The lawsuit filed Jan. 5 by Harbourside Place against the town of Jupiter is going to mediation.
If attorneys from both sides reach a settlement through mediation, a court trial would be avoided. If they reach an impasse and are unable to reach a settlement, the lawsuit will proceed to trial. No date has been set for a trial, according to Mitchell Berger, the attorney for Nick Mastroianni, the developer of Harbourside Place.
“We are hopeful that cooler heads will prevail and Harbourside is allowed to use the amphitheater for the purpose it was given permission to in the certificate of occupancy,” said Berger.
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, who is the former mayor of Lake Worth.
The lawsuit is “a gross distortion of the facts,” according to Jupiter Town Attorney Tom Baird.
“Based on the facts as presented in the complaint, it appears that Mr. Mastroianni believes that he is above the law and can operate Harbourside any way he determines is appropriate. Fortunately, he has not been elected to the Jupiter Town Council,” Baird said in an e-mail to The Palm Beach Post.
Jupiter’s actions with Harbourside Place are “government gone wild,” Mastroianni said when the lawsuit was filed in Palm Beach County Circuit Court.
“The town is reneging on its promise that Harbourside Place would be the town’s entertainment center. I would not have built Harbourside Place if I would have known the town was going to act this way,” said Mastroianni, the president of Allied Capital & Development, the company that built the $150 million waterfront complex on the Intracoastal Waterway.
When Harbourside Place opened in Dec., 2014, up to five events a week were held. Responding to complaints about too-loud music from nearby residents, town officials have increasingly reduced the time allowed for outdoor events at the amphitheater.
Harbourside suspended music and other performances from the amphitheater on Monday, saying Jupiter officials “without lawful authority” are restricting the events.
Town officials counter that Harbourside is required to have a special event permit to play music through the amphitheater 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, said Baird.
The town has not approved that designation. The amphitheater does not have the proper volume measuring equipment to meet the requirements, according to Jupiter officials.
“The town is not prohibiting Harbourside from having music. Harbourside, like any other business that wants to host outdoor entertainment, has the ability to apply to the town to conduct musical events,” Town Manager Andy Lukasik said via e-mail.
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