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Boca may use eminent domain to buy oceanfront properties

The city wants to acquire properties along State Road A1A to preclude further oceanfront development
November 11, 2017 11:00AM

State Road A1A along the Atlantic Ocean in Boca Raton (Source: Wikimedia.org)

The city government in Boca Raton may compel owners to sell beachfront properties to prevent further development along the ocean.

The Greater Boca Raton Beach & Park District is interested in acquiring beachfront properties on North Ocean Boulevard, a section of State Road A1A.

The city’s park district last year attempted to acquire several beachfront properties. The owners refused to sell, according to Robert Rollins, chairman of the park district.

The city government now is deciding whether to use eminent domain, which allows a government to force the sale of privately owned land for public purposes.

In eminent domain proceedings, a court decides whether a property purchase is permissible and, if so, sets the price paid to the owner.

The Greater Boca Raton Beach & Park District last year tried to buy properties including a 0.3-acre parcel at 2500 North Ocean Boulevard (owned by Natural Lands LLC), a 0.4-acre parcel just north of 2500 North Ocean Boulevard (owned by Grand National Bank) and a 0.28-acre parcel at 2425 North Ocean Boulevard (owned by Diamond Development Partners).

The park district also has been interested in buying a property at 2330 North Ocean Boulevard and vacant land at 2401 North Ocean Boulevard.

The city of Boca Raton has been trying to buy beachfront properties to preclude their development since  2015, when the city government approved construction of a four-story, 10,000-square-foot house along North Ocean Boulevard.

City commissioners resisted that residential project but reluctantly approved it because the developer had complied with the city’s requirements to build on the site.  [Sun-Sentinel] — Mike Seemuth