Digs too deep? Palm Beach residents sue the town over undergrounding utility lines

The assessments are for 30 years and the town estimates the average at $1,134 for a single-family home and $316 for a condo, annually

TRD MIAMI /
Aug.August 03, 2017 03:45 PM

Two Palm Beach residents just filed suit against the town over a planned project to underground utility lines.

Condominium owner Carol Kosberg and single-family homeowner Michael Scharf filed a lawsuit seeking class action status, after the town council’s recent vote to levy special assessments on property owners to fund the estimated $90 million project, the Palm Beach Daily News reported.

The suit also lists Palm Beach County Property Appraiser Dorothy Jacks and Palm Beach County Tax Collector Anne Gannon as defendants.

Town Manager Tom Bradford told the Palm Beach Daily News that the project groundbreaking ceremonies are still scheduled for Friday.

Last week, Kosberg dropped her lawsuit filed last year that alleged ballot language was misleading in a March 2016 referendum to vote on financing the project.

In the new suit, Kosberg and Scharf allege that the special assessments are invalid because the town used a consultant’s “arbitrary assessment methodology,” and that the consultant’s report “hypothesized” special benefits of safety, reliability and aesthetics based on a property’s size, density, location and other factors, according to the Palm Beach Daily News. 

Kosberg and Scharf filed the lawsuit as a class action on behalf of themselves and the owners of more than 7,000 condo units, single-family homes and commercial properties in Palm Beach.

The Palm Beach assessments are for 30 years and the town estimates the average assessment at $1,134 for a single-family home and $316 for a condo, annually.[PalmBeachDailyNews] Ina Cordle


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