Miami Beach passes noise ordinance affecting Ocean Drive

MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Things are going to get quieter for businesses on Ocean Drive.

The historic Ocean Drive strip has become known for the party atmosphere, and loud, blaring music comes with the turf.

On Wednesday, Miami Beach commissioners unanimously approved an ordinance that significantly reduces the number of establishments exempt from noise restrictions.

Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber made it clear Wednesday that this change is all about reforming Ocean Drive.

“I don’t think we want Ocean Drive to become New Orleans, Bourbon Street,” Gelber said. “I don’t think that’s what we want in this city.”

The city currently prohibits loud, excessive or unnecessary noise. However, Ocean Drive between First and 15th streets were exempt as long as they played music in the direction of the beach.

After Wednesday’s vote, only businesses between Ninth and 11th streets are exempt. Businesses outside those two blocks will be subject to a warning or a fine if they play music loudly.

Gelber said the two-block stretch of businesses, which includes Mango’s Tropical Cafe and the Clevelander, is farther from homes than the rest of Ocean Drive.

Hotel owner Mitch Novick said the noise has been out of control for years. “Ocean Drive has become a carnival-like, crime-ridden circus,” Novick said.

Gelber also said this is a step in the right direction.

“We want a sophisticated tourist who comes here for art and culture, perhaps for a convention,” Gelber said, “and one way to do that is to sort of take the volume down a little bit.”

Many visitors along the beach said they don’t really agree.

“We love the music here,” said visitor Noelia Arana. “It’s perfect, I think.”

Visitor Richard Sene said he enjoys the music.

“I would keep the music,” he said. “Have some fun for the people, no?”

The focus with this ordinance is more about the residents than tourists. The city said it’s really trying to make its residents feel more comfortable in this area.

The ordinance is set to go into effect on Oct. 27.

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