Pembroke Pines wins fight over canceled prison

The city was sued for refusing to extend utilities to support a 1,500-bed federal detention center

Aug.August 07, 2016 10:45 AM

Pembroke Pines won a four-year legal battle over its refusal to extend water and sewer service for a federal detention center.

A state appeals court ruled that a Broward County judge decided correctly in 2014 that Pembroke Pines was legally unobligated to extend water and sewer lines to 24 acres of neighboring land in Southwest Ranches.

Southwest Ranches had hoped that the federal government would build a 1,500-bed federal detention center on the 24-acre site, which abuts Pembroke Pines.

Pembroke Pines agreed tentatively to provide water and sewage service to the 24-acre site, but the city reversed its position in March 2012 after Pembroke Pines residents criticized plans for a detention center near their neighborhoods.

The federal government then scrapped its plan for the detention center, and both Southwest Ranches and prison operator Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) blamed Pembroke Pines in a lawsuit. CCA was the owner of the 24-acre site of the planned detention center.

Counter-suits and appeals ensued. The litigation appeared to culminate with the state appeals court ruling.

Southwest Ranches bought the 24-acre site from CCA for $8 million earlier this year but hasn’t determined a use for the land. [Sun-Sentinel] — Mike Seemuth

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