By Sharon Aron Baron
The Southern Perimeter of the Woodlands Country Club on NW 44th Street is the most neglected area in this beautiful neighborhood of almost 900 single-family homes. This is an area where many feel vulnerable to crime from the surrounding area and make the area look blighted.
The street, or corridor, is located in Tamarac, facing the City of Lauderhill. This is also the maintenance entrance of The Woodlands Country Club.
It started last summer when I drove by each day wondering how code compliance could allow broken fences, piles of debris, and an old 18-wheeler truck to sit in an area that’s visible to residents in Lauderhill and cars that pass it every day. I was contacted by residents that back up to NW 44th Street who asked if I would make a video after they couldn’t get any action from the city.
After one year, getting this area cleaned up hasn’t been easy for both the residents and the city.
ClubLink, who bought the Woodlands Country Club in April of 2011, inherited a mess, but it was nowhere near as bad as it has become under their watch.
Richard Kaplan, Mayor of Lauderhill, agreed as well. He had originally contacted Patte Atkins Grad about the issue, referred to Mayor Beth Talabisco but received no action. I asked him to contact Mayor Pam Bushnell on our behalf, and on January 12th, she answered him. She said she looked into it and told him she saw work being done on the area.
I was relieved. If Mayor Bushnell told Mayor Kaplan that work was being done on the area, I believed it was cleaned up.
Another month would go by, and I couldn’t figure out what work Bushnell was talking about. The corridor looked just the same as it did before. There was good news in contacting her, though. Code Compliance was now aware of the issue and sent violation notices to the homeowners with broken fences and ClubLink.
From Code Compliance Manager Mark Woods:
The violation of the landscaping along that corridor is scheduled for the March 7th Special Magistrate Hearing. That responsible party is the Country Club. The violation for the broken fence is also scheduled for the same hearing. The responsible party for that case is the abutting private property owner. There is not any additional information for the broken gate or the 18 wheeler at this time.”
The Special Magistrate gave the order to correct the landscaping and fence violation on the 44th Street Corridor by April 27, 2012. if it wasn’t corrected there was to be a penalty hearing on May 2, 2012.”
In May, after I saw no improvements, I contacted Mark Woods, who replied:
The May date was the hearing date they were to have the penalty imposed. Prior to that date, they met with staff to outline a plan on how they could deal with the issues that they were cited for. They came to the May hearing and asked for the time until July based on those discussions and it was granted, so the fines will start at that time instead of requiring an additional hearing. It should soon be improving in and around that area.”
In June, no work had been done on the corridor, so I asked the Director of Community Development, Jennifer Bramley, who wrote that they were waiting for a landscape plan.
Frank Zickar, Planning and zoning Manager, Peyton and myself met with the owners of the country club to discuss a more permanent solution to the problem. They need to remove the nuisance species, install irrigation and landscaping as needed. The magistrate gave them time until the fine starts accruing because they need to submit a landscape plan which needs to be reviewed and approved. To date we have not received the landscape plan and will call to get an update.”
It’s now July, ClubLink only has a couple weeks before completion. Still, no work has been done. I asked Mark Woods to see if they had received the landscape plans.
Initially the Country Club had agreed to submit landscaping plans for approval in order to deal with the 44th Street corridor. They were cited as needing to maintain that property and went to a hearing to get more time to submit the plans that would ultimately bring the property into compliance.
Since that hearing they have made the argument through their attorney, that they don’t feel that a complete landscaping project is financially feasible at this time. The City has maintained that they are still responsible for the maintenance, and as such it will be presented to the Magistrate Hearing of 8/1/12 for a determination of compliance or not.
The original order required compliance or a penalty would begin after 7/28/12. That penalty, if levied, would be determined at the aforementioned hearing. I don’t have any additional information at this time, as the ball is still in their court until the date of the hearing. Keep in mind, 11th hour compliance efforts are not out of the norm for these types of issues. We are basically in a wait and see holding position for the time being.”
- Sharon Aron Baron is the Editor of Talk Media and Tamarac Talk, Coral Springs Talk, and Parkland Talk. Tamarac Talk was created in 2011 to provide News for the residents of Tamarac and is the #1 News Source for Residents.
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