Best New Law - 2006
Noise Ordinance, Miami Beach
It's not perfect, but it turns down the volume without squelching the vital tourist machine. Here's how it works: Once a code officer confirms a noise complaint, the culprit receives a written warning -- and has fifteen minutes to turn down the sound. Businesses receive three written warnings per year. (Vociferous voters got that knocked down from six at a contentious March meeting.) After that, fines ramp up. They begin paltry -- $250 for the first violation, and businesses can receive only one per day as long as they quiet down after a warning. But the new ordinance, approved March 11, takes away exceptions for special events -- like holiday weekends or Art Basel. So on the whole, the Beach should be a bit quieter for those who choose to live near the craziness.