Commissioners unveil new FLL runway settlement
DANIA BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) -- City commissioners unveiled a proposed settlement that would compensate homeowners for the loss in property value a new runway being built at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport would bring.
The meeting, which took place Tuesday at Dania Beach City Hall, is the latest development in a long running feud between aviation officials and the homeowners who would be most affected by the increase in jet traffic caused by the tarmac expansion.
Worried that their home value will plummet after the runway opens, homeowners are demanding compensation from both the county and the federal government.
The new runway, which is scheduled to open in 2014 on the airport's south side, will bring increased jet traffic, and Dania Beach residents who live just south of the airport will hear it.
"The planes will make this neighborhood uninhabitable," said Dania Beach resident Brenda Chalifour, who said she cannot fathom continuing to live at her residence once the runway opens. She said the jet noise would deprive her of the serenity she finds in her garden. "Why would you want to drive home to hell every day?"
Following months of negotiations between officials from Dania Beach, Broward County and the Federal Aviation Administration, a proposed settlement is finally on the table for Chalifour and about 900 of her neighbors was unveiled at Tuesday's commission meeting.
Among the compensation amounts proposed at the meeting:
- Homeowners who allow the government to soundproof their homes will receive a check for 14 percent of their home's value.
- Homeowners who put in noise reduction insulation windows themselves will receive a check for 22 percent of their home's value.
- The airport will pay homeowners who sell their home below market value up to 25 percent of their home's value.
"I'm sure there's some homeowners who think they should have more-- I probably would agree with them-- but I think, based on the law and what's allowed under it, this is a good deal," said Anne Castro, a former Dania Beach commissioner who helped negotiate a settlement with FAA officials.
However, Chalifour said, the settlement does not go nearly far enough, indicating she would like to be compensated for the full value of her property. "They're not going to replace this for what they're going to give to me," she said as she pointed to her manicured garden. "[If] this neighborhood is uninhabitable, I want out now," she said. "Cut me a check."
Before any homeowner is compensated, the proposal needs to be approved by the Dania Beach City Commission, the Broward County Commission, and the FAA. The people who are drafting this proposal said they believe it will pass all three of those entities.
Chalifour said she plans to move from her home once the runway is operational.
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