Posts

Tougher scooter ordinance proposed to curb “Anything Goes” behavior on Miami Beach

Miami Beach City Commissioner Mark Samuelian said “enough is enough” when it comes to the unsafe behavior of scooter drivers. After hearing last week that scooter operators were not adhering to a new ordinance that made business owners responsible for renter violations, he quickly worked with the City Administration to come up with proposed legislation to limit the number of rental scooters, make overnight rentals illegal, and increase the penalties for violating the scooter law.

Samuelian’s proposed ordinance, co-sponsored by Commissioner Steven Meiner, would limit the maximum number of scooters in a fleet to 25. In addition, overnight rentals would be prohibited with rental hours restricted to between 7 pm and 7 am each day. Businesses would be responsible for ensuring scooters are returned by 7 pm; if not, the City would have the authority to “impound and confiscate” any scooters on public property between the prohibited hours of 7 pm through 7 am.

“These motorized scooters are dangerously violating our rules,” Samuelian says. “They’re disturbing quality of life for our residents and adding to a perception that anything goes in Miami Beach.”

“Other cities have gone down this path too,” according to Samuelian, including Panama City which, like Miami Beach, has also had difficulty with unruly Spring Break crowds. They have “taken the step, with some success legally, to actually ban the rental of scooters,” Samuelian said. In November, an appeals court upheld Panama City’s plan to ban rental scooters beginning in September 2020.

July 25, 2020 | RE: Miami Beach | Tougher scooter ordinance proposed to curb “Anything Goes” behavior on Miami Beach

WIOD clips with Mark Samuelian on flooding and raising roads

Short clip on flooding and raising roads in Miami Beach

Long clip on flooding and raising roads in Miami Beach

Miami Beach officials discussing plans to remedy flooding issues

Concerns like that prompted Miami Beach Commissioner Mark Samuelian to ask for more discussion before the city moves forward on elevating roads in the west avenue corridor.

“As I like to say, nothing good happens to properties below the street,” he said.

 Samuelian worries about the challenges of marrying raised roads to existing lower properties, even with the protection of pumps to handle overflow.

“At the end of the day, we need to think about protecting our properties, our neighborhoods and our residents,” he said. “Not just dry our streets.

June 22, 2020 | Local10.com | Miami Beach officials discussing plans to remedy flooding issues

Miami Beach Parks Open, But Leaders Forced To Close South Pointe Over Social Distancing Rule Breakers


City Commissioner Mark Samuelian is proposing a city resolution in hopes of persuading county leaders to allow condos and apartments to open pools.

“It’s a place for people to enjoy the outdoors. Frankly, I think that would help alleviate some of the pressure that we’ve had, for example at South Pointe Park,” the commissioner said.

The city leader supports closing South Pointe for now because of the problems and leaving other parks open.

He also knows new Federal worst-case death toll projections have been revised to 135,000 deaths by August. But he says the city is moving at a pace that’s safe and backed by data.

“The key to social distancing is to not have too many people so we can do proper enforcement and to also protect the safety of our front line employees,” the commissioner said.

May 4, 2020 | CBS Miami | Miami Beach Parks Open, But Leaders Forced To Close South Pointe Over Social Distancing Rule Breakers

Miami Beach partners with private clinic to offer in-home COVID-19 tests for seniors

Home-bound seniors in Miami Beach who show COVID-19 symptoms can now request in-home testing through a private clinic that has partnered with the city to make coronavirus tests available to residents ages 65 and up.

MedRite Urgent Care, which operates the only drive-thru COVID-19 testing center in Miami Beach, is expected to begin senior testing on Monday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., according to an email City Manager Jimmy Morales sent Wednesday to the mayor’s office.

“I am really pleased that the city has put this program forward,” said Commissioner Mark Samuelian. “Our seniors are a vital part of our community.”

April 9, 2020 | Miami Herald | Miami Beach partners with private clinic to offer in-home COVID-19 tests for seniors

Miami Beach’s spring break ‘canceled’ as Florida sprints to get in front of coronavirus pandemic

“Continuing to allow these large group gatherings on the beach is a public health hazard,” Miami Beach Commissioner Mark Samuelian said in a statement. “These measures are vital.”

March 16, 2020 | CNN | Miami Beach’s spring break ‘canceled’ as Florida sprints to get in front of coronavirus pandemic

Coronavirus Florida: Beaches in South Beach in Miami closed, spring break declared ‘over’

Miami Beach Commissioner Mark Samuelian said battling coronavirus is hard enough. But when you add large, energetic crowds and alcohol — not the disinfecting kind — into the mix, strong measures are needed to protect public safety, he said.

“It is certainly unprecedented,” he said. “We’re trying to keep people as healthy as possible, and specifically we are being advised by medical professionals that these type of large crowds are not in people’s well being.”

He said the measures would also protect the health of the spring breakers, who may not fear the disease but who may pass it on to others.

“This is a public safety issue and we have got to address this,” he said. “I support these measures and I believe it is the right thing for the community and frankly for the safety of these spring breakers.”

March 15, 2020 | Tampa Bay Times | Coronavirus Florida: Beaches in South Beach in Miami closed, spring break declared ‘over’

Miami Beach to start shutting down Ocean Drive early to control coronavirus spread

The city of Miami Beach is pushing to reduce large gatherings along Ocean Drive — one of the region’s most popular social spots — amid efforts to hold stop the spread of the new coronavirus.

A Saturday release from the city notes the street had been closed to vehicles since Thursday.

“Effective immediately, the city will be reopening Ocean Drive to northbound and southbound vehicle traffic and will eliminate parking on the east side of the street,” the release reads.

“They will also be closing the beach from 7th to 10th streets ‪starting at 4:30 p.m. To enforce this, Miami Beach Police will begin clearing the beach from 7th to 10th streets ‪at 5 p.m.”

Miami Beach Commissioner Mark Samuelian said he backs the efforts of the city to control the spread.

“The warnings from the health professionals have been clear regarding large crowds and the increased risk of spreading COVID-19,” Samuelian said.

March 14, 2020 | Florida Politics | Miami Beach to start shutting down Ocean Drive early to control coronavirus spread

Miami Beach Greenlights Ocean Terrace Park Along 73rd to 75th Streets

On Wednesday, July 31st, the Miami Beach City Commission unanimously gave final approval to the Ocean Terrace Streetscape Plan. The development agreement that will bring a new oceanfront public space along the two-block stretch of Ocean Terrace along 73rd Street to 75th Street.

“This has been an excellent and very involved community process,” said Miami Beach Commissioner Mark Samuelian. “Folks have been involved throughout.”

August 5, 2019 | Miami Beach Times | Miami Beach Greenlights Ocean Terrace Park Along 73rd to 75th Streets

Miami Beach votes to remove happy hour signs from sidewalk cafes

“Some of the signage up there just isn’t 100% clear,” Miami Beach Commissioner Mark Samuelian said. “Sometimes it says, ‘2 for 1,’ but the customers got charged. Some of our customers come from overseas. They’re not clear on what they’re getting. I’ve heard from the community. I’ve seen it myself that there are some bad operators taking advantage of people. That has got to stop.”

July 17, 2019 | WSVN 7 | Miami Beach votes to remove happy hour signs from sidewalk cafes