Parking Meters in Hallandale Beach

By Hallandale Beach Mayor, Joy Cooper

June 15, 2021

The City Commission is Developing a Comprehensive Program for this controversial issue

Due to the amount of emails and communications I have received over the past week I have decided to re-run my may 13th article in regards to our new on street parking program. Our city staff is also developing a landing page on our website at www.Cohb.org with information pertaining to this important change. I encourage all our residents to remain involved in our budget process and participate in a town hall that will be taking place in the month of July. There are many critical decisions like the one above that we are developing to create stability for Hallandale Beach’s Financial future as well as to maintain the level of services our residents have grown accustomed to receiving.

Over the past year, our City Commission had directed staff to develop a comprehensive citywide parking program. Over the past two months, we have hired parking enforcement officers. We have also equipped them with electric vehicles. They have been going around the City, issuing tickets for cars that are illegally parked and cars that have not paid to park at our metered locations.

This past meeting, the staff parking committee brought forward recommendations on a plan, which included an analysis of existing on-street parking throughout the City. They recommended two types of parking rates, premium and regular. Residual rates were not changed, but, on-street parking will now be a $30 monthly rate charged for residential.

The main reasons for enforcement are threefold. Public safety is paramount. We need to enforce no parking zones, blocked crosswalks, fire hydrants, parking and storage of private owned commercial vehicles. Maintenance also needs to be provided for our public spaces and roadways. Lastly reimbursement for planning, zoning and enforcement costs for the parking, itself.

Currently, we have a standard parking rate of $1 per hour and a premium of $2.50. The residential beach parking is $300 per year, of which only 3 permits have been issued, there are no overnight parking passes and sadly, there has been limited enforcement.

Other surrounding cities have parking programs with varying rates. Lauderdale by the Sea, Pompano, Hollywood, Surfside and Dania Beach all have parking fees that range from $1.75 to $3.00 with residential passes available, during the season and with special events, the rates are a little bit higher.

Staff has developed two tiers of parking: A premium, non-residential rate of $4 and a standard rate at $2.50. Residential rates will not change and remain at a standard rate of $1.00 and the $2.50 holiday rate. Holiday flat rate is $20.00. Premium parking was proposed for these 4 locations: The South Beach lot, The North Beach lot, on Diana Drive and at the Fashion and Art and Design District (FADD) on First Avenue and Northeast 3rd Street. During our meeting, it was suggested that FADD be set as Standard, until all of the construction on the new lot is completed and the stores have had a chance to expand. Diana Drive will remain due to the fact that we have issues with commercial overnights generated by the surrounding hotels. Please note, that there will be a residential pass that is $30.00, which equates to $1.00 a day.

There will be five zones: Diana and Golden Isles Drive is: Zone 1, Three Islands Boulevard is: Zone 2, Atlantic Shores Boulevard and 14th Avenue is: Zone 3, around Bluesten Park is:

Zone 4 and the new proposed Development on Dixie Highway, East of OB Johnson Park is: Zone 5. It also needs to be noted, that we are looking at expanding parking on Three Islands Boulevard and Atlantic Shores Boulevard. When Diplomat Parkway is reconstructed, there will be a public lot that I have requested, which was incorporated as part of the development agreement.

I have already received two constituent questions on this proposal. The Parking Program was passed 4-0 by the commission and an ordinance will be coming forward. We know that this is new and we are surely expecting push back because this is a change. The second question was an e-mail I responded to, to explain my opinion and my logic for supporting this proposal.

The resident, in general, was complaining about new taxes and comparing us to the states of California and New York. As I stated before already, we had parking fees in place, what is changed, is that there is a new, non-resident fee. What is changing is where people were parking for free, we will be charging and we have added, a resident pass rate.

I have explained that City governments must provide services to our constituents while balancing a budget under the restraints of the limited availability of resources. We are in the business of providing water, wastewater, stormwater, Police, Fire, EMS, trash removal, parks, maintenance of roadways, providing code enforcement, providing building services with an array of other services. Our choice to provide on-street parking and the ability for residents to utilize our City assets, is a service that needs to be managed and the management of our assets cost money.

We are trying to add parking spots, in addition to enforcing parking where people are storing their work vehicles, recreational vehicles and simply parking their cars and renting out their own personal parking spots for revenue. Condominiums that were built years ago without parking spaces or with one parking space, are not paying a thing to utilize City property. This is a reality in our community and in many others. Individuals living in condos know that they bought the condo with one parking spot. In my humble opinion, I do not agree that it is not fair for residents to be utilizing City property, but not having to pay for its upkeep.

One would argue that property taxes should be paying for everything and that we should not have any fees. Also, when we charge fees, typically, it makes it more difficult for those individuals on tight budgets. The reality is, our costs are just like every other business, they go up, and we can only charge up to 8% percent millage by law. Millage rates are capped by the state. In addition, Save Our Homes and other exemptions reduce the amount of tax that is collected, therefore, the structure does not generate enough to pay for everything that we must provide.

Please be assured that as a resident, myself, I am very sensitive to taxes and fees that we must pay within our community. Those combined taxes and fees for services run approximately 22%. That is low, comparatively speaking to any other community. We will continue to work on ways to balance our budget and utilize our City resources for the benefit of all individuals. While we are working to implement this new program, it should be noted that a residential parking fee will run approximately a dollar a day, $30.00.

I hope that this sheds some light on the rationale of the direction or City is going in. We are stewards of our City's assets. People in our City, State and Nation need to understand that the quality of life and the amenities and services that city's provide around our country will cost money. Therefore, so many people want to come to our country and enjoy living in our wonderful nation.

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