City of Margate
Resident’s Code Manual
Home Address Numbers
Garbage and Bulk Trash Pick-Up
Local Business Tax Receipt
Storm Water Management
Vehicles and Parking
Improperly Stored Vehicles
Code Compliance Actions
City Officials and Phone Listing
Welcome Margate Residents
This manual was put together to assist you in understanding some of our City's most frequently asked questions about codes. It is not a complete listing of City codes. However, a list of City department phone numbers and contact names is included if you need further information, or to get answers to specific questions regarding a topic not covered in this manual, such as; property maintenance, code compliance, or whether a particular structure, activity, or use is allowed.
Maintaining our City in an attractive, clean, and safe manner is a job charged to all of us, City employees and citizens alike. Being aware of our codes and understanding the need to work together in order to maintain them is the most important aspect of preserving our property values and making our community a better place to live.
Please remember that you may have to adhere to deed restrictions, condo and homeowners association rules that may be more restrictive than City codes. Check with your association board, if your community has one, and review any deed restrictions listed in your closing documents in order to fully understand your responsibilities and any regulated subjects in your neighborhood.
Home Address Numbers
To help your friends and family find you, or in case you ever need to call on emergency services, all residences are required to have address numbers clearly posted on the front of the building. The numbers must be at least 4 inches high and visible from the street or right-of-way. Numbers for commercial properties must be at least 8 inches high and must be posted on the front and rear of the property.
Protecting your home and property by installing an alarm system is an increasingly popular idea. For those residents and business owners who install an alarm, we encourage you to maintain the operational reliability of your system.
In addition, the proper use of your system is essential in order to reduce or eliminate unnecessary police and fire emergency responses due to false alarms and alarm malfunctions.
All alarm systems have distinct similarities and differences; all systems include areas that are monitored, such as doors and windows. All include some sort of computer panel or device to send a signal, via a telephone line, to a monitoring station. The monitoring station is one central place that acts as the link between your alarm system and whoever you utilize to respond to alarm activation. Traditionally, this is a police department, but it could also be a private security firm.
The purpose of the City of Margate Alarm Ordinance is to encourage security alarm users to maintain operational reliability and to ensure the proper use of alarm systems thereby limiting unnecessary police emergency responses to false alarms/alarm malfunctions. National studies have shown that 98% of all alarm calls to law enforcement involve false alarms.
The National Burglar & Fire Alarm Association (NBFAA) recommends that you take these easy steps to prevent false alarms:
Become familiar with how to operate the system and how to use its features. Studies have shown that human error accounts for 75% of all false alarms!
Please read and retain the operator’s manual for your security system.
Make sure that everyone who has a key to your home or business knows how to operate the security system.
Rehearse alarm cancellation with everyone who might use your system.
If your system does not seem to be working properly, call your security company.
Call your security company if you change your phone number, or plan to move.
Test your system regularly. Notify your security monitoring company when you test your system.
When purchasing a system, deal only with a licensed, reputable company that obtains the required installation permits.
All residential and business alarms in the city must have a permit and must be registered. Failure to register an alarm could result in fees and fines up to $175.00. Applications may be obtained, and fees paid ($25.00 alarm registration fee) at the Margate Police Department Records Unit from 8 a.m. - 6 p.m., Monday through Thursday, excluding legal holidays, or download and mail the completed application and a check or money order for the administrative permit fee to:
Margate Police Department
Attention: Records Unit/Alarm Coordinator
5790 Margate Boulevard, Margate, FL 33063
The use of certified mail or some other form of delivery confirmation is recommended for applications that are sent via postal mail. Upon completion of the alarm application and payment of the permit fee, applicants are issued an alarm permit decal that bears a unique registration number.
There is a one time, non-refundable administrative permit fee of $25.00. The holder of an alarm permit shall be subject to warnings, fees, or loss of permit depending on the number of false alarms registered by his/her system. The false alarm fee schedule is as follows:
First three false alarms - No fee
Fourth false alarm - $25.00
Fifth false alarm - $50.00
Sixth false alarm - $75.00
Seventh through ninth - $100.00 per occurrence
After the ninth response, the alarm permit shall be revoked and the Police will not respond to further alarms until the alarm is repaired and all delinquent fees are paid.
A fine of $100.00 will be charged to anyone operating a non-permitted system. The non-permitted alarm assessment may be waived upon payment of the administrative permit fee.
For additional information, call the Margate Police Alarm Coordinator at 954-935-5496.
Please be considerate of your neighbors who may not share your love for "man's best friend." Dogs are not permitted to roam freely. They must remain on a leash or otherwise be securely controlled by their owner. Dogs and cats four months old or older must also be licensed by Broward County and be vaccinated by a certified veterinarian. Rabies tags must be on your pet at all times. Remember that being a good neighbor by cleaning up after your pet is not just a good idea, it's the law.
Also please note, if your dog has ever inflicted injury to people or another domestic animal you will need to register your pet with the city police department and follow the guidelines for the dangerous dog ordinance.
The City of Margate
does provide animal control services. To speak with an animal control officer
regarding a non-emergency matter, contact the Police Department’s Neighborhood
Policing Division at 954-972-1232.
Protect your bicycle by registering it with the Police Department. Registering your bike makes identification easier in case it is lost or stolen. There is no cost for this service and you can register your bike at the Police Department. If your child attends a Margate public school, he or she can get their bike registered at school by contacting the D.A.R.E. officer or School Resource Officer.
Registering your bike
helps you recover it, if it is ever lost or stolen! To learn more about the
Police Department’s Bicycle Registration program, contact Neighborhood Policing
A building permit is required to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move or demolish any building, structure, or any part thereof; or change the occupancy of a building from one group to another; or to install or alter any equipment. Repairs to existing structures require a permit when the value of the materials and labor exceed fifteen hundred dollars ($1500.00). Construction without proper permits could result in substantial penalty fees, and the property owner may be required to remove non-permitted improvements.
Make sure any contractor you hire is certified, licensed, and insured and obtains the proper permits. If you're not sure if the work you've planned requires a permit, call the Building Department at 954-970-3004.
To verify your contractor’s license, or report a problem with your contractor to the state, visit www.myfloridalicense.com.
No permit is required to hold a garage sale, but there are restrictions on how you may advertise. You may place two outside signs to advertise your sale; one on the property where the sale is being held, and one on someone else's property, provided you have permission, of course.
Signs are not allowed to be placed on medians, on the public right-of-way, or on other public property such as utility poles or trees. Signs found posted on public property will be removed.
If you would like to participate in a group garage sale, call Parks and Recreation at 954-972-6458 to find out about the Annual Spring Sale at Oriole Park. Usually held in March, this event allows registered participants to have a group garage sale in a park setting.
Garbage and Bulk Trash Pick-Up
Collections shall be made at least twice a week. Garbage containers shall be a watertight receptacle of not less than thirty-two (32) in capacity or forty (40) pounds in weight. Loose material such as tree branches or leaves shall be placed in bags, containers or securely tied bundles no larger that four (4) feet in any direction. Bags, containers or bundles shall not weigh more than forty (40) pounds.
Garbage shall be placed curbside no earlier than 5:00 p.m. the evening before scheduled pick-up. It should be placed immediately behind the curb line, or where no curb is provided it shall be placed in the swale area.
Bulk pick-up occurs six (6) times per year for single-family homeowners. Contact Waste Management at 954-974-7500 for your next scheduled bulk trash pick-up or visit www.margatefl.com/pubworks for a full map and schedule. Maps can also be obtained at City Hall.
NOTE: Freon must be removed from refrigerators, freezers, and air conditioning units by certified technicians. Also, biohazardous materials will not be collected.
Nothing enhances the beauty of a community and promotes increased property value as much as a well maintained home and yard. Maintaining your landscaping in a healthy and growing condition includes watering, weeding, mowing, fertilizing, mulching, pruning of vegetation, removal and replacement of dead or diseased trees and shrubs, and pest control performed as necessary.
In residential areas, lawns must be maintained at less than 6 inches in height and grass must be planted on all areas not covered by buildings, shrubs, walks or drives and shall extend to any abutting street pavement edge, canal bank, or public right of way.
Hedges must be maintained at a height not exceeding 6 feet in residential areas.
For additional information on hedges, setbacks, and line-of-sight or visibility requirements, including requirements for multifamily and commercial developments, contact DEES.
Local Business Tax Receipt (previously called: Occupational License)
Every person engaging in, or managing a business within the City of Margate, including a home-based business, is required to obtain a Local Business Tax Receipt. The costs vary according to the type of business and must be renewed annually. Contact the Business Tax Receipt office at 954-979-6213 for additional information.
There is no better way to beat the Florida heat than with a dip in the family pool. In order to keep the pool a safe place for you and your family, please take note of the following guidelines:
Swimming pools must be maintained in a sanitary condition at all times.
Dirt, algae and scum shall be removed as often as necessary to maintain good sanitary conditions.
All pools, or premises surrounding a pool, must be enclosed by a safety barrier.
Some acceptable safety barriers include a screened-in patio, a wood or wire fence, or concrete block wall.
The height of the safety barrier shall be between four and six feet.
Gates shall open outward, be self closing and self locking.
The living community of native trees in Margate is a valuable educational and aesthetic natural heritage. In order to ensure that the health, function and value of these important resources are protected, regulations governing the cutting, trimming, pruning, and removal of trees in our community have been established.
Pruning (also trimming or shaping):
Such actions should be performed strictly in adherence to the standards established by the National Arborist Association. Copies of the standards are available to residents at City Hall, the Neighborhood Policing Division Office as well as the Department of Environmental and Engineering Services.
Topping/lifting/hatracking a tree to reduce its canopy is considered tree abuse and is not permitted. In addition to receiving a substantial fine, a person who abuses a tree in this manner will be required to remove and replace the abused tree.
If you are considering removing any tree, please contact the Department of Environmental and Engineering Services (DEES) at 954-972-0828 for information on tree removal permits, assistance in selecting a replacement tree, and selecting the best location to plant it.
The Tree Preservation Ordinance
of Margate prides itself on its designation as “Tree City USA” and has adopted
an ordinance to protect significant trees and specimen trees. The goals of this
To guarantee the many benefits of trees for future generations.
To assign a replacement value to the removal of significant and specimen trees.
To balance environmental protection with private property rights, where trees are concerned.
Prior to the removal of any tree within the City and before granting a tree removal permit, the city must make one or more of these findings:
The tree is so damaged or diseased that it cannot be effectively preserved, or its presence is a threat to other protected trees.
The applicant has demonstrated that the retention of the tree would pose a threat to the health, safety, or welfare of the inhabitants of the property in question.
How to get a Tree Removal Permit
Pre-Application: Meet with an Engineering Inspector from the Department of Environmental and Engineering Services (DEES) for a pre-application conference. You will receive an application checklist detailing which approvals and exhibits, application forms, and any project documents you may need.
Submittal: Submit completed forms and fees to the city. Once the application is complete, it will be reviewed.
The city will review your tree removal proposal to insure that it conforms to the Tree Preservation Ordinance, and any other applicable ordinances. You will be advised of any changes needed to secure city approval.
The city may approve, approve with conditions, or deny your request based on the findings and evidence submitted, justifying the removal of the tree. If it is determined that a tree removal is justified, a replacement tree would be required to compensate for lost tree canopy coverage. Generally, owners of single family residential lots, less than one acre, are exempt from some of the provisions of the ordinance. Contact the Department of Environmental and Engineering Services at 954-972-0828 for further information.
Storm Water Management – Swales, ditches, ponds and canals
Managing storm water to prevent or limit flooding is a constant challenge. Your neighborhood surface management system typically includes swales, ditches, retention/detention ponds and neighborhood canals. This system is designed to provide flood protection and water quality treatment for your community. It is important that property owners are familiar with their surface water management system and its maintenance. This is especially important during South Florida’s wet season from June through November.
Swales are one of the most common ways of moving and cleaning storm water in neighborhoods. A swale is a dip in your lawn, which varies in depth from 6 inches to a few feet. Swales retain and treat storm water runoff by providing a filter for contaminants and pollutants. Swales also provide drainage by allowing water to soak into the ground or flow into inlets and canals.
When water collects in your swale, the swale is doing its job.
Keep swales mowed and clear of blockages including trees, shrubs, mulch and other forms of landscaping.
Filling in swales will affect the draining ability of your land and your neighbor’s property.
Keep areas around canals and ponds open and clear of fences and other structures so they are accessible for maintenance.
Sweep debris from storm drains.
Never put chemicals, fertilizers, pesticides, lawn clippings, soil or other debris down storm drains – today’s storm water may be tomorrow’s drinking water.
Homeowners are responsible for maintaining canal banks up to the water's edge at the rear of their properties, pursuant to Section 18-0.4 of the City Code.
Vehicles and Parking
In general, every vehicle stopped or parked on a two-way roadway where parking is permitted should be parked with the right wheels within 12 inches of the right-hand curb.
Where curbs are not provided, vehicles must be parked on the swale in a manner that they do not take up more than 12 inches of the paved portion of the roadway.
Where curbs are provided, vehicles are not permitted to park on the swale.
No vehicle shall be parked under such conditions that they leave less than ten (10) feet of the roadway for free movement of vehicular traffic.
Boats, recreational vehicles, swamp buggies, half-track vehicles, full-track vehicles and trailers are permitted to be parked in a residentially-zoned district, provided they comply with the following provisions:
They are parked only on the property that is the residence or residence of the owner of the vehicle.
They must be
registered and licensed and must have the current registration and license
affixed to them.
They must be in
They shall not be
parked on any public dedicated street, sidewalk or right-of-way, including
the swale. Parking on the sidewalk is a $25.00 fine.
They shall only be parked in backyards or side yards such that no portion shall protrude beyond the front façade of the house.
They may be parked in any driveway or area constructed and permitted by the Building Department for the parking of the vehicle.
No boat shall exceed twenty-six (26) feet in length from the stern to the bow.
No RV shall exceed thirty-five (35) feet in length from the front to the back.
A commercial vehicle is defined as any bus, step van, truck, trailer, utility trailer, truck tractor, tow truck or wrecker, agricultural, construction or industrial equipment or any vehicles designed, intended or used for transporting people, goods or things for profit, or any vehicle displaying commercial lettering. This includes limousines and pick-up trucks with an altered cargo box, or from which the cargo box has been removed. Any vehicle with tools, building materials, merchandise or outfitted with emergency flashing or rotating lights visible from the street or from abutting residential property shall be deemed a commercial vehicle.
Parking of commercial vehicles in a residential zone:
It's unlawful to park or stand any commercial vehicle at any time, in any area, including the public streets and rights-of-way and private property that is zoned residential. Parking commercial vehicles in residentially-zoned districts is declared to be a public nuisance.
Any property owner will be considered to be in violation if a commercial vehicle has been parked or is standing on the property owned by him or her.
As an exception to this, you may park the following types of commercial vehicles in residentially-zoned areas:
Station wagon or similar type motor vehicle
Pick-up truck *Note: A Pick-up truck is defined as follows: any motor vehicle designed primarily for the transportation of property within a permanently attached cargo box. Any pick-up truck wherein the cargo box has been altered or enlarged to facilitate the transportation of people, items, or goods for commercial purposes shall be deemed a truck, and not a pick-up truck, pursuant to these definitions.
No commercial vehicle allowed to be parked in a residential area may be parked on any public right-of-way, lawn, or yard and shall only be parked on a driveway, or an area constructed and permitted by the Building Department for the parking of vehicles.
Improperly Stored Vehicles
Vehicles without tags or with an expired tag are not permitted to be parked on any property unless the vehicle is stored inside a completely enclosed structure or in a designated storage area.
Inoperative shall mean any wrecked or partially dismantled vehicle which is parked or stored for longer than 48 hours without having all wheels mounted, or which is in a condition of substantial disrepair, or which is parked or stored without having all tires inflated.
Inoperative vehicles are not permitted to be kept on any property whether public or private within the City unless the vehicle is stored inside a completely enclosed structure or designated storage area.
A utility trailer is permitted to be parked in a residential area only when a conditional use, as determined by the City Commission, has been granted. For information on obtaining a conditional use permit for your utility trailer, contact the Department of Environmental and Engineering Services (DEES) at 954-972-0828.
Code Compliance Actions
The codes explained in this pamphlet will provide you with answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about City regulations. Code Compliance plays an important role in preserving the health, welfare and safety, as well as the aesthetics and property value of our community. Safeguarding these standards can only be accomplished through your cooperation. In the interest of protecting these standards, when a code violation occurs, the Code Compliance Officer assigned to your neighborhood will alert you to the violation by issuing a Courtesy Notice. This notice will contain the ordinance number in question and will have attached to it, a copy of that specific ordinance. It will also specify the number of days given to correct the problem. After the time specified, a re-inspection of the property will take place to determine if the violation has been corrected.
Note: A Code Compliance Officer does not have to issue a Courtesy Notice prior to issuing a summons to appear at a Code Compliance Hearing. A summons may immediately be issued if a repeat violation is found or if there is reason to believe the violation presents a serious threat to the public health, safety, or welfare, or if the violation is irreparable or irreversible.
Residents should call the Code Compliance Office at 954-972-1232 and speak with the issuing officer with any questions about the Courtesy Notice or the violation.
Code Compliance Hearing:
If the violation has not come into compliance, you will receive a summons to appear before a Special Magistrate at a Code Compliance Hearing which is conducted similar to a Court proceeding. Evidence will be presented and a determination made by the Special Magistrate which can include fines in accordance with City Code.
These summaries are for informational purposes only. The latest unabridged code should be reviewed prior to taking any action. A copy of the Margate code is available in the City Clerks' Office or on the City web site, http://www.margatefl.com.
These summaries are not given as legal advice and may not be relied upon as such. If you have any questions, consult with an attorney of your choice.
Important Telephone Numbers:
City Hall 954-972-6454
All Departments are located in City Hall at 5790 Margate Boulevard, unless otherwise noted.
|Building||954-970-3004||Jack Morell, Building Official||901 NW 66th Ave, Margate, FL 33063|
|Calypso cove Aquatic Facility||954-974-4566||6200 Royal Palm Blvd, Margate, FL 33063|
|City Attorney||954-935-5319||Eugene M. Seinfeld||City Hall|
|City Manager||954-935-5300||Frank Porcella||City Hall|
|Code Compliance Unit||954-972-1232||311 N.State Rd 7, Margate, FL 33063|
|Environmental and Engineering Services (DEES)||954-972-0828||Emilio C. Esteban||901 NW 66th Ave, Margate, FL 33063|
|Finance||954-935-5356||Gail P. Gargano||City Hall|
|Fire Rescue||954-971-7010||Garry Westbrook, Interim Chief||600 Rock Island Rd, Margate, FL 33063|
|Human Resources||954-935-5270||George T. McNeill||City Hall|
|Margate Inner-City Transit||954-972-5497||Mark Poirier, Transit Coordinator||102 Rock Island Rd, Margate, FL 33063|
|Neighborhood Policing Division||954-972-1232||311 N.State Rd 7, Margate, FL 33063|
|Parks and Recreation||954-972-6458||George T. McNeill||6199 NW 10th St., Margate, FL 33063|
|Police||954-972-7111||Jerry A. Blough, Chief of Police||City Hall|
|Public Works||954-972-8126||Ray Brenner||102 Rock Island Rd, Margate, FL 33063|