SPI City Council Votes for New Event Regulations
SOUTH PADRE ISLAND – The city of South Padre Island voted to make changes to their city ordinance involving spring break and other big events.
Those that were for the changes said they’re needed for their safety. Those against said it’ll hurt their livelihood.
Residents showed up Wednesday night to the meeting at city hall. Leaders were looking to change policies regarding people looking to rent out property or those looking to hold big events at SPI.
The city is looking to change things following the massive turn out during the pasts few spring breaks. One of the issues brought up at the meeting was how quick block parties formed in neighborhoods.
The parties cause problems for other renters or people who live nearby.
Currently, police are restricted to respond to calls on rental property if there is an issue. They either need a warrant or be with the property owner to enter a home.
The new regulations would require property owners to appoint a local contact person who is available 24/7, who can respond within one hour to a property. It will allow police to stop parties that may get out of hand.
If the person fails to show up within the hour, they may receive a fine up to $500 for every hour they don’t arrive. The mayor said this is the solution they came to in response to past incidents during spring break.
“There’s going to be some things that will have to be adjusted, our ordinances, so that we can absorb this expansion in our rental business on South Padre Island in such a way that it’s disruptive, like other communities went through,” South Padre Island Mayor Barry Patel said.
The next item they discussed was how large events should be regulated. The city defines a large event as one that brings in more than 1,000 people.
These types of events will need a permit from the city. They will also need a security plan, which includes:
- One water station per 2,500 people
- One toilet per 300 people
- Requires a parking and transportation plan
- A plan to mitigate neighborhood impact
- Site plan or map of event
Violations can lead to fines up to $500.
CHANNEL 5 NEWS spoke with business owners who rely on big events. They said the more restrictions the more likely it will keep people away.
“The spring breakers have many choices. They can go to Cancun, they could go to Panama City, they could go anywhere in Florida. There is hundreds of places, but to get them to come all the way down to South Padre Island, we have to work extra hard, it’s two flights to get here,” Clayton Brashear, owner of Clayton’s Beach Bar, said.
We spoke with residents who were for the regulations. They didn’t want to go on camera for fear of retaliation. They said the rules will help them feel safer during the busy holiday months.
While both these items were passed, they won’t go into effect just yet.
The mayor said as part of regulations, they need to have a second vote during the next city council meeting, which is July 15 at 5:30.
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