Miami City’s move to re-write zoning codes has raised controversies and brought litigation to their doorstep. The new zoning code caused casino such as Magic City Casino, owned by West Flagler, to halt projects they had been running for the last four years, which also cost a lot of money.
West Flagler went to court soon after and initiated a lawsuit against the city of Miami. The judge presiding over the case has decided that the lawsuit will proceed.
Based on reports by Miami Herald, the issue is quite complicated. The plan from the start was to build a card room and a jai-alai in Edgewater’s neighborhood. West Flagler had done its due diligence before the project began.
The business venture started exploration four years ago, and they have spent close to $400000 to accomplish this dream ahead of launch. The company announced it began the project two years ago. Then, Miami’s zoning code allowed gambling, so all the planning had been a success.
Florida had given West Flagler a go-ahead to continue with its project to build the Summer Jai-alai in 2018. This was considered a ticket giving West Flagler the right to continue with the project. However, things came to a stop after the move by the city of Miami to change its zoning codes.
This meant the new project could not continue and any new project would need the approval of five members of the zoning board. This new change got support from every board member, except Keon Hardemon, the chairperson.
Although this change is not necessarily meant to spell doom, very little can be said about the timing and its purpose. The locals were not impressed by the idea of a gambling station in the neighborhood, and this is the reason the change came into place.
Regardless, West Flagler is not happy at all. Therefore, they are suing the city for close to $750000 to recover their expenses and for damages. They also wish to court to rule in their favor and allow the project to continue based on the old zoning codes.
A local court decided to let the parties fight it out in court, but there is a lingering feeling that this issue will not be easy to resolve. Hearing is slotted for May 2020.