By: Sharon Aron Baron
Twelve years ago, Broderick and Sandy Smith moved into their beautiful Woodlands home in Tamarac from Coconut Creek. Back then, they were surrounded with a barrier of ficus trees to protect them from the traffic from Commercial Boulevard, however, they still didn’t feel completely safe once they started having children.
Broderick who works in construction maintenance with the State of Florida (FDOT) and Sandy, who is a stay-at-home-mother who home-schools her youngest child, say that every week, people cut across not only their lawn, but their neighbors back yard once they are dropped off at the nearby bus stop. Since there are no sidewalks along Commercial Boulevard, their backyard has become one.
With the nearby wall along Commercial Boulevard routinely being hit and damaged by cars, they were worried that one day a car would enter their back yard as well, close to where their two children slept.
In 2009, The Smith’s asked the City of Tamarac if they could install a fence along the area. The City agreed, but said they needed permission from the Architectural Committee in the Woodlands. They placed a call with Architectural Committee President Patti Fox, who told them no fences were allowed in the Woodlands.
“We received a ‘no’ from the president even though the city said ‘yes’. We understand that they aren’t allowed here,” said Sandy, “ but we live along the perimeter, not on the golf course. We aren’t obstructing anyone’s view.”
Sandy and Broderick had to remove their ficus trees this year due to white fly infestation and have already planted new plants along the street. If they could build a fence, they would work with the architectural committee and make sure that it met their criteria.
“We’d make sure it was in good taste, and if they want, we’d keep the ficus out in front to cover it up,” said Sandy.
The Smiths would like an override to the current HOA rules and have their situation looked at on a case-by-case basis. “We never had a chance to be heard before the Woodlands Architectural Committee and would like that chance,” said Sandy.
“Our neighbors behind us [along Commercial] want a fence as well and this will really help protect us from all these people that are walking in from the streets.”