By Christopher J. Russo, Former City Manager
(Thursday, May 21, 2020) – I have recently received a deluge of questions from residents about reopening our beach. As Mayor Scholl and I have mentioned before, the beach in Miami-Dade County is owned by the State of Florida, and Miami-Dade County holds jurisdiction over the beach as granted by the state years ago. Thus, when Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez closed all the beaches in the county, Sunny Isles Beach, as a city within the County, was required to comply with his order. And we do not have the leeway to overturn this order.
Miami-Dade County, after consultation with medical and State officials, will determine when the beach may reopen, and when that happens, Sunny Isles Beach will also let residents use the beach within the parameters set forth by the County.
The same applies to the reopening of condominium pools and gyms. As soon as Miami-Dade County allows these to reopen, the City will follow suit.
I understand this can seem perplexing. It is reasonable to expect the city to control our own beach, condos, hotels, and even our main roads, Collins Avenue and Sunny Isles Boulevard. But ultimately, the City must comply with State and County restrictions.
I continue to regularly meet (virtually) with County officials to advocate for our residents’ best interest and will provide you with the most recent updates as they become available. I know this is frustrating for some, but your patience is appreciated. The beach is the reason many of us chose to make this city our home and summer is fast approaching, but your life is precious. We need your cooperation and support to make the reopening of our city as seamless as possible. By staying positive and working together, we will remain a strong and resilient city.