Harbourside’s outdoor music showdown with Jupiter goes to federal court


A federal court face-off between Harbourside Place and the town of Jupiter over the town’s outdoor music requirements is Sept. 15.

Filed against Jupiter by Harbourside Place, the 34-page lawsuit filed Jan. 5 charges the town is in violation of the first and 14th amendments of the Constitution.

“We want our constitutional rights recognized to operate our development for what the town approved it for — an outdoor entertainment venue,” Harbourside Place attorney Mitchell Berger said.

To read the latest headlines from Jupiter, go to palmbeachpost.com/jupiter

Jupiter officials counter that the $150 million waterfront entertainment center’s amphitheatre must comply with the same rules as other outdoor music venues in Jupiter.

Harbourside is required to have a special event permit to play music through the amplification system. To be allowed to play outdoor music without a special event permit, Harbourside Place needs an outdoor venue designation approved by the town council.

The town has not approved that designation, according to Jupiter records.

The case originally was filed by Harbourside Place in Palm Beach County Circuit Court. Jupiter moved to file the case in federal court. The injunction hearing is planned before U.S. District Judge Kenneth A. Marra.

“Federal courts are a better forum to consider constitutional issues,” Jupiter Town Attorney Tom Baird told The Palm Beach Post.

When Harbourside opened in December 2014, up to five events a week were held at the center that developer Nick Mastroianni pledged would be “Jupiter’s new downtown.” Permits are now required for each event. Events are required to end at 10 p.m.

Three events are planned this weekend. The movie Toy Story is Friday night, a Beatles tribute band and car show Saturday night and live music Sunday.

The amphitheater has brought police calls, protests from residents, court-ordered mediation, arguments over fireworks, petitions from music supporters, complaints against the town from Harbourside businesses and the lawsuit since Harbourside Place opened.

Residents of Waters Edge Estates, a gated community located across the Intracoastal Waterway from Harbourside, and others living nearby have complained about excessive noise during outdoor concerts and other events.

Town officials have repeatedly measured the sound volume at the amphitheatre. Mastroianni was fined $16,500 in March, 2015 for music that the town said was too loud. On other occasions, town officials found the volume requirements were being met.

The latest clash was this summer when the town declined to issue a permit to allow fireworks at Harbourside Place on the Fourth of July. The permit was not approved because Harbourside did not meet town regulations for police and traffic, according to Jupiter records.

After the Jan. 5 lawsuit was filed, the two sides were ordered to mediation by Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Edward Artau. The certified mediator appointed by the judge is Rodney Romano, the former mayor of Lake Worth. Both sides could not reach a compromise, resulting the in Sept. 15 injunction hearing.

A petition that garnered about 2,000 names was circulated in mid-2015 supporting music at the amphitheater.

Harbourside restaurant and retail owners have complained restrictions on music hurts their business.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

3 things to do in Gardens: Honda Classic, Hot Pink, Kids Crawl
3 things to do in Gardens: Honda Classic, Hot Pink, Kids Crawl

HONDA CLASSIC FAMILY DAY Children 15 and younger get into The Honda Classic for free every day, but f amily day Saturday is especially for them. The tournament at PGA National Resort & Spa will have free games and activities all day. Tire Kingdom will give the first 1,500 children a giant golf ball for collecting autographs. VIDEO: How...
BallenIsles charity raises nearly $2.4 million to help community
BallenIsles charity raises nearly $2.4 million to help community

Surrounded by lavish landscaping, protected by manned security gates, some BallenIsles residents find themselves living in a bubble, unaware and immune to the travails of their neighbors just a few miles away. The BallenIsles Charities Foundation is working to change that. Residents have donated almost $2.4 million to support Palm Beach County not-for-profit...
Parkland Shooting: Talks shift to arming teachers, FBI director takes some blame
Parkland Shooting: Talks shift to arming teachers, FBI director takes some blame

UPDATE 2:54 p.m.: There was a walkout at Congress Middle School in Boynton Beach.  UPDATE 2:00 p.m.: The Florida Panthers will wear a red “MSD” patch on their jerseys and stickers on their helmets in honor of the Parkland shooting victims.  UPDATE 1:40 p.m.: Tiger Woods and Nicholas Thompson showed some love...
Teen, 19, arrested after threatening posts aimed at Florida high school, deputies say
Teen, 19, arrested after threatening posts aimed at Florida high school, deputies say

A 19-year-old man was arrested Saturday after posting pictures of guns and threatening messages on social media aimed at a Key West high school.  Duviel Gonzalez, of Marathon, faces charges of written threats to kill or do bodily harm, and marijuana possession.  When detectives interviewed Gonzalez about his Instagram posts threatening...
Here are tips on keeping a snake-free yard
Here are tips on keeping a snake-free yard

Forget about "Snakes on a Plane," we're more concerned with snakes in the yard. Even though snakes are nowhere near as prevalent as our irrational fears would have us think (assuming you don't live smack dab in the middle of rattlesnake territory), if you're a homeowner with a bit of landscape or yard under your direction, you may encounter...
More Stories