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Bal Harbour: gated community may have to pay for its own maintenance

Bal Harbour moves closer to levying a maintenance fee on the village’s sole gated community. Currently, maintenance costs are paid for with village funds.

BY Rodolfo Roman
Special to the Miami Herald
Villagers living in Bal Harbour’s only gated community may have to pay a special assessment fee to cover maintenance costs.

The Village Council voted unanimously to approve an ordinance on first reading requiring residents in the gated community to pay costs for maintaining landscape in the area at Tuesday’s meeting.

The council would have to vote on the new fee a second, final, time for it to take affect.

“Considering that this is the vehicle for generating funds for landscape maintenance in the gated area, passing the ordinance enabling the assessment to be made is quite important,” Village Manager Alfred Treppeda wrote in an e-mail.

There are 187 single family homes and 11 apartment buildings containing 105 units in the gated residential district. The security district, about seven-tenths of a mile long and approximately half a mile wide, is located north of Village hall and Bal Harbour Shops.

The fee amount hasn’t been determined. Currently, maintenance is performed by Bal Harbour’s public works department. The village pays for it using money from its general budget.

Residents of the residential district already pay a security assessment, which is $910 a year for a single-family home. The village administers the funds on their behalf by contracting a security firm, Kent Security, which provides security officers for the guardhouse and performs routine maintenance on the security gates and systems.

Also at the meeting, the village council unanimously gave preliminary approval to create an advisory committee that would make recommendations about improvements and levying special assessments within the area.

The committee would include five members: Four appointed by the council, plus the council person representing District 5, currently Assistant Mayor Joni Blachar. To qualify, members must own property within the gated residential section and must reside at the property while on the committee.

Residents applauded the creation of the group.

“I think it is a wonderful idea to have an advisory committee too bad it wasn’t done a long time ago,” said resident Dina Cellini.

Like the proposed fee, the advisory committee still needs to go before the council once more for a final vote.

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