do not believe, our country should be a vehicle for another country’s war, I do believe that we do have, an obligation to help those is harm’s way. I pray that we will all come together, to make sure humanitarian aid, makes it way to these troubled areas.

In the past years, the International Committee of the US Conference of Mayors, debated aid to Haiti. We supported the aid, but, there is a reality that the aid does not go to who it is intended for. We will all need to make sure, that we work with our global allies and with the UN, this is to make sure that food and medical necessities, are in fact, getting into to the right hands.

As always, I am available anytime for your questions, concerns and ideas to make our City, a better place, on my phone/text at: (954) 632-5700. Or you can e-mail me at: jcooper@cohb.org. Please visit my Facebook Page: MayorJoyCooper. Like It! Friend It! Share It!