The three current members of Gateway’s Board of Supervisors who live in Stoneybrook have one thing in common: None of them wants the Stoneybrook HOA to own and control the roads in their community. They want the Gateway District to keep ownership, even though they know that creates an issue with control over traffic enforcement.
The Supervisors have different reasons for wanting the district to own the roads, many of which are financial in nature. Most (if not all) of the Stoneybrook HOA board members and the district’s Stoneybrook Advisory Committee seem to share that sentiment.
Another area of agreement between many of the HOA board and SBAC members is that they want to control how and when you can park your vehicles on the publicly-owned roads within that community, even though they can’t.
But there actually is a way, as I’ve been saying. While I am not an attorney, other people who are attorneys have pointed out that if Stoneybrook’s leaders ever want a full or partial street parking ban all they need to do is convince the Gateway District to work out an agreement with Lee County.
That’s because Florida Statute 316.006(3)(a) grants jurisdiction over a special district’s public roads to their county, and 316.006(3)(b) says that if a special district (like Gateway) wants traffic enforcement on their publicly owned roads they can enter in to an agreement with their respective county Sheriff’s Office.
It’s spelled out in the state laws, so why all the confusion in Stoneybrook?
You may recall that from 2010 to 2017 Gateway’s lawyer foolishly asserted that FS 316.2045(1) could somehow be used to create a street parking ban. More recently the attorney has raised the hopes of Margaret Fineberg, Joe Mikulka and others by saying FS 190.012(2)(d) could be used to tow vehicles off public roads — effectively creating a parking ban. This publication has pointed out a half-dozen reasons that’s not the case, not the least of which is it would violate several other state statutes and various county ordinances if a special district attempted to assert jurisdiction and enforcement powers over public roads. Special districts are only granted the powers that were given to them by the State of Florida, and districts may not create new powers for themselves. Traffic enforcement powers are granted to cities and counties under Florida law.
I’d like you to meet the University Place Community Development District in Manatee County. The UPCDD wanted to have a traffic enforcement agreement in place with their county sheriff on the district’s publicly-owned roads. Sound familiar?
So they created what’s known as an interlocal agreement with their county, and we’ve provided a link to the document below.
As you can see from the document, and as we’ve been saying for awhile, roads owned by special districts are not in some rules vacuum with no solution to create parking rules. There is a law in place to allow traffic enforcement. And that law is 316.006(3)(b).
Instead of tricking people with inapplicable laws and hoping nobody figures it out, the Gateway District should just use the proper law that’s already in place if they want to create parking rules in Stoneybrook. Assuming they can meet the county’s requirement of 66.7% agreement in Stoneybrook.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Stoneybrook residents have been misled to believe that since Cape Coral can create their own signage and parking rules, Gateway must be able to as well. The difference is that Cape Coral is a city and as such they have been granted those powers by the State of Florida. Gateway is a special district, and they have not.