Boca Del Mar residents sue county over homes
New houses nearby lowered property values, suits claim.
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.