Why is Blue Stream the only cable provider allowed in the City?
The City continues to receive complaints from residents regarding Blue Stream being the only service provider allowed in the City, but that statement is a myth. The City’s cable franchise agreement with Blue Stream includes customer service performance standards and simply states that Blue Stream will air CityTV Channel 25 and educational programming through BECON. Officials want to assure residents that the City's franchise agreement with Blue Stream is not preventing any other cable operator from offering their services in Coral Springs.
Comcast, as well as any other cable provider, is welcome to provide their services within our City. Unfortunately, the issue is whether or not it’s feasible for the cable provider to build a whole new infrastructure to support their services with limited revenue potential.
Currently, other cable providers, including U-Verse, DirectTV and Dish Network have leveled the playing field by offering various programming options.
MYTH: The City is spending my tax dollars for art in public places.The City does not use tax dollars to fund the public art program, which is actually funded by a fee that developers pay. All new non-residential development, redevelopment, or remodeling greater than 12,500-square-feet in gross floor area, or in mixed-use or multi-family districts on plots greater than one acre participate in the Public Art Program. Owners may contribute directly to the Art Fund or choose on-site artwork. Contributions to the Public Art Fund must be paid with other building permit fees before the building permit can be issued. For details on fees, visit coralsprings.org/publicart.
MYTH: I’m being double taxed to pay for the Coral Springs Charter School.All of the money used to fund the Charter School comes through Broward County Schools and from State of Florida school funding, a requirement of our contract with Charter Schools USA. This includes the costs associated with the facility maintenance and debt service. The City does not contribute any funds to the school but works closely with them to serve the students and residents of Coral Springs. The taxes you pay to the School District alone support the school.
MYTH: No other cable providers are allowed to serve residents in our City.Although the City has a cable franchise agreement with Advanced Cable Communications, this does not prevent other cable operators from offering their services in Coral Springs. The difficulty is in the feasibility of a new cable provider to build a whole new infrastructure to offer services in our City, and other companies are currently weighing the return on investment. Nevertheless, the satellite services, such as Direct TV and Dish Network, do offer various programming options. In addition, Governor Crist has recently signed new legislation that is expected to simplify the franchising process and invite the major telecommunication companies to offer similar services in Florida using conventional telephone lines, which should reduce the infrastructure barrier that is currently keeping competitors from offering service.
MYTH: The City is wasting money on employee award and recognition programs.Effective employee recognition enhances employee motivation and satisfaction, increases employee productivity, and contributes to improved organizational performance. Our organization has a recognition strategy that is integrated and multi-faceted. Here at the City of Coral Springs, we provide recognition to employees who exhibit excellent customer service, initiative and creativity. We believe that the small amount we invest in these programs generates much more in return for the City.
MYTH: The City Commission can put a halt to proposed development projects.
Residents often have concerns about potential businesses moving in next door to them and come to a Commission meeting insisting that the Commission halt the project. It’s a common misconception that the City Commission has the power to stop development, but it’s not the case - private property rights are an important aspect in land development.
There are land uses permitted by right in a zoning district and there are uses that are permitted if certain conditions are met. For example, a large retail establishment commonly referred to in the industry as a "big box" is a conditional use and must first meet several criteria before being approved to build. These criteria involve providing studies addressing traffic, noise, proposing a building and site design that meets the architectural guidelines for large scale development, and entering into a long term maintenance agreement. Additionally, the use needs to further the goals, objective and policies of the City's Comprehensive Plan and satisfy the buffering requirements that are listed in the code.
What residents may not know that if the prospective business owner owns that land, the City can only ensure that they are abiding by the criteria. The plans are openly discussed at two public hearings after property owners within 400' of the proposed development are notified. The Planning and Zoning Board is a recommending body to the City Commission, which makes the determination the criteria have or have not been met. If the developer meets the criteria, the City Commission must approve the project by law or be subject to potentially being held liable for private property rights held by the property owner should they file suit.
Is there a designated area where a commercial vehicle or boat can be parked?
The City prohibits overnight parking of commercial vehicles, including boats, in residential zones between the hours of 9 p.m. to 6 a.m. Monday through Saturday, and all day Sunday on a public-right-of-way adjacent to a private property and on private properties. Vehicles may be parked in a garage or a carport, providing that the carport screens the vehicles from view on both sides and has a roof. To report a violation, call the Police non-emergency line at 954-344-1800.
Who is responsible for maintaining pools and properties at homes that are either vacated or foreclosed?Our Code Enforcement Department receives an updated list from Community Development on a monthly basis that lists all the pre-foreclosures and bank owned properties. From that list, code officers research the properties to see if it has been abandoned and whether the grass is being maintained or has a stagnant pool, broken windows or doors and then send a notification of violation to the property owner. Code officers also research to find out who the foreclosure attorney is, send them a copy of the notification, as well as to the bank. Hopefully, we will get cooperation. If the violation is not complied within a certain amount of time, the next step would be to have a Special Magistrate Hearing, where a fine amount will be determined. If it is not complied, the special magistrate can give city officials the authority to correct the violation, which could include mowing the lawn, boarding and securing the home and also taking care of the stagnant pool.
My friends and I are often kicked out park fields because we need a permit. How can we find out field availability, and how do we go about getting a permit?
At the request of the City Commission, the City of Coral Springs' Parks and Recreation Department is allowing one playing field to be designated for open-play at both Mullins and North Community parks during regular evening hours. An open play field will be open as long as there are fields available. However, there is no guarantee that an open play field will be available every night. Each of the respective fields will be open for residents and guests to participate in pick-up style activities, with the remaining playing fields designated for organized team sports.
Open play rules include:
- Pick-up play only
- No team practices
- No organized games
- No goals, including cones, cans, etc.
- Limit of one hour if others are waiting to play
- Groups of 10 or less with permits have priority over open play
Mullins Park is located at 10000 NW 29 Street and North Community Park is located at 5601 Coral Springs Drive. Anyone requesting additional information is asked to call Parks and Recreation Department at 954-344-2200.
For park hours, please click here.
Are landlords supposed to give tenants their deposit back once they move out?According to state law, a landlord has the discretion to collect various deposits as well as some rent in advance. When a tenant moves out, the landlord must either return your deposit within 15 days of termination of the rental agreement, if the landlord does not intend to impose a claim upon the security deposit; or justify in writing by certified mail, to the tenant's last known mailing address within 30-days upon termination of a rental agreement, as to why they are keeping a portion of or all of the deposit. If the notice is not sent as required within the 30-day period, the landlord forfeits his/her right to impose a claim upon the deposit, unless you fail to give proper notice prior to vacating. For more information on landlord and tenant laws, visit www.coralsprings.org/communitydevelopment.
What are the rules regarding removal of animal waste?
According to code 4-5 (b), it is illegal for any person who owns or has control of any animal to let the animal excrete on any area other than those designed for that purpose. It is also illegal for them to defecate on any private property not belonging to the owner of the animal.
Owners in charge of the animals can be fined up to $250 unless they have the tools to remove the waste immediately from these locations. Different fines relating to animal waste include:
- Animal excrement (except in City Parks), $125
- Excrement in City park, $75
- No tool for removal (pooper scoopers or plastic bags), $125
- No tool for removal in a City park, $75
- Inappropriate disposal, $75
Can I post yard sale signs throughout the City?
The City prides itself on its aesthetics and keeping our streetscapes clean is a major priority. Therefore, it is code violation to place yard sale signs on light poles, any right-of-way and street medians. Signs may only be placed on the resident’s private property and must be removed immediately after the sale ends. Unlike other cities, Coral Springs does not limit the amount of garage sales a resident may have a year and does not require a permit. All Code Enforcement Officials ask is that you don’t litter our City with signs promoting your garage sale, as most of the time they stay past the date of the sale. Any signs in violation of our City Code will be removed and after a warning has been issued, a $250 citation will be given.
Please note that the City hosts two community garage sales throughout the year at Mullins Park. They are usually scheduled in March and October. If interested, please call 954-344-2200 for more information.
If you have any questions regarding the City’s Code of Ordinances, please call the Code Enforcement Hotline at 954-344-1017 or visit CoralSprings.org/code.
Large golden silk spiders have been spotted around town. Are they venomous?
There is a new visitor in town. Nephila clavipes, also known as the golden silk spider, has made an appearance in Coral Springs but residents shouldn’t worry. These large orange and brown spiders with feathery tufts on its legs are typically sighted this time of year. In the past, they have been seen at Sandy Ridge and Red Lichen Sanctuaries, but this year, these spiders have been found at several parks and medians.
Although golden silk spiders are large and intimidating, they are harmless if left alone. If bitten, the bite itself will produce only localized pain with a slight redness, which should go away within 24 hours. For more information on this species, click here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nephila_clavipes).
What is the Coral Springs Police Department doing about prescription drug abuse?
Our residents’ safety and wellbeing are important to City officials. As a result, the Coral Springs Police Department is proactively creating an educational campaign to target and deter the use of illicit prescription drug use within our City. Teens can abuse prescription and over-the-counter drugs without realizing that there are serious health risks and other related consequences. The City will air public service announcements, customized messaging from the Police Department, and an episode on Get Connected to educate our community about the potential hazards. Parents are encouraged to be on the lookout for our prescription drug campaign, which will be on City TV, City Radio, Coral Springs magazine, and the City’s web site. Please take the time to share this information with your children and loved ones. Remember that CityTV is available on Channel 25 of Advanced Cable Communications and Channel 99 on AT&T’s U-Verse.
If you have any information on prescription drug abuse, please call the Police Department’s anonymous tip line at 954-227-COPS (2677).
How many pets is an owner allowed to have in the City?Per the City’s Code Ordinance, pets shall be limited to three dogs and three cats in each residence, excluding their offspring, which are four months of age or younger. Any animal intended for breeding in a residential zoning district must be a household pet and reside primarily inside the residence.
Animals don’t need to be registered with the City, but dogs must be registered with Broward County to ensure that their rabies shots are up-to-date.
If you have any questions, you can call the Humane Unit at 954-346-4422.
Are there toxins in our canals that are killing the fish?
Some residents have voiced their concerns regarding a large number of fish that have been found dead in some of our local canals. The City researched this matter and in speaking to the Sunshine Control Water District, staff was notified that the deaths of these fish were caused by the extreme cold weather South Florida experienced in the past few weeks. This was not a result of any toxic situation. Sunshine Control Water District is currently in the process of collecting the fish and taking them to a site for burial.
If you have any other questions, please call 954-426-2105.
City turns to postcards for water bills
Coral Springs water service customers are now receiving their bills in postcard form as part of an eco-friendly and cost-cutting measure by the Coral Springs Utility Department.
The City is one of four entities that provide water to Coral Springs residents. Two of the other companies have used the postcard format for years.
Residents are encouraged to save on postage costs while helping the environment by making online payments at www.CoralSprings.org. Customers can pay via credit card or direct debit/auto pay from their bank accounts.
I heard the City Commission approved a new mandate regarding backflow prevention, does that apply to me?
The City Commission amended an ordinance on December 1, 2009, but it only requires that commercial and multi-family properties with three or more units install backflow prevention devices by October 1, 2010. The action only applies to customers of the City’s Water Utility.
The City is committed to following safe water use standards set forth by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and is following federal, state and local mandates to make sure all properties have backflow prevention devices to protect the drinkable water supply for all residents and businesses. Backflow prevention devices avoid contamination of the water systems by using equipment that stops the backward flow of water through a pipe or cross connections between drinking water and unknown fluids.
The cost of installation varies depending upon the size of the water line. An annual certification fee is required to ensure the device is working properly. The City is waiving the initial certification fee until Oct. 1, 2010.
For more information, call the Utilities Division at 954-345-2160.
As a resident, can the City provide me with a list of the registered foreclosed homes in our City?
The list of foreclosures throughout Coral Springs acquired through RealityTrac is not a public record, therefore, City staff cannot share this information with residents. Under 119.071(1)(f) of the Florida Statutes, data processing software obtained by the City under a license agreement prohibits its disclosure and that is a trade secret is exempt from public records.
Should residents wish to see a list of local foreclosed properties, there are private entities that provide such lists at a minimal fee, such as www.foreclosure.com, www.realquest.com and www.realitytrac.com.
Does the City run the sports leagues? Who do I contact for more information?Coral Springs boasts a thriving sports league program for kids and adults. Whether you want to learn or just have fun, there are year-round opportunities in baseball, football, cheerleading, basketball, T-ball, BMX bike racing, soccer, softball, lacrosse, roller hockey and more. It’s important to note that each league is run by volunteers and managed by a board of directors, not City staff. Should a resident need to voice a concern regarding a league, please contact the league representative first. For a detailed list of leagues and contact information, visit http://www.coralsprings.org/publications/SportsGuide.pdf.
I lost a pet here in the City. What should I do?The Police Department’s Humane Unit developed a lost pet service that is available online. Photos and details of all the animals found in the City are posted at www.coralsprings.org/lostpets. Should you lose a pet, please visit the site as it is updated daily. If pets are not claimed within five days, the City’s humane officers begin searching for a registered rescue group that is able to adopt them. If you recognize your pet, please call the Humane Unit at 954-346-4422.