La Piaggia restaurant sues Miami Beach for shutting it down

Suit, related to code violations, cites lost profits and says La Piaggia has to lay off employees

Apr.April 21, 2016 01:30 PM

La Piaggia

La Piaggia, a beachy restaurant in the South-of-Fifth neighborhood of Miami Beach, just filed suit against the city for posting a “Notice of Violation” sign on the property, effectively shutting it down.

According to the suit filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court, La Piaggia, at the luxe Murano at Portofino at 1000 South Pointe Drive, had been out of compliance with the Florida Building Code since at least July 2015, when it opened a permit to bring the property into compliance. Since none of the issues were a violation of the city’s “Life Safety Code,” La Piaggia was allowed to stay in operation while it worked to bring the property to compliance, the suit said. And the restaurant was in “constant contact and communication” with the city regarding its progress, according to the suit.

On Monday, the city of Miami Beach posted a “Notice of Violation” on the property. But according to the suit, the notice did not specify the nature of the defects, or say that details about the violations can be obtained from the county’s building official, or state the appeals process — all required by Miami-Dade County Code, according to the suit.

“As the city’s notice revokes [Piaggia’s] certificate of occupancy, [Piaggia] has been forced to shut down its business,” the suit said, resulting in “not only loss of profits, operating income and goodwill in the community, but more importantly it will cause [Piaggia] to discharge about two dozen of its employees,” the suit alleges.

A city of Miami Beach attorney who is handling the case declined to comment.

Florida records show La Piaggia is led by Robert Escanesy. The suit asks the court to rule that the notice was deficient and to stop it from being enforced.

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