Winston park explores taxing district for traffic enforcement Kendall commuters using Winston Park’s neighborhood streets to avoid car-clogged Sunset Drive or Kendall Drive may force its residents to create a taxing district to pay for increased traffic enforcement.
Currently, the community uses approximately $2,000 each month in association funds to provide up to 40 hours of selective enforcement by off-duty Miami-Dade Police from the Hammocks District, mostly between 7 and 9 a.m. and 5 and 7 p.m., primary commuting times.
To provide a better enforcement schedule and eliminate use of association funds, the homeowner association board is now considering seeking creation of a taxing district to pay for policing, initially estimated at $25 yearly for each homeowner.
For a period of nearly two months (representing 88 hours from Apr. 6 to June 4) officers wrote 145 citations and gave out 140 verbal warnings.
Should a taxing district be formed at $25 per home, $37,025 would be collected that could provide 740 hours of policing at a current rate of $50 per hour.
“We are talking about traffic intrusion, excessive volume, high speed, horns, loud radios, road rage and loud mufflers, even drivers taking short cuts through driveways and grass areas involving safety of our children, pets and property,” said Armando Brava who has monitored continuing traffic problems in the community as a member of the Winston Park Homeowner Association Board of Directors.
“If we become a special taxing district, the district would be managed by Miami- Dade, which will decide the cost to each of the 1,481 homes in the association,” Brava said.
However, administrative and potential other costs to enable tax district operation could increase that amount.
Monthly homeowner assessments within the Winston Park HOA have remained at $39 per month during recent years, Brava said noting,
“The association is very healthy; we spend money judiciously.”
On Sept. 3, the Winston Park HOA set aside sufficient funding to continue the current off-duty hour program until Nov. 3 when it will vote again on whether to continue the project until a vote on the creation of the taxing district.
The association has asked for the consideration of a district to provide selective enforcement four hours per day, three days per week, said Miles Moss, president of the Winston Park HOA.
“Once the county has analyzed that, a public hearing will be held to describe the potential special taxing district, the estimated cost, and answer any questions,” he explained. “Then the property owners will be mailed a ballot from the county to vote on this and, if a majority of the votes cast are in favor, the district is created and the costs will be added to their property tax bill.”
The process to create the district would be identical with the enabling of a current street lighting tax district, he noted.
Developed in the early 1970s, change came fast during West Kendall growth in the 1990s as apartment buildings, townhouse communities and planned developments like The Hammocks were built west of Winston Park, Brava said.
Eroding the community’s former isolation were the “widening of roads, the change of Winston Park Elementary into a K-8 School with 1,305 students, and 300,000 residents, west and south of Winston Park,” he described.
“This is the traffic that is now affecting the quality of life in this neighborhood, as more drivers seek less crowded local streets,” using Winston Park streets for bypasses and shortcuts.
“It has created continuing traffic problem that could not be adequately policed by Hammocks District Police, due to the sheer size of growth and resulting traffic throughout an expanding West Kendall,” Brava emphasized.