For four students at Miami Lakes Middle School, their legal studies academy project was personal.
Their school auditorium was partially flooded in November, 2020 after Tropical Storm Eta struck South Florida. The high waters lingered in many neighborhoods for days.
The students got to work on a solution. They wrote an ordinance to prevent flooding that related to driveways in residential districts.
Their research included bicycle tours of seven homeowner associations to see what kind of paving materials were used.
Permeable pavers allow water to seep into the ground, decrease water runoff and hopefully, flooding.
The students consulted experts and worked with Miami Lakes Principal Planner Susana Alonso and Councilman Tony Fernandez.
They appeared twice before the town’s Planning and Zoning Board and twice before the town council, which approved the ordinance on July 13.
It allow residents to have up to 70% paved areas in their properties if permeable materials are used and proper installation guidelines are followed.
The ordinance also called for planting native grasses and bushes in green areas.
Residents who use non-permeable materials are limited to 60 percent paved areas in their properties.
At town hall on July 13 in the photo above are Jocelyn Hernandez and Gabriella Vega. Not shown are Maurits Acosta and Lucia Bring.