Boca Del Mar res­i­dents sue county over homes

New houses nearby low­ered prop­erty val­ues, suits claim.

The Palm Beach Post - - LOCAL & BUSINESS - By Wayne Wash­ing­ton Palm Beach Post Staff Writer wwash­ing­ton@pb­post.com

Palm Beach County is fac­ing three law­suits from Boca Del Mar res­i­dents who al­lege that the county’s de­ci­sion to al­low homes to be built on the de­funct Mizner Trail golf course ad­ja­cent to their com­mu­nity has re­duced the value of their up­scale homes near Boca Raton.

Phyl­lis Green­berg, Wil­liam Vale and Wal­lace and Elaine Mer­les are claim­ing the county vi­o­lated the Bert Har­ris Act, which re­quires the govern­ment to com­pen­sate prop­erty own­ers when its ac­tions have lim­ited the use or value of their prop­erty.

Af­ter a decade-long bat­tle — and against vo­cal op­po­si­tion from some Boca Del Mar res­i­dents — county com­mis­sion­ers voted in June 2014 to al­low 253 res­i­dences to be built on the 127-acre course, which is west of In­ter­state 95 and south of Pal­metto Park Road.

The plan ap­proved by com­mis­sion­ers in­cluded a six-bed con­gre­gate-liv­ing fa­cil­ity, 115 zero-lot-line homes, 45 town­homes and 92 multi-fam­ily units.

Some Boca Del Mar res­i­dents told com­mis­sion­ers they bought their homes so they could have views of a golf course. Many said they wor­ried the new hous­ing would lower their prop­erty val­ues.

The law­suits claim those fears have been re­al­ized.

The Mer­les say the ap­praised value of their home is $35,000 lower than it was be­fore the county de­cided to al­low homes to be built on the golf course. Green­berg and Vale both say the ap­praised value of their home is $45,000 lower than it was be­fore the county de­ci­sion.

County At­tor­ney Denise Nie­man had no com­ment on the com­plaints, which were filed in Palm Beach County Cir­cuit Court on Mon­day.

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