The Real Deal Miami

Celine Dion’s Jupiter Island project stirs up controversy

July 21, 2010 05:30PM

Celine Dion and her Jupiter Island estate (property photo source:

Celine Dion’s $1 million, 500,000-gallon water park addition to her $19.5 million Jupiter Island estate
should have never been approved by the town’s planning and zoning
department, according to town manager Gene Rauth. In documents obtained
by the Palm Beach Post, Rauth wrote that department head Jeff Newell
“showed very poor judgment in granting the approval and thus creating
and adverse impact on the adjacent properties and the town as a whole.”
Dion’s project included high waterslides, a lazy river and a wave pool,
and was the subject of criticism because the construction took place in
a dunes area that could have been ecologically damaged. Dion apparently
escaped official scrutiny, however, when Newell gave her verbal
approval for many aspects of the project. Newell resigned abruptly last
month while occupancy certificates were being drawn up for Dion’s home,
and is rumored to have been forced out in part over his role in
allowing the waterpark project. [Palm Beach Post]