As the City of Miami Springs looks to replace former City Manager, William Alonso, I hope the new City Manager will acknowledge that the Triangle Shopping Center actually lost on-premise parking.¬† I was tired of hearing William Alonso’s false claims that the property was actually adding parking.¬† That’s not true.¬† The parking shown below was removed and enclosed.¬† All without a variance or Council approval.

Barry's Cleaners Parking at the Triangle Shops
Barry’s Cleaners Parking at the Triangle Shops

Above, you’ll see a total of five (5) cars parked in the enclosed area.¬† Car #1 is in the “driveway” area.¬† Car #2 is parked in front of it and is also in the “driveway” area.¬† Car #3 is parked under the roof in a more permanent spot, possibly by an employee.¬† Car #4 is parked next to it.¬† And Car #5 appears to be parked behind Car #3.¬† Mind you there is room in the driveway area for two additional cars.

All that parking is now gone.

So, let’s be clear.¬† The on-premise parking (not street parking)…The on-premise parking shown above was eliminated.¬† The total number of on-premise parking spots were reduced.¬† As you can see blow, the open parking area was closed off to create more rentable space.

New Street Parking / Tighter Roadway

So the prior city administration allowed the expansion of the building and the removal of the pre-existing on-premise parking.¬† Again, all without a variance.¬† So where’s the new parking that was being promised by the former City Manager?

See it for yourself below:

Hook Square Alley

Above you’ll see the angled parking that’s being added to the Hook Square Alley roadway.¬† We’ve highlighted in yellow how the alleyway was previously paved.

Hook Square Alley

So you can see that there’s no on-premise parking that is being added to the property. In other words, once again, the prior city administration was giving away public parking.

As you can see above, the old alleyway had room for limited parallel parking adjacent to the property.¬† So the prior city administration allowed for the narrowing of the alley’s roadway in order to place angled parking.

Hook Square Alley

The photo above shows how narrow the alleyway became after the eastern portion of the alley was used to create angled public street parking.¬† With the narrowing of the alley’s roadway, it doesn’t take a genius to look above and know that cars parked on either side of this alleyway will have a higher than normal chance of getting hit by a vehicle backing up from the opposite side.

Hook Square AlleyOne of the interesting things we noticed while taking photos of the alleyway, was the shift in the alley behind the property at 29 Palmetto Drive (the new apartment complex on Palmetto).  It appears as if the city took away some of the easement at 29 Palmetto Drive in order to give more space to the property at 10 South Royal Poinciana Boulevard.  Was the prior city administration playing favorites here?  And is this an acknowledgement that the alleyway is too narrow?

Hook Square Alley

WAIT A MINUTE

Wait a minute.

How narrow can you allow the street to be when you have angled parking on each side of the alleyway?

Hook Square Alley

Well, according to Miami-Dade County’s Parking Requirements, a driveway with angled parking on each side should have a minimum width of 12 feet.

According to the Florida Department of Transportation’s Manual of Uniform Minimum Standards for Design, Construction and Maintenance for Streets and Highways, the traffic lane “should be 12 feet in width, but shall not be less than 10 feet in width. Streets and highways with significant truck/bus traffic should have 12 feet wide traffic lanes.”

Well, this is an alleyway that at minimum will have commercial trucks using the road for trash pickup.¬† We’re talking about trucks that can easily be 8.5 feet wide.

Plus, you need space to allow a Fire Truck and/or Rescue vehicle to have access to the roadway.

How Narrow Is The Hook Square Alleyway?

Well, we could tell just by looking at the alleyway that it seemed to be too narrow.¬† But real measurements trump perception.¬† So we pulled out the tape measure. Sure enough, it’s nowhere close to the 12 feet required by Miami-Dade County adjacent to an angled parking spot.¬† We’re talking about a width of just 8 feet 5 inches in some areas.

In other areas, we measured a width of 9 feet 1 inch.

Below is a shot of the tape measure laid out.¬† You can see with your own eyes where each foot mark is on the tape measure.¬† I don’t want anyone to think these measurements were rigged.

So whether it’s 8 feet 5 inches or 9 feet 1 inch, the point is that it is far narrower than the Miami-Dade County Requirement of 12 feet.

Furthermore, any 4th grader at Springview Elementary can tell you that a truck with a width of 8 feet 6 inches doesn’t fit into a road that’s only 8 feet 5 inches wide.¬† How does the City of Miami Springs expect the garbage trucks, FPL trucks, and/or Fire Rescue Trucks to cram in through that roadway?

Your Arguments Vs My Facts Truck GIF - Your Arguments Vs My Facts Truck Ram GIFs

The truth is the City of Miami Springs knows the alleyway is too narrow.¬† That’s why the City of Miami Springs took away part of the easement from the new apartments at 29 Palmetto.

Above, you’ll notice the area marked in yellow doesn’t follow the normal path of the alleyway.¬† That’s because the alleyway was widened onto the easement from 29 Palmetto Drive.¬† This was done to provide the property at 10 South Royal Poinciana enough space for the angled parking.

We measured the alleyway at this point and it’s 5 feet wider behind the new apartment complex at 29 Palmetto Drive.¬† In other words, the City of Miami Springs knew they didn’t have enough space, so they took it away from the apartment complex at 29 Palmetto to give extra space for the parking at 10 South Royal Poinciana Boulevard.

For the sake of accuracy, the width of the alleyway behind 29 Palmetto Drive is 13 feet 10 and 1/4 inches.¬† We rounded the last inch and 3 quarters to get to 14 feet.¬† Regardless, it’s more than enough to meet the 12 foot requirement for a driveway behind angled parking.

GOVERNMENT SHENANIGANS 

So let’s recap the various shenanigans:

  1. 10 S. Royal Poinciana was allowed by the prior city administration to expand and increase the square footage while reducing the amount of on-premise parking…and without a variance or council approval so please, don’t blame your mayor or council on this.
  2. The City of Miami Springs moved the alley 5 feet west onto the property at 29 Palmetto Drive.  Again.  No variance.  No council vote.  All done via the prior administration.
  3. The City of Miami Springs has allowed the narrowing of the alleyway to just 8 feet 5 inches or narrower than required by FDOT, Miami-Dade, and the laws of physics in order to let a commercial truck through the roadway.

Hook Square Alley

Solutions

Folks, we present the problems, but we also like to present solutions.

Clearly, the alleyway is too narrow and needs to be widened.  So there are two ways to solve the problem.

  1. Replace the angled parking with parallel parking
    • This easily increases the size of the roadway.
    • But it reduces the amount of parking for the new shops, which is already insufficient.¬† Unfortunately, this is what happens when expansions are done without proper variances.¬† As a result, they may end up with insufficient parking.
  2. Compensate the neighboring landowner to expand the alleyway onto their land.
    • This allows the road to expand to a full 12 feet.
    • However, all we’re doing is taking away parking from the land owner on the right side, to give it to the landowner on the left.¬† This seems unfair.
    • Why should tax payers have to pay to benefit the landowner at 10 South Royal Poinciana?

Hook Square AlleyAs you can see, neither option is great.  Again, this is what happens when the city administration pushes these ridiculous shenanigans.

Now, despite all these shenanigans, we have hope.¬† The Miami Springs City Council will be selecting a new City Manager.¬† We are hopeful that the new City Manager will do things by the book.¬† We hope the new City Manager won’t allow a building expansion that reduced on-premise parking without a variance.¬† We hope the new City Manager won’t encroach upon a neighbor’s property for the betterment of another.

Your Thoughts?

What do you think?

Should the City of Miami Springs have required the property at 10 South Royal Poinciana to seek a variance before enclosing the covered driveway and parking area?

Should the City of Miami Springs require the property at 10 South Royal Poinciana to remove the angled parking and use parallel parking instead?

Should tax payers be asked to pay the bill to expand the alleyway and encroach upon the neighboring landowner?

Which candidate should be the new City Manager?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of this page or via social media.

6 COMMENTS

  1. I reside at 53 Palmetto Drive and have lived here since 1992. My rear yard faces Hook Square, so I am directly impacted by this issue. I understand the concerns with the permitting process related to this property and the issues with the City’s administration of it. However, the way this property has been revitalized is way more aesthetically pleasing then what was there before. I actually prefer that the old open area was enclosed as part of the building. Hook Square has become a two way street recently with cut through traffic going both ways. This is actually a one way street. So, having the angled parking (and hopefully landscaping between the parking spots) will insure there is enough space to allow for the passage of traffic heading south only. I prefer the way this has been setup as opposed to no parking or parallel parking. This road has been looking hideous for years now due to construction on both sides. I’m hopeful that once the construction is completed this area will look much better overall than what has been there for decades. I want option 2, as this will be the more aesthetically pleasing and a safer way to structure this one way road. I’m sure that if you query my neighbors they will concur with my opinion.

    • Thanks Miguel.

      I think most people agree that it looks way better than before. As for closing off the parking, it definitely looks better. We just don’t like the city administration claiming there was no parking there in the past. We all know that’s straight up BS. We shared the photos that proved there was parking. Also, we know that this building didn’t follow normal protocol…ahem…like getting a variance when they removed parking. I’m not saying it shouldn’t have been supported. We’re just pointing out the lies, distortions, and contortions. Why not be honest with the public? Why not follow the normal variance process? The prior city admin lost a lot of credibility with these types of shenanigans. Hopefully the new city administration will be more forthright.

  2. Nestor Suarez has done a great expose’ and analysis on the “shenanigans” involved in this redevelopment. As it happens I had made some inquiries about a year ago regarding parking at the old Barry’s Cleaners. Below is an email statement made by previous City Manager William Alonso to a few questions of mine. As you can see in Alono’s answer he states “zero onsite parking spaces.” When you look at the pictures that Mr. Suarez pointed out in the report there are a half dozen or so onsite parking spots under the old roof, now gone. Did Alonso outright lie about there being zero onsite parking spots? Was he so clueless and inept that he was unable to count? What about all of the other problems pointed out in this report? I know that Mr Suarez says you can’t blame the council but I beg to differ. They are responsible for oversight and accountability of the city manager and during all of these ongoing screw-ups not a peep. More like blind sheep. But the council had plenty to say when they were inexplicably lavishing praise and doling out votes of confidence on the city manager and city attorney/law firm.

    On Fri, Jun 17, 2022 at 7:11 AM William Alonso¬†wrote: “Here are the answers to your questions:” “3)The renovation includes adding 6 new spaces in the rear of their property and 9 public parking spaces on Hook Square Alley. Previously this property had zero onsite parking spaces.”

    • Any statement that there was no on-site parking is just inaccurate. There was plenty of parking at Barry’s Cleaners. The pictures don’t lie.

    • Restraining orders are for crazy exes and stalkers. Restraining orders are not used for real estate disputes. That would be an injunction order. Let’s see what happens as the light begins to shine on yet another debacle from the prior administration.

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