New South Beach 2 a.m. “Last Call” Ruled Unlawful

A Miami-Dade judge has ruled that the new 2 a.m. “last call” for alcohol order is unlawful.

Circuit Judge Beatrice Butchko sided with the Clevelander Hotel in their lawsuit against the city of Miami for moving the “last call” from 5 a.m. to 2 a.m. The new “last call” went into effect on May 22nd in an effort by the commission to curb the fights and rowdy behavior that has taken place on South Beach in recent months.

Judge Butchko ruled that the commission followed the wrong set of rules for their vote because the matter was a zoning issue but was not treated as one. Butchko explained that since the rollback was limited to a specific zoning district, which covers businesses on Collins Avenue and Ocean Drive from Fifth to 15th Street, the new rule should have been addressed as a revision to the city’s land-development directions, which requires the support of five commissioners. Instead, only three of the city’s seven commissioners agreed with Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber in moving up the “last call.”

Following the decision, Gelber stated that the city was planning on appealing the ruling. He says that residents of the city “should not be held prisoner to a business model that promotes the all-night hard partying that has generated an unsafe atmosphere in our City.”

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