FYI Miami: January 10, 2019
Below are some of the FYIs in this week’s edition. The entire content of this week’s FYIs and Insider sections is available by subscription only. To subscribe click here.
A HOTELS FIRST: Greater Miami ranked first in the nation in growth of its average daily hotel room rate for the first 11 months of 2018, according to figures compiled by STR and released by the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau. The average daily room rate for Greater Miami was $193.97 for the period, up from $182.42 for the first 11 months of 2017, a 6.3% increase, the data show, and fifth highest in the nation among the 25 major hotel markets. The average revenue per available room, meanwhile, had the second-fastest growth in the nation, rising 6.8% from $139.35 in the first 11 months of 2017 to $148.83 in the first 11 months of 2018. Revenue per available room was also fifth in the nation. Room occupancy for the period was 76.7%, up from 76.4% the prior year and ninth in the nation among the top 25 markets.
NO SMOKING ON THE SANDS: A Florida state senator filed a proposal last week for the legislative session that starts March 5 that would make it illegal for people to smoke on public beaches. Under the proposal by Sen. Joe Gruters of Sarasota, police would be able to issue citations to people who smoke on public beaches, punishable by fines up to $25 or 10 hours of community service.
VEGETABLES AND TALL CORN: Despite concerns from the Florida League of Cities, a Florida Senate committee Tuesday approved a bill that would largely prevent local governments from regulating homeowners’ vegetable gardens. The Senate Community Affairs Committee unanimously backed the measure, which stems from a legal dispute about an ordinance in Miami Shores that banned front-yard vegetable gardens. David Cruz, a lobbyist for the Florida League of Cities, said he hopes “middle ground” can be reached on the issue. Such an approach could involve setback and height restrictions, with Mr. Cruz saying, for example, that homeowners might not want to live next to property where tall corn is growing.
PALMETTO BAY POSTPONES POT: Due to time constraints, a zoning hearing scheduled for Monday evening over whether to ban distribution of medical marijuana in Palmetto Bay was pushed back to Jan. 28. The proposed ordinance would put into writing the existing policy of prohibiting medical cannabis dispensaries, medical marijuana treatment facilities and independent testing laboratories within the village’s boundaries, according to Maria Pineda, Palmetto Bay community and economic development director. Ms. Pineda said that while the item had been delayed several times previously, she expected the village’s new council to make a decision later this month.