SOUTH PADRE ISLAND — The Island group Property Owners Who Care wants to come up with solutions to make Spring Break safer.
The owners have begun passing out petitions to control the annual college bash.
The petition seeks to lessen the responsibility of the city and put more of the responsibility on venue owners and promoters of mass gatherings for the resources needed for the events.
The petition calls for the City Council to enact new regulations and new processes for granting city permits for mass gatherings or events.
More than 200 people showed up to a meeting to talk about the future of Spring Break and mass gatherings on the Island.
“When you lose lives during one week, it’s not acceptable,” said Shane Wilson, POWC group organizer.
Some of the ideas shared at the meeting including renaming Spring Break to Texas Fest or Spring Fest. Another idea is to organizing entertainment for a month during March similar to Austin’s South by SouthWest festival.
The group’s goal is to preserve, protect and ensure the quality of life on the Island and for everyone.
“I thought the meeting was very positive and very productive to come up with solutions for the City Council,” Wilson said.
Wilson said they want the future of Spring Break to be more controlled.
He said the city residents are asking for good, clean fun.
“Spring Break is too valuable to this Island,” Wilson said. “We are not here to kill Spring Break.”
He said college students should be able to come down here and blow off some steam, but families should also be able to come as well.
“Spring Break like party your brains out is not going to be Spring Break any more,” Wilson said.
According to city administrators, they are still compiling the information about what happened over Spring Break, which will be presented to the City Council.
Wilson said the meeting sent a strong message that the residents of SPI want to see change and to make Spring Break a lot more family friendly.
Wilson said he was aware of four deaths that occurred on the Island and that one death is too many.
“I can’t imagine how this is even enforceable or even constitutional,” Rob Nixon, an Island resident, said on his Facebook page.
Nixon said he worked Spring Break 22 straight years and it has toned down from what he remembers the mid-90s were like.
“I agree there are problems and do agree with some of their proposed ideas such as venues being required to absorb more of the public safety costs instead of the city,” Nixon said.