Miami-Dade residents up in arms after neighbor adds massive sheds to backyard

'Oh my God, it looks like shanty town,' one homeowner says

By Christian De La Rosa - Reporter

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. - When is a shed not a shed?

Residents of the Westwood Lakes community are urging Miami-Dade County officials to intervene after one of their neighbors installed three large structures in their backyard. 

The homeowner has a county permit for three storage sheds, but neighbors said the structures -- which have multiple doors and windows -- are so large and unsightly that they are more like mobile homes.

"Oh my God, it looks like shanty town," neighbor Bobbie Johns said.

The structures sit along the 4700 block of Southwest 109th Court in an area zoned for single family homes. Neighbors are worried that the trailers could become rental units. 

"My biggest concern is that many sheds are going to be rented out to several people and that we can’t even find out who they are," neighbor Marivi Betancourt said.

Tere Florin, a spokeswoman for Miami-Dade County, said the sheds meet the zoning requirements because the structures do not cover more than 30 percent of the property. 

Florin also said that there is no evidence that anyone is living in the sheds. She said code inspectors toured the property last week after complaints from neighbors. The structures were empty and were not outfitted with electricity or plumbing  Florin said.

"If at any point someone believes the sheds are being used as residences, they should contact code enforcement so that they may conduct an inspection of the property," Florin said.

The owner of the sheds declined to be interviewed for this story.

"A lot of people are getting pretty angry about the situation," Johns said.

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