Lakewood Ranch neighborhood bans kids from playing in street

12:41 AM, Dec 27, 2013   |    comments
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Lakewood Ranch, Florida -- It's the day after Christmas and many neighborhoods kids are outdoors trying out their new toys -- except for one neighborhood in Lakewood Ranch.

The neighborhood of Miramar is a family community that used to be filled with the sound of children playing outside, but the street has been silenced after a rule passed banning kids from playing in the street.

"I just want to be outside tossing a football," says 15-year-old Nico Cardenas.

Instead, the Lakewood Ranch High School student says he now spends more time indoors playing video games after the community's managing company Advanced Management passed a rule prohibiting kids from playing outside in the streets for their own safety.

"They are taking away the fun to be honest. We just want to go outside and play. I don't know why that's such a crime," Nico argues.

Miramar Way is the only road through the subdivision with 172 units.

Homeowner Phil Erickson agrees with the new rule.

"They are kids and have to have a place to play, but the street isn't the place to do it."

But Nico says traffic is light and other options should be considered.

"What they should do is change the speed limit and have a sign saying 'kids at play'," he suggests. 

Homeowner Kimberly Koen disagrees with the ban.

"I think it's ridiculous kids should be able to play in their neighborhood."

Homeowners say parks are too far away for kids to go to on their own and yards are too small for them to play in. Driveways and landscaping fill the front yard and the back yard is narrow and borders along the golf course. 

"This is their home. They pay HOA fees, they're part of our community. We should be a community and be friendly," Koen adds. "Kids need to be careful and adults need to be careful. Everyone needs to look out for each other."

Advanced Management employees referred all our questions to the manager except he is on vacation and cannot be reached until he returns Dec. 31. Homeowners say a Town Hall meeting on the issue is planned but they have not been given a date or time.

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