By: Sharon Aron Baron
There is no reason why every community in the City of Tamarac can’t look as well-maintained as the Woodlands Country Club.
Woodlands residents have the benefit of stricter codes which protect their home values, while other communities have to contend with residents painting their homes whatever color they choose.
Back in 2004, The Woodlands Country Club, consisting of 892 single family homes, created their own Overlay Zoning District. This overlay created stricter codes than the rest of Tamarac resulting in higher property values and an aesthetically nicer looking community.
The purpose and intent of the Woodlands overlay zoning district is to create and establish specific regulations in addition to those requirements contained within the City Code of Ordinances that will serve to preserve the neighborhood character, promote its high quality and appearance, maintain property values and protect the public health, safety and welfare. The overlay district is not only intended to provide guidelines to ensure the preservation of the Woodlands community’s visual integrity, but to also ensure that every property is maintained in accordance with the community standards.” - Introduction to the Woodlands Overlay Zoning District
The fluorescent yellow home pictured is located in Section 9 of the Mainlands.
“There are two more in the Mainlands 10, that it’s almost becoming an epidemic,” said Mainlands resident Chris (who didn’t want his last name being used).
Sunrise, Coral Springs and Lauderhill have all enacted color codes for homes in their cities. Lauderhill quickly adapted its color palette in 2003 when a homeowner decided to paint his house purple and gold to match his fraternity colors.
Many Homeowner Associations in Tamarac do not have color codes authorized by their deed restrictions. Changing them would require two-thirds vote of all residents which is difficult because of foreclosures and the low turnout of residents who do vote. Also, the high cost of legal fees makes it difficult for HOA’s to enforce such restrictions.
City officials have told residents at neighborhood meetings that they can create their own “overlays” just like the Woodlands has done. The problem is many do not know how to go about it.
The simpler answer would be for our Mayor and City Commissioners to do what the other cities have, so that every community doesn’t have to draft their own overlays.
“There is no reason why the whole city can’t draft everything contained in the Woodlands overlay,” said Chris. “Don’t they realize that the declining aesthetics of the city is doing nothing more than making people move elsewhere? It’s also inviting more people to neglect their homes because it is not expected of them.”
“They just don’t do it, because they don’t care.”
By enacting stricter codes in our city, paint still would cost the same whether they buy beige, gray or white instead of fluorescent yellow.
Chris said, “It’s time for the city to protect home values and enact an ordinance before we look like a fluorescent kaleidoscope.”
Do you think the City of Tamarac needs to enact stronger codes like other cities? Let your city commissioner know.