Monthly Archives: June 2015

North Causeway Bridge Delays

The current plans for the maintenance delays on the North Causeway Bridge, asof June 19th, are to begin Monday June 22nd and continue throughout the summer.    This 0.389-mile project in Fort Pierce includes concrete spall repairs to the westbound bridge deck, pressure washing and painting of the bascule spans, and pressure washing and painting to the grating of the westbound lane.

The westbound lane of the bridge will be closed and all traffic routed over the remaining, eastbound lane through late September.  Temporary signals will be set up to coordinate the one-way traffic flows.

For boat traffic bridge openings will be limited to a single leaf and will be scheduled as follows:

On-demand openings at quarter past the hour and at quarter before the hour (Example:  7:15 and 7:45).

Full bridge openings will require a two hour advance notice.

What does this mean for Tiara residents and guests?

The good news is that the North Causeway bridge will remain open during the repairs this summer.    Although you should expect delays at the bridge you will be able to cross the river.    The scheduled openings for boat traffic means that you may be able to limit your delays by planning to arrive at the bridge between the openings.     Only time, and probably trial and error, will tell how successful this will be.

Completion is expected in Fall 2015.




Florida Amends Service Animal Laws

Owners and all residents should take note of the recent change to Florida's laws regarding service animals.     Service animals are permitted at Tiara.

A much needed update to Florida's laws governing service animals was signed into law earlier this month (June 11, 2015).

It appears that Florida's lawmakers are taking some positive steps to combat what is referred to as the "service dog scam":

  •  In particular, a "service animal" in Florida is now limited to a dog or a miniature horse, and a "service animal" must perform a specific task--merely serving as a "crime-deterrent" or providing emotional support, well-being, comfort and support is not sufficient for a dog or miniature horse to qualify as a "service animal".
  • The service animal must be under control of its handler and in most cases must have a harness, leash, or other tether.
  • Newly created F.S. 413.08(9) provides that a person "who knowingly and willfully misrepresents herself or himself, through conduct or verbal or written notice, as using a service animal and being qualified to use a service animal or as a trainer of a service animal commits a misdemeanor of the second degree" and must perform thirty hours of community service for an organization that serves individuals with disabilities, or for another entity or organization chosen by the sentencing court.  The offender has six months to complete that community service.

Resident-Owned-Communities (ROC) board members and managers should note that there is a new provision--F.S. Section 413.08(6)(c) that specifies that the rights and responsibilities of housing providers and individuals with disabilities in regards to "assistance animals" are not limited by the provisions of the laws regarding "service animals".

These revisions to Florida Statute Section 413.08 take effect on July 1, 2015 and represent a small but important first step in dealing with the "service dog scam"