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Understanding the Mira Mar Parking District on Siesta Key

Current permit parking comes up for renewal November 1, 2019

 By Bob Stein

   Last month Siesta Key resident Bob Stahlschmidt wrote a Guest Commentary about solving parking problems in the Village. Stahlschmidt discussed the Mira Mar Neighborhood rights-of-way permit parking as part of the solution. Stahlschmidt went on to say, he was told, the Mira Mar parking district holders do not want more parking.

Siesta Sand received numerous questions from readers; questioning where the Mira Mar Neighborhood is and how this area was able to receive the special exception for permit parking.

   The Mira Mar District on Siesta Key is located west of the Village and is bordered by Avenida Messina to the north, Avenida Navarra to the east and Beach Road to the south. Also included are Avenida Veneccia running east and west, and Columbus Boulevard, from Avenida Navarra to Beach Road (see accompanying map).

   In May 1994, numerous citizens approached the County to adopt an ordinance prohibiting on-street parking for non-residents in the Mira Mar neighborhood. Several owners of rental unit businesses complained that because they do not have sufficient off street parking for all their rental units, such a prohibition might adversely impact their business.

The complaint was launched because so many island residents and visitors from outside the Mira Mar neighborhood used the rights-of-way parking to access this beautiful section of the beach and go to the Village.

   As a result, a residential permit parking area was established for the Mira-Mar neighborhood, initially adopted by Ordinance No. 95-038, with a one-year sunset date. Ordinance No. 96-046 was subsequently adopted, extending the program, but not including a sunset date. Subsequently, Ordinance No. 97-073 was adopted on September 16, 1997, which continued the program and added a sunset date to July 8, 2004. The sunset date was further extended by Ordinance No. 2004-051 to July 8, 2009, and then extended by Ordinance No. 2009-029 to November 1, 2014. Ordinance 2009-029 also repealed Ordinance No. 96-046 and was the first of the ordinances to be codified into the County Code as Section 122-145. Ordinance No. 2011-002 amended Ordinance No. 97-073, adding provisions regarding handicapped parking. The sunset date remained until November 1, 2014.

The latest Ordinance No. 2014-058 is in effect until November 1, 2019, to provide enforcement for no public on-street parking, except by permit by temporary rental unit visitors. 

   The owners of the rental units pay $5 per permit every year for each rental unit under a Business Tax License. The current number of rental units with active parking permits averages 130 per year. Any person parking in violation to this ordinance will receive a $25 parking ticket.

   Other local roads on the west side of Siesta Village have petitioned for No Parking signage and enforcement to ensure emergency service access to these properties, as well as ingress/egress access to and from home sites on these streets.

Both the Traffic Advisory Council and the Board of County Commissioners considers these petition requests, along with staff recommendation and MUTCD warrants for eligibility. At this time, there is no funding approved for additional parking in the immediate area of the Siesta Key Village.

The County has continued funding for the open air Trolley (Breeze), that has broken records for the number of riders and is free to the public for travel along Siesta Key.