The Miami Beach city commission decided to appeal a judge’s ruling that deemed a 2 a.m. cut-off of alcohol sales unlawful.
“The city is rejecting the Clevelander’s settlement proposal and intends to immediately appeal the Court’s order, once it is entered,” said acting Miami Beach City Attorney Rafael Paz.
The Clevelander, got a big win in court with that ruling.
Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said Tuesday he is in favor of appealing.
“I hope that our city attorney and the commission supports appealing the judge’s ruling,” he said. “Frankly, we cannot allow a part of our city to be controlled by somebody else’s business model, namely all night drinking.”
A Miami-Dade judge found the City of Miami Beach illegally rolled back last call for alcohol to 2 a.m.
Agreeing the move violated the rights of The Clevelander hotel, Judge Beatrice Butchko found the city’s move was essentially a zoning change for the Clevelander, which requires a vote of five of the city’s seven commissioners. The city treated the ordinance as a general code change which needs only four affirmative votes.
“The city has treated alcohol sales as a zoning ordinance in the past,” the judge found. "The city arbitrarily for no apparent reason or logic has treated the ordinance change for liquor sales in this case as a general code ordinance requiring a vote of only four.”
The city could seek a stay of the judge’s order, so it remains unclear when or if the 5 a.m. last call will be restored.
Miami Beach's new initiative will be a pilot program that voters’ will decide in November.
Alcohol sales usually end at 5 a.m. , but now, the time has been changed to 2 a.m.
The Miami Beach Commission recently approved the new rollback of alcohol sales, which applies to businesses between Fifth and 15th streets and will remain in effect until December.
The regulatory attacks will force the popular entertainment venue, along with others, to turn down their music and end alcohol sales earlier.
As of now, there are 44 existing businesses that would be affected by the rollback.
Photos by Getty Images