UPDATED: April 6 to reflect Letter to Commission from City Manager Jimmy Morales
There’s concern and confusion on social media regarding a new state law allowing private property owners to restrict public access to their beachfront property in Florida. While the law will impact a number of beaches in the state, City of Miami Beach Communications Director Tonya Daniels says “the majority” of our local beaches will remain fully open. She stopped short of an unequivocal statement until she had done all of the research but said, for the most part, the beaches here are state-owned and maintained by the City and County.
If there was an issue, it would be with public access but since the oceanfront property owners have deeded the property for the beachwalk to the City of Miami Beach, public access is guaranteed.
City Manager Jimmy Morales updated Commissioners later in the week, saying no public or private property in Miami Beach is impacted by the new law.
"It is estimated that 60 percent of Florida's beaches are privately owned. However, in Miami Beach the entire beachfront is public and owned by the State of Florida," Morales wrote.
Following the establishment of the erosion control line in 1961, "the county, state and federal government have been able to fund the renourishment of the beaches in our city," Morales said. "In Miami Beach, the erosion control line runs along the west side of the dune and beachwalk system," meaning the entire beach and beachwalk is publicly owned.
Public Beach Access Restrictions Do Not Impact Miami Beach:
New state law allows private owners to control their beachfront property
Despite lack of required plans, Air and Sea Show and Concert still anticipated
After Irma, federal government denied assistance
"Everything is on the table"
Teams of officers will be deployed to address quality of life issues