In what appears to be a first for the city of Miami Beach, code enforcement had an art installation removed from the front of a Miami Beach developer’s home on Tuesday.
The reason? The owners, Richard and Maria Meruelo, failed to comply with the city’s design rules, according to the Miami Herald. They were cited in 2018 and in May, and lost their appeal to the special master in June.
The city regulates new construction and alterations to existing buildings, including certain changes to single-family home exteriors. In the case of the Meruelos’ property, at 5101 Pine Tree Drive, an art storage company unscrewed a metallic flame-like sculpture over a white wall that fronts the home.
“We live in a community and you’ve got to respect your neighbors and it’s just not fair to simply do what you want without complying with any of the requirements. This wasn’t replacing the toilet without telling anybody,” Mayor Dan Gelber told the Miami Herald.
The Meruelos paid $8.5 million for the property in 2012.
Earlier this year, the city sued Deauville Associates LLC, an entity controlled by Belinda, Richard and Homero Meruelo, over the Deauville Beach Resort at 6701 Collins Avenue.
The Melvin Grossman-designed hotel, where the Beatles stayed and performed for the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, is in disrepair. Because the property is within the North Beach historic district, the city requires that it be maintained. The hotel closed in 2017 due to an electrical fire and sustained damage from Hurricane Irma. The owners also owe nearly $100,000 in outstanding resort taxes. [Miami Herald] — Katherine Kallergis