Miami Beach commission mulls how to make earlier ‘last call’ a reality – NBC 6 South Florida

Months after voters went to the polls and approved a referendum for an earlier last call in the city of Miami Beach, commissioners are now tasked with making it a reality.

In November, voters said yes to a rollback from 5 a.m. to 2 a.m. with some exceptions. The vote was unofficial and it is now up to City Commissioners to decide how to make the plan work.

“I will never vote for a tough 2 a.m.,” Commissioner Ricky Arriola said. “There have to be exceptions. That’s what voters voted for.”

The city’s planning director laid out five ways commissioners could choose to overturn last call with exceptions. A last call at 2 a.m. citywide was not listed as an option.

The five options include:

  • No. 1 – Allow beachfront hotels with at least 200 rooms to serve alcohol indoors until 5 a.m.
  • No. 2 – Allow fully closed beachfront hotels and restaurants to serve alcohol until 5 a.m.
  • #3 – Allow options one and two while including bars and clubs
  • No. 4 – Authorize exemptions for beachfront hotels and certain restaurants, bars and clubs in certain areas of the city
  • No. 5 – Basic exceptions for a 5 a.m. last call based on performance standards

Some believe that making an exception for some would not reduce crime in the entertainment district.

“They could have sent a loud and clear message that the party is over,” said Hotel Sherbrooke owner Mitch Novick. “But instead they decided to create all sorts of exceptions. Essentially watering down what voters had been asking for.

The election referendum was held on Nov. 2 in response to increasingly loud crowds and drinking in the South Beach entertainment district, where tension has been simmering for years as party crowds moved on. from a few weekends to a year-round presence.

Mayor Dan Gelber, who pushed for a 2 a.m. closing time, was also re-elected and declared victory for both campaigns.

“That’s what our residents want,” Gelber said. He called the earlier limit on liquor sales the first step in repositioning South Beach’s entertainment district as a “live, work, play” area with new housing, offices and cultural spaces.

Gelber said he would be willing to let large hotels with security personnel continue to serve alcohol until 5 a.m.

Aurora J. William