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Venetian Islands Residents Irate After Towing Debacle

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Venetian Islands (CBS4)

Venetian Islands (CBS4)

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I-Team

MIAMI BEACH (CBS4) – The pristine Venetian Islands is one of the most beautiful places in south Florida, with a huge parking problem.

Angry neighbors on three different islands -Rivo Alto, Di Lido, and San Marino – are facing very different parking problems from a parking ordinance, they say, is one size fits all.

“The ordinance says you can not park on travel lanes on ‘highways’ but you can see here we don’t have traffic,” said the island’s Homeowners Association President Gary Carney.

Carney said he’s had a number of conversations with the city without any resolution.

The city began enforcing the code; towing cars from the residential streets the city considers “highways,” preventing residents from parking their cars in front of their homes.

“We have complained – unless laws change – we’re not going to have any changes, said Di Lido Island resident Pedro Rivera, who has three cars, but who’s driveway only allows for two.

Not all homeowners agree with their neighbors, some want the ordinance enforced because the streets are so narrow, it could become a safety issue.

“Our major concern is that a fire truck will not be able to get through. There are often calls for help out here, someone will die because of this,” said Edna Smith.

Miami Beach Parking Enforcement Director Saul Frances released this statement to CBS4 News Monday afternoon:

We have addressed this issue in the past and the directive to our officers under these circumstances is to issue warnings unless the violation is sufficiently egregious to warrant the towing of the vehicle. Unfortunately, through a miscommunication between our dispatch and the officer, the officer proceeded to cite/tow seven vehicles from W. Rivo Alto Dr. on Saturday, February 18th. Two of the seven vehicles were released that same day and the citations were retrieved. We are in the process of retrieving the information of the other five vehicles to process refunds and administratively dismiss the related citations. I will be communicating this shortly to the residents as well as informing their HOA.

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