The on-again, off-again plan to bring a strip club to North Miami is back on again – and now it’s sparking a lawsuit.
If it were built, the project from applicant Sunny Isles Eatery would be the city’s only strip club.
In August the North Miami Board of Adjustment denied the zoning variance, saying the proposed club would not be far enough away from a nearby apartment building.
Then, one month later, the board approved the club by a 5-2 vote during a special hearing. Mayor Andre Pierre appointed two new members to the board before the second hearing.
The proposed 20,000-square-foot club would go up near Miami Gymnastics, which protested the move at the September hearing.
That hearing was not permitted, Councilman Michael Blynn said at a North Miami City Council meeting on Sept. 11. He tried to stop the second hearing from happening but got nowhere when he asked the city manager if he agreed. The city manager said he had no jurisdiction.
“Everyone is washing their hands. They're gonna have a meeting, someone asked for it, no one knows who asked for it, and no one wants to discuss it,” Blynn replied. “This is a complete rip-off of the city.”
A lawsuit filed by three members of the first Board of Adjustment claims the city didn't follow its own rules.
“The city of North Miami abused its own laws, abused its own processes to favor a strip club over its own residents,” said their attorney, Adam Schachter.
The lawsuit seeks to declare the city’s actions illegal and to reverse the city’s action that permits the strip club to be built.
Councilman Scott Galvin has already voted in favor of the club.
“I would vote for it again next go-round, but you have to do things by the book,” he said. “There are standards, there are rules, there are guidelines, and if you don't follow them, then you're not doing the right thing.”