City of Miami Beach plans to appeal
Miami Beach’s attempt at curbing late-night partying by ending alcohol sales earlier was overturned in court.
The decision is a win for businesses that opposed the rollback but bad news for developers who say the city needs to reinvent its image in the entertainment district.
The Clevelander South Beach, a hotel with a restaurant and bar known for its all-day party environment, sued the city in late May over the commission’s vote to temporarily roll back alcohol sales to 2 a.m. from 5 a.m. in the entertainment district. The area is between Collins Avenue and Ocean Drive, from Fifth to 15th Street.
Miami-Dade Judge Beatrice Butchko decided during a virtual hearing on Monday that the commission’s vote on May 12 was illegal. The city passed the measure as a typical ordinance with a simple majority vote of 4 to 7. But because the decision impacts a specific district, that means that it was a land-development regulation requiring a supermajority vote of 5 to 7, according to the city and an attorney for the Clevelander.
No written order has been entered yet.
The city plans to appeal. In the meantime, the 2 a.m. cutoff will stay, unless an order mandating otherwise is issued, according to Deputy City Attorney Aleksandr Boksner. Butchko’s ruling on Monday did not identify when the rollback should be lifted.