Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Potential homeowners who want their own piece of the American dream -- in this case an acre of swamp in Palm Beach County, Florida -- are running head-first into a battle between developers and local government authorities.
An acre of swamp sold for $8,000 twenty-five years ago, but has recently been going for $40,000 an acre. According to an article in the Palm Beach Post, the County has been trying to buy up the land for conservation purposes, and seems to be raising the specter of development roadblocks to buy land at lower prices. One couple, who bought their property in 1981 for $8,200, agreed to sell it to the County for $2,300 after the County informed them of the "numerous obstacles" to building their dream house on the property. The couple later tried to back out of the deal, claiming the price was too low. The County is suing them and is also suing a coalition of local landowners, claiming the coalition tortiously interfered with its contracts.