Miami pandemic party house owner slapped with $230K fine
Entity managed by red light camera mogul John Petrozza allegedly operated illegal short-term rentals at his waterfront mansion in Belle Meade
The fallout from pandemic ragers at his Belle Meade waterfront mansion is going to cost red light camera mogul John Petrozza a six-figure fine.
The Miami City Commission on Thursday unanimously approved making Petrozza pay $229,500 for allegedly operating illegal short-term rentals at his sprawling 8,000-square-foot, six-bedroom estate at 7301 Belle Meade Island Drive.
The Petrozza-managed entity that owns the property was seeking to lower the fine to $15,000, in exchange for dropping a civil lawsuit in Miami-Dade Circuit Court. That suit seeks to overturn a 2021 code enforcement board decision that found that the property owner rented the home on a short-term basis at least a half-dozen times.
Petrozza allegedly also illegally rented the adjacent five-bedroom property at 7305 Belle Meade Island Drive when he owned it between 2018 and last year, city records show.
City Commission chairwoman Christine King, whose district includes Belle Meade, an affluent enclave in Miami’s Upper Eastside, told Petrozza’s attorney Marcy Resnik that there was no room for negotiations with her client.
“The last I heard from my neighbors is that they want to move forward because your client [was a] bad actor, and [was a] bad actor for a long time,” King said. “I want to send a clear message to anyone in the city who believes they will not be held accountable for their actions. This was an egregious act by your client.”
King’s colleagues concurred, as city commissioners took turns assailing Petrozza’s alleged flouting of the city’s short-term rental ordinance.
“I have heard enough,” commissioner Joe Carollo said. “This is a repeat violator that didn’t care for the quality of life of his neighbors.”
According to city staff, Petrozza stopped renting the 7301 Belle Meade Island Drive property on a short-term basis in June. It was listed for monthly rentals from June through December of last year for $48,000 a month, according to Zillow. The property is no longer on the market, but Resnik informed commissioners that Petrozza is going to list the property for sale with an asking price of $14 million.
However, any sale can’t be consummated until the code enforcement fine is settled, Resnik added. She also claimed that her client now gets along with his neighbors after he attended a neighborhood block party since moving into the house last year.
The nearly 7-acre estate at 7301 Belle Meade Island Drive features 314 feet of waterfront with open bay views, a tiki hut, a barbecue and brick oven pizza station, and a pool. The property also features a “huge space for events and gathering,” the Zillow listing states.
In 2018, Petrozza paid a combined $10.6 million for both next-door properties. He sold the 7305 Belle Meade Island Drive house for $8.1 million last year, records show.
Between 2020 and last year, Petrozza had not been a good neighbor, according to published reports. Nearby homeowners regularly complained to the city’s code enforcement office and called police to report illegal parties taking place at the two homes. In 2021, the 7301 Belle Meade Island Drive home was listed on Airbnb for $3,500 a night, and was advertised as a “great party space,” WSVN reported.