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Restaurants sue after Miami Beach denies sidewalk permits

The denials cannot be appealed and the businesses cannot reapply for a year.
Credit: pfeifferv - stock.adobe.com

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. — Two restaurants are suing Miami Beach after being denied permits to have sidewalk seating.

The denials are part of a crackdown the city says is aimed at businesses that don’t follow regulations. Tapelia and Ole Ole believe that the city’s new ordinance, passed in March, is too vague and allows City Manager Alina Hudak to deny permits for past violations, bad online reviews or any other criteria she chooses.

The city recently denied 13 sidewalk permit applications. The denials cannot be appealed and the businesses cannot reapply for a year. Regulations violated include a failure to disclose actual prices on menus or whether tips are included on the check.

Deputy City Attorney Robert Rosenwald said in a statement that the sidewalk permits are a privilege based on if operators are meeting the city's goals for the sidewalk café program, the Miami Herald reports.

"We're cleaning up our city," Rosenwald said. 

The manager who oversees Tapaleia and Ole Ole, Gabriela Hernandez, believes the restaurants are being punished, the Herald reports. And. without the permits, they'll be forced to close without the permits.