Business owners in downtown Miami and Coconut Grove are fighting the Miami City Commission’s plan to ban metal security screens or shutters on storefronts.

If the commission’s measure passes, two semi-autonomous business-development agencies will help businesses pay the removal costs, and incentives will be offered for business owners to install impact-resistant glass, according to a report from The Miami Herald.

Commission Chairman Marc Sarnoff says that the move will make the shopping districts safer and more pedestrian-friendly.

But some retailers and restaurateurs are fighting the proposal, saying the metal screens deter burglars. Sarnoff says they make retail districts less appealing to pedestrians after dark.

If the legislation is passed, business owners would have two years to remove solid security screens and three years to take down any see-through screens. Some decorative shutters would still be allowed, as would hurricane shutters when necessary. But business owners would be encouraged to use impact glass, which is reportedly shatterproof and hurricane resistant.

The Miami Downtown Development Authority (DDA) has a grant program that would cover the full cost of shutter removal and 75 percent of the cost of impact-glass installation for downtown businesses.

What do you think?

Which priority – pedestrian traffic or security screens – should win out in this situation? Or, is there a different solution? Tell us in the comments section below!