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VDP HOA Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of fence can I install?
The most common within Villa De Palmas is privacy wood or vinyl fences for front street facing and side yards.  Fencing from the back of a house down to the canal should be see through, normally wire, ornamental iron, or wood picket.

Sec. 22-703. - Types of fences permitted.                                                         

Fences constructed within the unincorporated area of the county shall conform to one or any combination of the following:

  • (1) Wood fences constructed of rot and termite resistive species of wood or wood chemically treated to resist rot and termite attack. All portions of a wooden fence shall display the finished side on the outside.                                 
  • (2) Posts of pressure treated wood or non-corrodible metal and wire fences with a fabric of a minimum of 12½-gauge galvanized or other non-corrodible metal.                                 
  • (3) Ornamental iron.                                 
  • (4) PVC material.
 (see Ord. No. 2000-13, § 3, 2-22-00)

Do I need a permit to install a fence?
Repairs and additions can be completed without a permit as long as the repairs and additions are less than or equal to 50% of the properties total fencing.

Sec. 22-705. - Construction permit required.

It shall be unlawful to construct or perform any major repair on any fence in the unincorporated areas of the county without first obtaining a construction permit. All alterations and major repairs to fences where more than 50 percent of the fence will be repaired, replaced or altered, shall be considered new construction and shall meet the requirements of this article. In the event of declared state of emergency, the permitting requirements for the repairs to fences shall be waived for a period of 90 days.


How fast can I travel in the canal?

Idle Speed, No Wake.  Boat wakes in confined areas such as canals will prematurely erode the surrounding sea wall and cause sea wall failure.  Boating in a canal is much like boating in a marina, in close quarters, with moored vessels, docks, and sea walls that can be damaged or disturbed by your wake.   Don’t rock the boat, baby.  See § 122-26 a.3


What pollutes our canals?

Fortunately, our community does not have septic tanks, but rainwater runoff from our streets goes directly into the canal though the storm water sewer system.  So here are a few things to think about.  Rainwater picks up sediment, fertilizer left in sidewalk or streets, automotive fluids (which drip from vehicles), pet wastes and anything else in its path and flushes it directly into the canal.  We can do our part by keeping these areas clean of contaminants.  There is also an ordinance regarding fertilizing (and probably more to come) that says you cannot fertilize within 10’ of the canal.  See § 46-339.  And you should blow grass cuttings back toward the yard, not into the canal.  If you see your lawn service doing this, you should ask them not to, or find a new landscaping company.  For more information on this topic, you can go to Brevard County, http://www.brevardfl.gov/NaturalResources/Watershed/PollutionPrevention.

Can people fish in our canal, or around my dock?

Yes, fishing is common in the canal.  You can fish from your own dock, and boats full of fisherman can and do enter the canals in search of that big Red Fish or Sea Trout that might be hanging out under your dock. 


Are there alligators in the canal? 

Yes, but saltwater is not their favorite, so we do not see them often.  Typically, if you leave them alone, they will leave you alone.  Do not feed them, and don’t think they can’t climb the sea wall, because they can.   Keep an eye on small pets as well.  Persons with concerns about an alligator may call the toll-free Nuisance Alligator Hotline at 866-FWC-GATOR (866-392-4286).  Generally, an alligator may be deemed a nuisance if it is at least four feet in length and the caller believes it poses a threat to people, pets or property.


My Neighbor has a dock that has been falling apart for years.  Do they have to repair it?

Yes, they must repair it to good condition, or remove it.  See § 22.278 (m)


How far can my dock and boat protrude into the canal?

No boat dock, covered boat dock or pier, together with the watercraft being moored at the structure, shall project into the canal more than 20%, including pilings.  See § 62-2118 d.3

So, it depends on where you live. 

  • The Via De La Reina/Havarre canal is 80’ wide, so that would be 16’ (20% of 80’)

  • The other canals are approximately 120-130’ in some places, so that would be about 25’


Can I put lights in the water?

Yes, but please use 12V power and ensure they are GFI protected.  Electrical shock is a common issue around boat lifts.  Even though we do not typically swim in our canals, we sometimes need to enter the water to work on boats or docks, and sometimes people or pets will fall into the canal.  Wet is expected.  Electrocution is not.


Who is responsible for maintaining the sea wall?  The builder put it in.

The homeowner.  See § 22.278 (m)


Who is responsible for dredging the canal?

Dredging is done by the County.  They normally dredge to 5’.  There is currently dredging activity occurring in Sykes Creek.


What is the bridge clearance height from the Barge Canal to Sykes Creek?

I have read, there is a 15’ vertical clearance. 

I have read, there is a 12’ vertical clearance.

I have read, the clearance is 11-13 feet depending on the water level.


There are actually two parallel bridges here.  One is Sea Ray Drive, and the other is 528.  The 528 Engineering Plan discussing the renovation plans says…


  • “the Sykes Creek Bridge at 528 has a vertical clearance of 15.01’, a horizontal clearance of 38.5’ and a channel depth of 6.25’ ”
  • “the new bride over Sykes Creek will have a minimum vertical clearance of 15.01’ and horizontal clearance of 38.5’ “
  •  “Sykes Creek is not considered to be a navigational waterway for large vessels so ship impact does not need to be considered. Sykes Creek is frequently used for recreational boating and has a 38’-0” horizontal clearance and a minimum vertical clearance 15.1 feet

“Because the proposed bridge extents are wider than the extents of the existing bridges, the proposed bridge should be raised to meet the vertical clearance requirements. The existing horizontal clearance is preserved by maintaining the same substructure locations on the new bridge.

If I had a boat anywhere close to that I would measure it myself, and measure again, before attempting to navigate. 


How high can my boat lift be?

No covered boat dock shall exceed 20 feet in height, as measured from the mean high-water line to the highest point of the roof of the covered boat dock.  See § 62-2118d. (4)


    • Parking
      Where can I park my car and/or truck?

      Where can I park and my boat and/or camper?

      Sec. 62-2117 (b) (2) d.

      Recreational vehicles or equipment may be temporarily parked in the right-of-way or front or side street yard (subject to local traffic regulations) only when expeditiously packing or unloading for up to 24 hours, but not in a manner that blocks the street or sidewalk.

      Campers, Boats, and Boat Trailers can be permanently parked in the driveway, side or backyard, as indicated below….

      Sec. 62-2117