Some landowners resist Boca beach-buying plan

Spanish River Park in Boca Raton

Coastal Spanish River Park in Boca Raton

 

The Greater Boca Raton Beach and Park District has identified seven privately owned beachfront parcels that it wants to acquire and set aside for public use. But some of the landowners may refuse to sell.

 

For example, 55-year-old Pompano Beach business owner Philip Gori plans to build a home on his beachfront parcel at 2330 North Ocean Boulevard.

 

“It’s a special piece of property,” Gori told the Sun-Sentinel. “Of course I don’t want to sell.”

 

Gori told the newspaper he paid $900,000 for his piece of oceanfront land: “It’s irreplaceable.”

 

Another beachfront landowner targeted by the Boca beach district, Al Petruzzelli, also told the Sun-Sentinel he is not interested in selling: “I’ve been here 70 years. It’s my homestead.”

 

Briann Harms, assistant director of the Boca beach district, told the Sun-Sentinel that the district wants to buy 2.59 acres of beachfront land.

 

The Boca Raton City Council in January passed a resolution requesting “that the district expeditiously evaluate and consider” acquisitions of oceanfront land for public use and preservation.

 

In December, Boca Raton Mayor Susan Haynie asked the city’s beach and park district to buy all vacant beachfront land in Boca held by private owners to ensure public access to the beach.[Sun-Sentinel] — Mike Seemuth

 

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