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Judges Deny HOA Request to Quash Group Home Decision

Posted by Editor on September 2, 2019
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The Wellington View Homeowners’ Association had hoped a judge would reverse a decision that will allow the nonprofit HomeSafe to build a group home for at-risk boys near its neighborhood.

But on Wednesday, circuit court judges James Nutt, Donald Hafele and August Bonavita denied the HOA’s petition.

“We are pleased that the judges ruled in our favor and are excited to move forward with the new campus which will provide a safe, nurturing home for 12 children,” said HomeSafe CEO Matthew Ladika in an emailed statement.

The lawsuit, filed in December against Palm Beach County and The Children’s Place at Home Safe Inc., centered on a decision county commissioners had made two months prior.

Commissioners in October of last year unanimously approved the nonprofit’s request to build an 11,000-square-foot home on three acres on Lyons Road south of Southern Boulevard. The land used to be part of the 157-acre Wellington View development in suburban West Palm Beach.

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In the lawsuit, the HOA argued that the land was “legally set aside … by the original developer for the residents’ benefit” – it was designated for public civic use and the site would be better used as a park.

After the court ruling on Wednesday, attorney Joni Armstrong Coffey provided a statement on behalf of the HOA: “We have seen the court’s order. We’re disappointed in it, and at this point we are considering what our legal options may be, including appeal.”

This HomeSafe residence would house up to 12 boys aged between 12 and 17. The home planned to have a bedroom and bathroom for each boy, a reception area, offices, dining area and kitchen. The nonprofit planned to also build a 5,500-square-foot building for recreational activities.

A HomeSafe spokeswoman said the project would take 18 months to complete but did not have a start date.

© 2019 The Palm Beach Post (West Palm Beach, Fla.), Hannah Morse. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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