Good Neighbor Hints

In a neighborhood like ours, with more than 300 homes, there are bound to be disputes between neighbors about things such as loud music and other noise, bright lights shining into neighbor’s windows, careless boat operation in canals, speeding on our streets, and dog problems - excessive barking, running free in the streets, aggression, and “doo-doo” on streets and in yards.

It is the policy of BBECA to not get involved with problems between neighbors. We expect people to work out their problems amicably or, if absolutely necessary, to contact the Sheriff’s Office. But most problems can be avoided if everyone observes a few common-sense rules of behavior. If your neighbor asks you to fix a problem, please listen calmly and try to accommodate him or her. It works! Here are some tips to help all of us be Good Neighbors.

Caretaking

Accomplishing the goals below takes community effort, government support, and in some cases, money. But the results in terms of property values and enhanced quality of life are well worth it.

  • Do not dispose of trash, yard waste, or fish innards in the canals.
  • Do not throw litter on the roadside or in the water. Pick up any litter you see and dispose of it properly.
  • Remove invasive exotic plants such as Brazilian Pepper and Australian Pines from your property.
  • Use native trees and plants to the maximum in your landscaping to minimize the amount of watering you have to do and to avoid the spread of harmful exotic plants.
  • Never dump trash on a neighboring lot.

Boating

Ramrod Key Channel is 17 ft wide and not wide enough to safely accommodate passing vessels.

  • When using the channel, yield to any vessel already in the channel. Only one boat at a time unless following another boat.
  • Please observe the No Wake Zone in all canals. If you can see waves coming off your boat or lapping against the shore, then you are going too fast.

Pet Etiquette & Laws

Leash Regulation for Pets. Monroe County requires a physically capable person to be in control of an animal by means of a leash, or for the animal to be enclosed by a secure fence or other means of confinement. Fines can reach up to $500 and, depending on the extent of the violation, a mandatory court appearance may be required.

Pet Waste. Please pick up after your dog on non-owned property and dispose of it in the trash. (Monroe County Ordinance - Ord. No. 006- 2006) 

Noise

Sound can be amplified when it travels over water. With our canal system, your conversation or music may not be as private as you think.  Be considerate and be aware of the noise originating from your property.  In addition, Monroe County Ordinance No. 2015 prohibits disturbing noise during customary sleeping hours.  These are defined as the period of time commencing at 10:00 p.m. and ending at 8:00 a.m. the following morning, except that on Friday and Saturday nights, the period shall commence at 11:00 p.m. rather than 10:00 p.m. On the New Year's Eve holiday, the period shall not commence until 1:00 a.m. on January 1.  (Monroe County Ordinance - Ord. No. 17-129 & 17-130)

Canal Etiquette & Breezeswept Beach Estates' Water Quality

BBECA has initiated ongoing projects to perform water samplings and investigate means to improve tidal flow through the canals. Everyone’s cooperation and concern for water quality is needed to really make a difference.  Here are some guidelines to observe to help keep our canals clean and safe for aquatic life, boaters and swimmers.

  • Use fish cleaning stations with trash receptacles and wastewater hookups – do not throw remains into canals
  • Bait pens should be aerated with land-based aeration systems
  • Dispose of unwanted bait, fish cleaning remains and lobster heads in leak proof receptacles – store in bait freezer for later use or to dispose of on trash day morning.
  • Power wash your fish bait traps away from canal- Do not dump dead bait into canal.
  • Do not feed fish or manatees at your dock.
  • Prevent yard debris from entering canals. Mangrove clippings should not enter water.  Leaf blowers should not send yard material into canal, but into piles for pick up and disposal.  Biomass requires oxygen to decompose and leads to lowering oxygen from the canal waters.
  • Limit use of yard chemicals – do not use near canals.
  • Limit use of fertilizers – do not use near canals.
  • Direct rain gutter down spouts to planted areas and away from canals – consider installing rain barrels or cisterns.
  • Create vegetated buffers next to canals.
  • Dispose of oil and hazardous household wastes at the Cudjoe Key Transfer Station (305-745-2513).
  • Use biodegradable boat cleaning products.
  • Properly maintain your boats / engines to prevent discharge into canals.  Prevent discharge of oily boat bilge water into canals.  Call the U.S. Coast Guard National Response Center at 1-800-424-8802 to report a spill.  While there can be a fine for spills, the fines are even greater for failure to report or efforts to hide a spill. Contain spill with oil absorbent pads or booms.
  • Sanding, painting and other major repairs should be done away from the canals.  NEVER clean paint trays, brushes or solvents in canal.  Use dust bags on sanders when near water.
  • Florida law and Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary regulations combine to create no-discharge areas that include the canals, Newfound Harbor, and waters about four miles past Looe Key reef.  Regardless, use enzyme-base products in your holding tank instead of deodorizers and disinfectants which contain chemicals harmful to aquatic life.

IF YOU WOULDN’T WANT TO SWIM WITH IT, DON’T THROW IT IN OUR WATER! 
Thank you!

Mind Your Driving Speed

A friendly reminder to watch your speed while driving in our neighborhood.  We have a lot of residents enjoying the outdoors, exercising or walking along our roads.  Please be mindful to stay under the 25-mph speed limit, drive cautiously and be alert. And share this reminder with your tenants and contractors. 

Lighting

Outdoor lighting can improve visibility and safety, as well as enhancing appearance of your property. But too much of a good thing can be a nuisance to your neighbors. Ron Poller, one of our residents and Florida Keys Astronomy Club Member, offers the following tips to ensure that your outdoor lighting is attractive and economical. For information on outdoor lighting and sky glow visit www.darksky.org

Glare.  If you can see a bright bulb from a distance, it is a bad light. With a good light you can see mainly the lighted ground underneath, not the dazzling bulb.

Light invasion.  Bad lights shine onto neighboring properties, and into bedroom windows reducing privacy, hindering sleep, and giving the area a “trashy” look.

Energy waste. Bad outdoor lights waste energy by spilling light where not needed, like into the night sky. (Fact: The United States wastes a billion dollars a year needlessly lighting the night sky.)

Keys Energy has installed a new style of streetlight on Martinique Lane designed to reduce the amount of stray light it emits. The new Ashoe [email protected] type light directs the light in a downward direction, thus helping to reduce sky glow.  If you are currently paying for an older style streetlight by your home, contact Keys Energy requesting that your light be changed to a Ashoe [email protected] type.

If you rent...

Be sure to inform your tenants of the basic rules of the neighborhood:

  • Observe speed limits on roads
  • Dogs must be leashed, and “doggie doo” must be picked up and disposed of properly
  • Don’t throw anything in the canals
  • No boat wake in canals
  • Observe “Canal Etiquette”
  • No excessive noise or overly bright outdoor lighting
  • Set out garbage and recycles the evening before pickup day, and remove containers from curbside as soon as possible after pickup

Please make sure that your renters are aware of garbage and recycle pickup days. Trash pickup is Tuesday and Friday; Recycling on Tuesday; Yard Waste on Wednesday. If they leave prior to those days, please ensure that your rental agent takes care of it.

For more helpful information, visit the "Community Information" section.