By CRAIG ALANIZ
The South Padre Island City Council held a workshop concerning the mass gatherings ordinance Wednesday. Local businesses, residents and others that would be affected by the ordinance were in attendance.
Business owners said the ordinance would deter events from coming to the Island because the subjectivity of the language of the ordinance and the permit fee was too high.
The council said the ordinance was designed to notify the police chief and fire marshal of events to plan accordingly. They said safety of visitors was the main focus of the ordinance.
Island residents were worried that the mass gatherings permit would penalize them for unexpected guests at a house or block party because the mass gathering definition was set very low at 60 people.
A concert promoter said he felt the ordinance would scare well-respected promoters from the area. He said communication is the key to keeping the events safe.
The council agreed to draft a new ordinance that would require a prior notification for events to report to the city. A draft ordinance will be published for the community to review. The ordinance will be place on the agenda for the next regular city meeting on February 6.
Read this story in the Jan. 24 edition of the Port Isabel-South Padre Press, or subscribe to our E-Edition by clicking here.