Miami Beach’s oft-stalled, billion-dollar convention center project has cleared another hurdle.
A Miami-Dade Circuit Court judge decided on Aug. 28 that an ongoing attempt to change Miami Beach’s charter — the city’s constitution — does not apply to the current convention center project.
But that decision has already been appealed, according to a memo by City Attorney Jose Smith.
The court fight revolves around a petition circulated by Let Miami Beach Decide (LMBD), a political committee led by Commissioner Jonah Wolfson.
The committee collected enough signatures to get a proposed charter amendment on the November ballot. Charter amendments need to be approved by voters. The ballot question asks whether the city should require a larger percentage of voters — 60 percent or more — to approve the lease or sale of any publically owned land within the city’s convention center district. Currently, only a simple majority vote is needed, and only for land within certain parts of the district.
City residents already are set to vote on whether the city should lease convention center land to South Beach ACE, a team of private developers who propose to build a convention center hotel, shops and restaurants. Beach officials chose ACE for the project, which also includes a complete overhaul of the city-owned convention center, in July.
LMBD and the city went to court to determine whether the proposed 60 percent approval rate should apply to ACE’s project. Judge Daryl E. Trawick decided it should not.
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