Thursday, March 5, 2020

Palmetto Bay officials – acting as if “permits are for the little guy”: building a bridge without a permit – caught, now on hold, waiting for the permit. WTH (heck)??? Follow up on the issues.

Here is an update on the Coral Reef Park pedestrian bridge fiasco.  Because you have questions, and because it takes an investigation to get answers from the current Mayor and her administration,and because readers raise an issue, I work to obtain the facts through knowledgeable backdoor channels and to actually keep you in the loop on what is happening on our Village. Be advised that I am protecting my source(s) on this issue.  Background on this construction fiasco can be found on  my blog post of March 1, 2020: This is no way to bridge a community. Both banks are a mess at Coral Reef Park as we near the annual community celebration.

Here is what I have been advised. Are you ready for why this is taking so long?

Here it is: Palmetto Bay does not have a permit for the bridge construction at Coral Reef Park.  Let me say this again just in case you thought you read it wrong (and because it bears repeating). Palmetto Bay does not have a permit for the bridge construction at Coral Reef Park.

What the hell? Doesn’t Palmetto Bay have a permitting department? Doesn’t Palmetto Bay have code enforcement and building departments that investigate and stop property owners within Palmetto Bay from performing work without a permit??? 

The answers are yes, yes, and hell yes.

This park construction nightmare appears to be yet another example where the current mayor and council demonstrate that they believe to be above the rules. This behavior of 'dig first, permit only if caught' is clearly on par for the course of this current administration of “do what we say, not what we do!”

Will today, Thursday, March 5, 2020 "be the day"? When will the Village receive the permit? Per outside sources, the permit may finally be ready for the Village on March 5, 2020, or three (3) months after dirt started turning on this project. I’d love to see if there is a paper trail of finger pointing between current village officials and the contractor as to who was responsible for securing the permit.

Short answer as to that: The property owner is always ultimately responsible for making sure that proper permits were pulled prior to the commencement of any work.

What if you or I (or any property owner without political connections to the Village) created a similar mess? Our project would be subject to a stop work order, citations risk of fines, and possibly double permit fees would be assessed. And, that does not include any code enforcement action for having an ongoing debris site on the property as the photographs document.

Fair questions: Who applied for the permit and when? Who was tasked to monitor the permit? Is there threat of a fine from Miami-Dade County or other agency for this permit debacle? And, if so, who pays (we know the answer: we the taxpayers!)?

Will there be more blame game, more finger pointing and deflection, coming from this current Mayor and council? "You betcha!" But here is the difficulty for them: This project was started after the former manager was effectively out the door on furlough, running out his time as of December 1, 2019. He certainly was not involved in the day to day as of that date.  It is up to those who occupy the seat(s) of authority to make sure everything is ready, especially permits, before the heavy machinery cranks up and starts excavating. 

I wonder if anything similar is adversely impacting the Franjo Road project which allegedly was on track to finish in February. We are now in March with no sign of completion.

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