Miami-Dade County

Judge: Key Biscayne lawsuit over Miami Boat Show facility can proceed

A rendering of the Miami International Boat Show at Miami’s Marine Stadium. The city’s use of the campus surrounding the stadium is the subject of a lawsuit by Key Biscayne.
A rendering of the Miami International Boat Show at Miami’s Marine Stadium. The city’s use of the campus surrounding the stadium is the subject of a lawsuit by Key Biscayne.

In the legal fight over the city of Miami’s new exhibition venue next to historic Marine Stadium, the Village of Key Biscayne is still standing.

A Miami-Dade judge on Tuesday denied a motion by Miami’s attorneys to dismiss a village lawsuit challenging the city’s creation and use of its $24 million event space on Virginia Key.

The city created the venue last year in order to host the Miami International Boat Show and potentially other events, and promised to convert the space into an Astroturf park during down times. But Key Biscayne officials say the city illegally and unconstitutionally constructed the facility, and have asked the court to block the city from turning what they argue is a public park into a commercial venue.

Deputy Miami City Attorney John Greco told Judge Jerald Bagley Tuesday that the city lawfully created and used the facility. But his primary purpose in court was to argue that even had it not, the village couldn’t prove it had any special injury to bring its lawsuit against the city, and therefore its suit should be dismissed on the grounds that the village lacks standing. He added that even if the judge disagreed on that point, the village’s assertions that the city had illegally and unconstitutionally created the event remained insufficient grounds for a lawsuit.

But Bagley denied the motion in its entirety, and gave Greco 20 days to respond to Key Biscayne’s amended complaint, which if successful could prove problematic for the Boat Show’s planned return to Virginia Key in 2017. Meanwhile, other related lawsuits filed by the village against the city, National Marine Manufacturers Association and Miami-Dade County are pending.

  Comments