Parking may get more expensive in South Miami

By Kimberly Porter….
Parking in South Miami is just one of the many fees that may soon be on the rise. Though approved at the last city commission meeting on December 7, the ordinance must pass another vote at the upcoming meeting on January 4.

Fees for parking, to use the fields at Murray Park and South Miami Park, pavilion rentals at Fuchs Park as well as fees to use the city gymnasium will all be raised in accordance to this anticipated ordinance.

Parking fees however were the most heavily debated. In the majority of South Miami, rates will increase from $1 to $1.50 per hour. In addition, daily meter rentals and valet fees may be raised from the current $18 to $25 per day.

Commissioner Velma Palmer was concerned with these proposed changes. “I don’t want to price people out of the city,” Palmer said.

Vice Mayor Valerie Newman was opposed to the raised parking fees and suggested an hour time limit instead in order to keep spaces available. Meanwhile Mayor Philip Stoddard recommended that they impose higher fees in the more concentrated areas, like the Shops at Sunset Place, and the lesser used lots could cost less. His explanation, he said, was “I think we’ll get the best revenue that way and we’ll manage to keep spaces open.”

While Stoddard’s pitch was shot down, library users fared sufficiently. The commissioners were all onboard with the fee being only $1 per hour, with a two hour time limit.

Commissioners do not want to discourage library use yet they were concerned with the misuse of the library lot as an alternative to South Miami Hospital or Metrorail parking.

Not all the proposed fee changes were increases though. Patrons of Palmer Park’s fields will enjoy a $5 decrease in fees per hour.

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