Monday, June 20, 2005

Keep an eye on this lawsuit

Southwest Ranches’ efforts to pay other cities to fulfill its affordable-housing obligation is being challenged in federal district court in Fort Lauderdale.

The town in western Broward County is dominated by single-family homes which have price tags in the millions.

The lawsuit, filed earlier this month, alleges that Southwest Ranches’ plan to put its affordable housing units elsewhere promotes segregation and violates the federal Fair Housing Act.

To pass muster with the state’s Department of Community Affairs on the town’s state-mandated comprehensive plan, it must provide 654 affordable housing units by 2025. But town officials have said Southwest Ranches is ill-suited for affordable housing, which is usually built at high densities.

According to the lawsuit, Southwest Ranches Mayor Mecca Fink was quoted in an August 2003 article in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel as saying: "Someone would have to hold a gun to our head, and even then they wouldn’t get high-density housing here." Sorry, no link, the Sun-Sentinel charges for its archives.)

Read the Palm Beach Daily Business Review story here.


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