At its meeting on Tuesday, July 7, the North Miami Beach City Council approved Black Diamonds’ request for later hours and also four ordinances primarily related to city code changes.
The main item
Visitors of the Black Diamonds strip club can continue partying until the wee hours of the morning after the North Miami Beach City Council approved a business tax receipt allowing it to remain open from 4 to 6 a.m.
The business, at 17450 Biscayne Blvd., applied for a similar request six months ago. The council’s approval granted them another six months of operating until 6 a.m. and if the business continues to operate without any major incidents, it can apply for a one-year extension.
The item was approved 4-3, with Vice Mayor Anthony DeFillipo, Councilwoman Phyllis Smith and Councilwoman Barbara Kramer voting no.
“I don’t believe North Miami Beach should be the dumping ground for people that want to drink from 4 to 6 in the morning,” Smith said. “I’m very proud that they are maintaining a safe place in their establishment, I just don’t think it should be open that late for my residents.”
Mayor George Vallejo said that unless police reported serious problems or the business didn’t properly maintain the property, he felt comfortable supporting the extension.
“If a business is following the law and it’s not creating problems, then I always err on the side of giving it the benefit of the doubt,” Vallejo said.
▪ Spiegel speaks: Councilwoman Beth Spiegel addressed a series of robocalls and surveys that residents received accusing her of ethics violations and of meeting with representatives and lobbyists for trash collection services in the city.
She said she doesn’t know who paid for the calls or where they’re coming from, but said she’s not involved in any Miami-Dade Ethics Commission investigations.
“My ethics are just fine; I can’t say as much for the perpetrators of these calls,” Spiegel said.
▪ Four ordinances: A group of ordinances passed on second reading, including a ban on drinking alcohol in public places and a change to city code allowing the city manager to approve the non-commercial use of the city’s seal.
Spiegel voted against the seal item, as she did at the June 16 meeting, and said language in the ordinance was too broad. Deputy City Attorney Dotie Joseph said her office drafted the ordinance based on similar laws across the state and country.
The other two items eliminated a $200 bond requirement for people who want to apply to use a temporary or banner sign on their property and set the parameters for establishing a new charter review committee in the city. The council will eventually vote on an item that will further establish the guidelines for the committee.
▪ City pools: City Manager Ana Garcia announced that the Uleta Pool and the pool at the Washington Park Community Center are now fully open to the public. She said that while some safety concerns and maintenance issues have been addressed, her staff still hopes to continue making improvements at the two sites.
They said it
“We need to make sure that our Biscayne corridor doesn’t have these type of establishments.” — Councilwoman Marlen Martell, before voting yes to approve the Black Diamonds extension. “We’d like for, at some point, for this establishment to turn into something else.”
The next meeting
▪ When: July 21 at 7:30 p.m.
▪ Where: North Miami Beach City Hall, 17011 NE 19th Ave., North Miami Beach