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2002-07-04
North Miami, FL. Judge Orders Home Depot to Halt Building

A circuit Judge in Miami-Dade county has ordered the county to stop construction work on a red hot Home Depot project that has swirled in controversy for most of the past four years. The city of North Miami asked the court to step in and halt the building on Biscayne Boulevard, claiming that the city had not given any approval for the store, even though part of the project falls into the city's boundaries. The company must now modify its building permit because part of the project is outside of Dade County jurisdiction. "We had to get a judge to tell the county that people can't build with a permit issued outside of county jurisdiction," said one of North Miami's lawyers. A county survey in April showed that a quarter acre of Home Depot's 10.5 acre site lies within the city of North Miami. In addition to Home Depot's stepping over the line, local residents have also filed a lawsuit against the company on the issues of traffic safety and property values. According to Joe Weil, First Vice President of Keystone Point Homeowners Assocation, "Home Depot seemed poised on the plateau of victory, but we finally discovered that they were operating under a false survey and that approximately one quarter of their property was located within the city of North Miami -- which they had denied." Residents are now trying to negotiate a smaller store with Home Depot, but feel that although such a downsizing "is really still to big", it's "better than the monster they have been building in our residential neighborhood." During the construction process, Home Depot's builder was accused of stealing water from North Miami. Local police arrested the construction supervisor for theft. North Miami's Mayor Josaphat Celestin minced no words over the company's attitude. "Home Depot will not be denied at any price; they'll do whatever they want." North Miami has threatened to withold water and sewer from the project. "Until we're satisfied, we don't need to give them temporary or permanent water service," said North Miami's attorney."And we're not satisfied." The Home Depot construction site is surrounded by a children's playground, a tennis club, low-rise apartments, and townhouses

What you can do: .For more background on Home Depot's problems in North Miami, contact Joe Weil at kphainc@aol.com










 
 
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