By Christopher J. Russo, Former City Manager
(January 1, 2016) – The City allows extended construction hours for various reasons, most of which is for safety, and to limit daytime roadway congestion during the construction process. This is not an unlimited pass that we give to the developers. In fact, it is a very tedious process which involves review by key City departments including Police, Building, and Code Enforcement. The challenge for the City Government is to facilitate the construction process while identifying and mitigating potential inconveniences in order to maintain a level of comfort for surrounding residents. The challenge today is much greater than it was in the last building cycle because the development sites today are right next door to residents now living in those developments constructed in the last cycle. At the direction of the Mayor and City Commission, the City will be tightening up on noise during early morning hours prior to the 7a.m. start time for construction noise. During overnight hours we will be limiting noise only to those required activities that cannot be conducted during normal daytime work hours. We must keep in mind that the City does not have control of Collins Avenue, and certain work regarding utilities in Collins Avenue must be done overnight because lane or roadway closings during the day would paralyze our City.
The City has addressed concerns expressed by our residents by limiting construction activities where possible, cracking down on trucks and other deliveries stopping to load and unload on Collins Avenue, restricted the use of electronic sound generated from both vehicles and other sources related to the construction process. Disruptive noise can be reported at any time of the day or night, through the Code Enforcement Department during normal business hours and at any time through the Police Dept.
The construction activity in our City today is at a level not seen for ten years. Our staff in the Building Department are very busy providing a high quality of services in a very demanding environment. Please take the time to read the section of the newsletter highlighting the work of the Sunny Isles Beach Building Department. Our Department, led by Mr. Clayton Parker, our Building Official, oversees not only all construction activity in our City, but also sees to it that we adhere to good management requirements as it relates to new construction and major renovations to existing structures. The Building Dept. is also monitoring the current analysis being conducted by the state regarding sea level rise and its influence on future changes to our State Building Code.
On another note, the planning for the expansion of the Government Center is moving forward. The City Commission reviewed the initial design concept with the Architects and provided comments. Those comments have been incorporated into the design, which has resulted in the addition of a 250 seat auditorium, and a more focused and intense study on future traffic flow and circulation from the school component of the project. The final schematic plans will be on the January 2016 Commission agenda for final approval.
On behalf of the City staff, I extend to you all the best wishes for a safe and happy holiday season and we look forward to a year of good health and prosperity for all in 2016!