Downtown Miami residents, club owners spar over noise ordinance

Attorney says city improperly enforcing law amid complaints from residents

MIAMI – Attorneys representing nightclub owners in downtown Miami believe they are one step closer to getting several noise violations dismissed.

A hearing was held Thursday at City Hall to discuss recent noise ordinance citations.

"At this point, while we understand that a lot people (would) like to have it resolved, our client has a right and has exercised that right," attorney Aaron Resnick said.

Thursday's hearing was the latest chapter in a bitter fight between nearby residents and club owners -- a feud over 24-hour nightclubs, rooftop parties and whether recent citations were issued in accordance with the city's noise ordinance.

"What is this plainly audible standard and how is it being interpreted and how is it being used?" Resnick, who represents one of the nightclubs, said.

Attorneys have argued that code enforcement didn't do its job when handing out several violations to clubs over the Memorial Day weekend. The citations could, over time, lead the city to suspend their business licenses.

"We have a city that's going after a landlord for issues related to residents who are on their balconies complaining about noise, and the city is using the wrong portion of the code to enforce that," Resnick said.

The cries coming from residents have been equally as loud as the music that they want turned down.

"Well, until recently, the city was not really enforcing the code, and recently they finally put resources to that, and they're now starting to enforce the code," resident Mark Kirby said. "And that's all we're asking. We not asking for the clubs to be closed."