Miami Beach wants to take back control of the famed South Beach section of town - and city commissioners have already approved several new proposals that would affect local businesses in hopes of reforming the entertainment district.
In a special meeting, Mayor Dan Gelber and commissioners discussed the future of the area, including the idea of converting it into the ‘Art Deco cultural district.’
“We're going to try to give incentives to good behavior and good development and take them away from folks who are coming here just to violate our code of conduct and create a situation which is not what we perceive that entertainment district to be,” Gelber said.
Friday, commissioners gave preliminary approval to a proposal that would limit loud music after 2 a.m.
“We have found that too much loud noise creates a lot of disorderly conduct that breeds crime,” Gelber said.
Miami Beach Police Chief Richard Clements gave a detailed crime report that shows South Beach accounts for about 58 percent of all citywide calls for service over the last three years.
Most cases have occurred near Ocean Dive near 9th and 10th Street as well as Washington and Collins Avenues.
"We're changing our police practices so there will be more police at fixed locations,” Gelber added. “We're going to have a code unit whose only job will be enforcing that area of South Beach.”
Commissioners also unanimously approved increased penalties for sidewalk café violations with automatic 24-hour shutdowns for second offenses.
"We just have too much stuff going on and I think people want to come do things they wouldn't do in their own hometown,” Gelber said.