The hours for package sales of alcohol have been reduced even further in the MXE and adjoining CD-2 districts in the areas around Ocean Drive in South Beach and Ocean Terrace in North Beach. Those sales will now be restricted to the hours between 10 am and 8 pm.
Earlier this year, Commissioners cut sale hours back from midnight to 10 pm.
Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, an attorney for Ocean 9 Liquor, Ocean 11 Market, and South Beach Liquor, all located on Collins Avenue between 6th and 11th Streets, told Commissioners at their meeting this week that he represents three of four “family-owned” businesses that will be impacted by the change. “This ordinance is now the fourth ordinance that specifically targets these small family-owned businesses in South Beach … The ordinance ostensibly seeks to address an underlying crime problem. We’re here to tell you that we agree that there is a crime problem in South Beach but we don’t think South Beach’s problem is a package liquor store problem.” Rather than address crime, he said, the ordinance “discriminatorily scapegoats and singles out, again these four family-owned small businesses in South Beach. Our clients would like to be part of the solution. We’d like to help the City deal with the underlying crime problem. But this is not the way to do it.”
He said the ordinance passed over the summer rolling back closing time from midnight to 10 pm “already impacted these businesses by about 35% in gross revenues. The proposal that is before you today to limit these businesses to just ten hours of operation total – from 16 to 10 hours of operation, with 20% reduction in hours of operation – will literally kill these businesses and bankrupt these businesses. Most importantly, it won’t do anything to address the underlying crime problem.” He asked Commissioners to delay a vote until the new Mayor and two new Commissioners are elected next week.
John Deutzman, one of the founders of the Miami Beach Crime Prevention and Awareness Group was having none of it. “I’ve been studying the crime situation on South Beach for more than a year personally and our group has been at it since July,” he told Commissioners. “And I will tell you without hesitation that the problems in Lummus Park, in that area, start when the liquor stores open and they end when they close. Almost all of our dayside problems are disorderly intox and harassment of tourists by people who are drunk out of their minds and I’m not going to mention any names but one place, in particular, willingly sells to these known drunks and alcoholics to the demise of the community and to the demise of these people. We’ve had 15 people die in our community of alcohol problems, so the notion that they’re being fine citizens and we’re ruining their fine family business is wrong.”
The City attorney’s office argued the ordinance applies to “long stretches of our commercial corridors” and “doesn’t single out any specific businesses”. Commissioners approved the ordinance on second reading unanimously.
mxe package liquor sale hours reduced further:
another effort at reducing crime in entertainment districts