Item Coversheet



TO: Neighborhood/Community Affairs Committee Members

Jimmy L. Morales, City Manager

DATE: May 22, 2018




At the March 7, 2018 Commission Meeting, after hearing from City staff and members of the public, the Mayor and City Commission directed the Administration to develop new kiteboarding regulations, with an enforcement plan, including requiring kiteboarders, that are not receiving lessons, to have a certification requirement, based upon the IKO Level 3, or equivalent; requiring kiteboarders to maintain a distance of 50 feet from swimmers, and to only engage in kiteboarding at least 200 feet from shore, except during launching and landing; and restricting this activity to certain locations of the beach.  Additionally, the City Commission approved kiteboarding, by IKO Level 3 kiteboarders only, at beach locations at 25th Street and north of 29th Street; restricted kiteboarding lessons to only the 76th Street location; prohibited kiteboarding, in addition to the restricted swim areas, from 25th Street to 29th Street and south of 24th Street; and, further, directed the City Administration to provide an update to the City Commission in (6) months after the regulations have been in effect.  


Upon determining the best policies and procedures for regulating kiteboarding it will be necessary to update the City Code by amending the provisions in Sections 82-466 through 82-470 regarding definitions, prohibited watercraft in restricted swim areas, prohibiting watercraft in certain non-restricted swim areas, exceptions for the launch and use of certain watercraft in permitted areas, providing requirements regarding safety equipment and distance, providing exceptions regarding restricted and non-restricted swim areas, and amending the provisions for enforcement and penalties.


The City Attorney’s Office has worked in conjunction with Code Compliance, the Office of Real Estate, Ocean Rescue and the Police Department/Marine Patrol to develop amendments to Chapter 82, Article V, Division 2 of the Code of the City of Miami Beach.  A draft of the proposed amendments is attached hereto as Exhibit 1 (Proposed Amendments).


Police Department/Marine Patrol Comments

Even though the Proposed Amendments are consistent with the direction from the City Commission at its March 7, 2018 meeting, the Police Department has advised the Administration they have concerns for the following reasons:


1.    Marine Patrol does not have the ability to stop offenders offshore because of the risks associated with having a kite in the air.

2.    The Marine Patrol vessels are limited to the extent they can’t get too close to shore where there is typically higher surf and swimmers.

According to the Police Department, as a practical matter, the only way to enforce the Proposed Amendments would be a time consuming combination of Marine Patrol and shore-based officers.  The Marine Patrol could direct offshore offenders to shore for enforcement by the shore-based officers.


The Police Department has also expressed concerns with having to monitor such a large section of the beach, essentially from 25th Street to 87th Terrace.  The Police Department has recommended limiting kiteboarding launching and landing activities to a single location such as 25th Street.  This way signage can be posted on shore regarding the rules and regulations associated with kiteboarding.  


Proposed Permitting Process

We propose to develop a permitting process in Energov in order to utilize the technology available to some City field staff.  This process will be managed by the Customer Service Center under the Finance Department. The Customer Service Center is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Individuals would be able to apply and obtain kiteboarding permits during that time or could submit their application information online. The proposed online process would work as follows:


1.    Create a Citizen Access Portal (CAP) Account

2.    Select to apply for a kiteboarding permit

3.    Complete online application (name, email, phone number, address, certifying agency, certification level)

4.    Upload documentation (government photo identification, kiteboarding certification card)

5.    Acknowledge and agree to the regulations and penalties

6.    Pay the application fee

Once the application is submitted electronically, a Customer Service Representative will review the information and determine whether the applicant meets the standards set forth in the ordinance.  If it is determined the applicant is a candidate for a permit, the individual will be notified to pick up the permit and streamer from the Customer Service Center, located at 1755 Meridian Avenue, Monday through Friday between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM.


The City will determine the amount of the application fee based on the estimated costs to the Finance Department for administering the permitting process and based on the estimated costs to the Police Department for enforcement of the ordinance.  Preliminarily, the Police Department has indicated, in order to achieve consistent enforcement, they will require two Marine Patrol officers with a vessel and two shore-based officers each with an ATV, for ten hours per day, seven days per week.  


The Administration seeks direction from the Neighborhood/Community Affairs Committee regarding this matter.   

Exhibit 1 - Proposed AmendmentsOrdinance