Having had the city deny its request to install security cameras in the neighborhood, the Turtle Run Community Development District has come up with a new plan for additional security.
District Chairman Chris Kapish said during a recent City Commission meeting that the district had submitted plans to the city for “security arches” at a few entrances to the neighborhood. The district would pay for the improvements and was only seeking permission from the city, he added.
The community entrance features are proposed to come up over Turtle Run Boulevard, Tortoise Way, Terrapin Lane and Turtle Creek Boulevard. There would also be traffic-calming devices near the gatehouses. “These arches will be open to the public; they will not be gated off,” Kapish said.
The proposed gatehouses would prevent incidents such as one that happened two years ago when a news reporter was shot at in the neighborhood, Kapish said. The security features would also protect children in the neighborhood, he added.
“We have a school and a park,” Kapish said. “We want to protect our children. The police department is overtaxed; we can’t ask them to do more. Here, we have a community that is willing to do all this. We are going to totally fund it; what we are looking for is the city to actually just allow it to happen.”
Another plan that the district has is to “take the traffic off of Turtle Run Boulevard and put it into the park,” Kapish said. “The district is going to spend $100,000 in upgrading the parking lot and allowing this traffic to be dropped off into the park. It will take every car off the boulevard and create much more safety.”
To prevent students from climbing over fences and breaking into homes, the district wants to erect a security wall between the school and the homes, said the district chairman. “We are looking to have privacy, security and an aesthetically pleasing look. The district will be funding and maintaining it.”
The district also wants to upgrade the park in the neighborhood by installing artificial turf, Kapish said. The district wants to partner with the city to make it happen and was willing to fund a “good portion” of the project.
“On the gatehouse, although it is not unmanned, I am definitely a proponent of that,” said Commissioner Joy Carter, a real estate agent by profession. “At the Boca Raton Yacht Club, they have a gatehouse, and a guard actually stands there, but when you approach it, go right through because it is public roads. But it does deter people from going though there.”
“The streets are public streets; obviously, we have to take that into consideration,” said City Manager Erdal Donmez. “Any time we are making improvements, we have to take into consideration the entire public. I am aware of some of the projects, but I haven’t even seen some of them. We will review the projects and give them professional feedback.”
Copyright © 2015, Sun Sentinel