The Real Deal Miami

Miami Beach moves to control “high impact events”

Move follows last Floatopia chaos that left beach trashed

April 28, 2016 02:15PM
By James Teeple

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Look up in the sky! #Floatopia

A photo posted by Floatopia (@floatopia) on

Miami Beach commissioners are moving to control “high impact events,” directing City Manager Jimmy Morales to draft an ordinance that would allow city officials to ban coolers, tents and other large objects from beach areas, and charge as much as $100 for non-residents to park on Miami Beach during events such as the recent Floatopia, when an estimated 80,000 revelers left beach areas inundated with trash.   

At a Wednesday night meeting commissioners also agreed with Mayor Philip Levine who wants to appoint a Blue Ribbon Panel that will look into ways to regulate “high-impact events” like Floatopia but also more organized events like the Air and Sea Show which will take place for the first time on Miami Beach next year over Memorial Day weekend, long a flashpoint for controversy when thousands crowd South Beach, and many Miami Beach residents leave town.   

Commissioner Ricky Arriola who will chair the Blue Ribbon panel said he hopes to have specific recommendations within 30 days, and commissioners are expected to consider recommendations from Morales at their next meeting on May 11.

Morales noted however that any ordinance will have to be carefully drafted because beach land east of dune areas belongs to the state of Florida, so even if they wanted to, Miami Beach officials could not close the beach. Morales said the city spent an estimated $60,000 on overtime for police and cleanup during Floatopia.