By Sharon Aron Baron
The City of Tamarac held a neighborhood meeting at the Tamarac Community Center on April 14th, inviting communities that border the Commercial Boulevard and Rock Island Corridor.
Director of Community Development, Bramley, Planning, and Zoning Manager Frank Zickar and Public Works Director Jack Strain discussed proposed streetscape improvements and the new bikeway on Woodlands Boulevard.
This bikeway project on Woodlands Boulevard will change the two lanes into one wide lane measuring 14ft with an 8ft bike lane on the outside. The boulevard, used daily by many walkers and runners, currently has no safe walking or riding paths. A resident was hit by a car in November 2010, which set this project in motion.
Sidewalks were also discussed many years ago, but the residents would not agree to them. The only expenditure to the city will be re-marking the lanes and widening the entrance to enable the bikeway to meet Commercial Blvd. The bikeway will eventually connect the Southside of Commercial Blvd with another one on the Northside.
The next project discussed was the Northside of Commercial from Woodlands Blvd east to the corner of Rock Island. This blighted area with mismatched fences and neglected landscaping has been a source of contention for many years. City Manager Michael Cernech said that former Mayor Beth Talabisco had been trying to do something with this area since she was a commissioner back in 2003.
The city’s issue with this area is that the property belongs to the homeowners who live directly behind it. The homeowners are required to maintain the landscaping behind their properties. Still, it has been difficult for them to do as this requires them to exit their development and maintain it from the sidewalk on Commercial Blvd. The city discovered that a portion of the easement area is considered a Public Screening Easement (PSE) which gives them 5ft to install a hedge or a wall along the corridor.
The city would like to install a tall hedge along this easement and plant Podocarpus, a more resilient barrier than ficus. Planting hedges along this easement would also require installing irrigation. Several residents at the meeting asked the city to look into the costs of building a wall along the corridor. A wall may be cost-prohibitive, and it would still require hedges per city code. The city is waiting for the Corridor Study and may consider looking into a less expensive modular-type wall.
There were many complaints from the residents regarding the streetscape improvements, including city finances, water usage, and maintenance of the hedges. Jennifer Bramley reminded residents that the improvements do not have to be done. The city is improving this area after numerous complaints from the residents. Residents realized that improvements to this area were necessary. After a quick show of hands, many people agreed to go forward with the project.
A Woodlands resident brought up the lack of maintenance on the SE corner of 64th Street and Commercial Blvd. The area has been neglected for some time, and Jennifer Bramley said she would look into it.
- 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.