Down in Miami a couple of years ago, they banned the use of residential property for commercial purposes. This came as a surprise to a wealthy couple who had rented a house for a 40th-birthday party in February, and then faced the threat of a police blockade. The rental cost them $40,000, and, in the view of the City of Miami, the payment was an illegal transaction.
The Miami law was put in place to stop short-term rentals for parties and promotional events that annoyed the neighbors, with cars parked every which way, traffic tie-ups, loud music, and the like. Though a judge allowed the party to go on, it touched off a discussion about whether the no-party laws were tough enough. The city has appealed the judge’s decision and is considering further measures to put a stop to the trade in mansions for hire.
This has echoes on the South Fork, but especially in East Hampton Town, where a two-day rock festival this summer has been planned for residential property in Amagansett. Those who oppose using the site for the festival allege that it would be in violation of not-quite-identical but nevertheless similar regulations.
Unlike in Miami, where officials have sided with residents in trying to enforce peace and quiet, East Hampton Town was sued late last month in an effort to overturn its approval of the August festival. Among other things, the suit claims that the town’s commercial-gathering permit, which was issued for the festival, is not applicable to events on private property. East Hampton might do well to heed the Miami model.