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The Miami Herald
Wednesday, May 15, 2002

Dania development advances

The Dania Beach commission on Tuesday night moved significantly closer to approving a 427-unit townhome development on the current site of a mobile home park.

With a unanimous vote, the commission preliminarily approved the rezoning and mapping request submitted by MKN Investors for the 35-acre lot west of Interstate 95 and south of Griffin Road.

The commission may approve these requests and will discuss the site plan at the May 28 meeting.

Development plans originally drew the ire of most of the residents of the 239-unit park at a planning and zoning board meeting last month. Many claimed they were not given advance notice to relocate, which is required under state law, from park owner Robert Halliday.

The townhome developer, however, has nearly completed a deal with the mobile home park residents to help with their relocation.

MKN investors has agreed to put $250,000 into an account to be managed by the residents' attorney -- Louis St. Laurent -- and a park relocation specialist to help residents with special needs.

Additionally, residents who submit relocation plans within the next six months will be given a $300 stipend for each month.

The deal was approved by St. Laurent and the park's board of directors at a meeting on Sunday.

St. Laurent said if 75 percent of the residents approve the deal this week, it will be final.

"This is the best of a bad situation," said Commissioner John Bertino.

"It's getting you the best deal that can be gotten at this time."