South Beach area eyes seating limits

MIAMI New restaurants and bars in one of Miami Beach’s South Beach neighborhoods could soon face limits on the number of seats they can offer.

According to local media reports, the city’s Planning Board this week approved a measure that would base the seat count of a restaurant or bar in South Pointe on the capacity of the hotel or apartment building that houses it. If the establishment was hosted in a property with 100 residential or lodging units, the place would be limited to 100 seats, with an overall occupancy limit of 150 patrons. The measure would apply only to new restaurants.

The board approved the proposal by a 6-0 vote, with provisions for exceptions. Approval by the City Commission is required before the measure can be enacted.

Activists in South Pointe, a neighborhood south of Fifth Street, said the vote would cut down on noise and disorderly conduct in the neighborhood. However, developers disparaged the measure as a hindrance to serving customers.