Key Biscayne files new lawsuit in Miami show site dispute

Key Biscayne filed a third lawsuit looking to stop the Miami International Boat Show from coming to the Miami Marine Stadium.
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Key Biscayne filed a third lawsuit looking to stop the Miami International Boat Show from coming to the Miami Marine Stadium, seeking to stop development of a park that is currently under construction in preparation for the 2016 show.

The June 25 petition filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court is seeking to stop development of what’s being called a flex park around the stadium, arguing that the city was improperly granted special permission from its historic preservation board and city commission in May, according to the Daily Business Review.

The village alleges that Miami officials prevented the board from hearing evidence about future uses in violation of Miami's own code. Key Biscayne also says permission was rushed and lacked all of the needed documentation and that the Miami city attorney's office showed bias during the hearing to approve the permit.

“We remain optimistic that the city of Miami and the village of Key Biscayne will be able to come to a resolution,” boat show vice president Cathy Rick-Joule told Trade Only Today in an emailed statement. “Preparations continue for the 2016 Miami International Boat Show at Miami Marine Stadium Park and Basin, and we look forward to continuing the event’s 74-year legacy and $600 million economic impact.”

Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado did not mention the most recent lawsuit in an interview last week, but did say that construction was on time and on budget.

“I just don’t see a scenario where the boat show wouldn’t happen,” Regalado told Trade Only. “We are on time for what they need. We are on budget for what they need. We are on target. We went before the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau and have 100 percent of their support in terms of rooms and amenities for visitors. Everything is ready. I do not foresee anything that could come our way that will stop the boat show.”

Key Biscayne Mayor Mayra Peña Lindsay told the Daily Business Review that the latest lawsuit was not intended to derail mediation that is set to start today, but had to be filed to avoid missing a 30-day deadline for challenging local government actions in circuit court.

Lindsay told Trade Only in an email last week that the last thing the village wanted to do was to “be tied up in litigation with its neighboring municipality,” but that it was obligated to do what was right for Miami-Dade residents.

“Not only does the city’s plans to commercialize the Marine Stadium site violate the deed of the property, it flies in the face of the 2010 Virginia Key Master Plan, which called for as much access to public waterfront land as possible and permanent open green space,” she said.

The village filed a lawsuit against the city of Miami in February, but quickly entered into mediation talks.

In April, the village filed a lawsuit against the show’s organizer, the National Marine Manufacturers Association, saying it violated the state’s open meeting laws.

The NMMA denied that it violated Florida’s Sunshine Law when it entered into a licensing agreement with the city of Miami to bring the show to the stadium’s park and basin.

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