A federal judge’s order hits notes Jupiter officials wanted to hear in a donnybrook over decibels at the town’s waterfront Harbourside entertainment complex.
U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra in West Palm Beach denied Harbourside Place LLC’s bid for a preliminary injunction against the town. The development argued a town noise ordinance violated its constitutional rights of free expression and unlawfully restricted its ability to have live music performed.
“The Court finds that the Town did not adopt the Ordinance in order to target or retaliate against Harbourside, or as a means of controlling the content of musical performances,” Marra wrote in an order issued Thursday.
Marra found “it would not serve the public interest to enjoin the enforcement of a constitutionally valid ordinance.”
Attorneys for Harbourside did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the ruling or what happens next.
Town attorney Tom Baird said Thursday the order likely bodes well for the town’s motion for a summary judgment ending the case in its favor.
“I think we have a federal court that agrees the town is permitted to enforce its laws and its development order with respect to Harbourside Place,” Baird said.
Built by developer Nick Mastroianni, Harbourside Place opened with the bang of fireworks and music in December 2014 but has generated complaints from nearby residents about excessive noise. Mastroianni was traveling outside the country and unavailable for comment, an employee at his office said Thursday.
In 2015, a frustrated Mastroianni said he has gone “above and beyond” meeting town requirements, blasting officials for suspending up to $350,000 in annual payments to the $150 million waterfront entertainment center.
“The town’s persona non grata attitude will cost the public the very benefits (for which) the project was approved by the town council,” Mastroianni said at the time. “I haven’t met a person yet that hasn’t said ‘thank you.’ “
The developer said “nothing seems to satisfy the town.”
This week, Marra found the ordinance “promotes a significant governmental interest by reasonably limiting the decibel levels at which the musical expression can be disseminated on the Harbourside Place property. With the use of recommended sound mitigation and attenuation strategies, Harbourside would be able to have music played and heard on its property without adversely affecting adjacent property owners.”