Miami Beach Considering $100 Parking Fees and Bans on Coolers and Floats to Stop Floatopia

Today the City of Miami Beach Commission will hold its first meeting after the literally trashy events of Floatopia April 16, and as promised, City Manager Jimmy L. Morales has prepared suggestions on how to deal with the event and ones similar to it in the future. 

Morales' suggestions in a memo to commissioners include ramping up parking fees to premium levels, strictly enforcing all existing laws, and adopting temporary bans on items such as floats, tents, and coolers. 

Some have suggested closing the beach altogether (either proactivelyor by declaring a state of emergency), but during such events, that tactic has its drawbacks — namely, that everyone would be banned from the beach. It's not even clear the city has the legal power to do so. The sands of South Beach east of the dunes are owned by the State of Florida, not the City of Miami Beach. 

"We cannot selectively decide who can go onto the beach and who cannot," Morales writes. "The
beaches would be closed for all persons, including residents and tourists." 

Morales also considered better ways to manage large but not centrally planned or officially sanctioned events, but concludes that "the city's physical infrastructure cannot handle the volume of traffic and parking" and that "the budgetary impact is significant."  So Morales instead suggests the city get strict when major events such as Floatopia and spring break occur. 

"If we become aware that a high-impact beach event will be coming to the city, these are measures that would only be implemented on a case-by-case basis and subject to objective criteria," he writes. 

Here are the measures Morales has considered: 

- Ban all coolers.
- Ban all floats.
- Ban all tents and similar structures.
- Ban any live or amplified music.
- Limit certain traffic routes or only allow vehicular access to residents and patrons and employees of businesses located in the affected area (e.g., Flamingo Park, South of Fifth).
- Create occupancy limits on segments of the beach, and close off areas that have reached that limit.
- Zero tolerance for public consumption of alcohol.
- Raise the garage and lot parking rates within one mile of the site to a premium daily flat rate of $100 except for residents, monthly parkers, and validated customers of local businesses.
- lmplement a license-plate-reader police detail on eastbound MacArthur Causeway or Julia Tuttle Causeway, as applicable.

The idea is that whenever Morales or future city managers get wind that a major unsanctioned event is coming to Miami Beach, they could temporarily enact these rules. 

Other U.S. cities, such as Panama City and San Diego, have adopted similar responses to deal with events like spring break and Floatopia. 

Ultimately, this is the plan Morales will suggest. It's up to Mayor Philip Levine and the commissioners to pass it into law. 

(H/T Random Pixels)

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