Broward County to pay $42M for farm land to settle lawsuit

Land is zoned for a hotel

(Credit: Publicdomainfiles, Wikimedia Commons)
(Credit: Publicdomainfiles, Wikimedia Commons)

A longstanding legal battle between Broward County and the owners of Dania Farms is now over – and it’s the county that has to fork over some cash.

In a settlement reached on Tuesday, the county agreed to pay the Shaw family $42 million to buy 38 acres of farmland, according to the Sun Sentinel. The sum does not include an additional $573,000 in attorney fees and $285,548 in expert witness fees and other litigation costs that the county agreed to pay.

In exchange, the Shaw family, related to the late Congressman E. Clay Shaw Jr., released the county from liability related to the alleged damage from a new, nearby Fort Lauderdale airport runway. The land is currently zoned to allow for a hotel development.

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The Shaws claim the runway construction, which began in 2012, has led to the land flooding frequently, making it impossible to develop a hotel on the land. In September, a Circuit Court judge agreed.

The runway opened in 2014, and extends over U.S. 1. It sits just north of the Dania Farms property at 704 North Federal Highway, which the family has owned for more than eight decades.

It is still unknown how much of the cost will fall on taxpayers. According to the settlement, the land could be used for future development at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, the Sun Sentinel reported. [Sun Sentinel] – Amanda Rabines