Delray Beach developer's plan worry disabled man's family

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. - All his life, Larry Hyman has fought to belong.

He still wears the cap from the post office job he had in the Bronx for 39 years.

"First I was a custodian, then I switched to mail handler," he said.

Nearly 70 now, he spends his days fishing with his daughter and granddaughter and taking his scooter short distances from his home on Northeast Seventh, a quiet street - thanks to a dead end.

"It makes me feel like I have someplace to go," said Hyman.

But a developer, SK Sandcastles, is on the verge of winning approval to make the plot of land on the other side of the dead end into a complex of 38 homes.

There are three access gates planned.

One of them, is in front of Hyman's home.

Hyman has cerebral palsy, and a busy street isn't what his daughter, Carmen Sanchez, imagined when she thought she found a quiet place for him three years ago.

"I will be afraid now. Cars coming at any time, so close to the driveway," said Sanchez. "It's not a safe feeling, and it won't be for him."

The developer says that after hearing from residents, they have decided to make the spot in front of their home an exit only to the complex.

They claim that will lessen traffic flow and still provide residents easier access to the beach and downtown, crucial for that part of Delray's redevelopment.

"I still feel it would be a threat. They're still moving cars," said Sanchez.

Sanchez says they will likely move, caught in the middle of a $12 million redevelopment she ironically agrees would be good for the city.

The man who never took a sick day is suddenly asking himself whether he belongs here.

"I would feel like I'm being pushed out," said Hyman.

A city commissioner says the commission should take into consideration Hyman's plight when they make a final decision on Aug. 20th.

The commission does have the option to ask the developer to make changes before they approve the plan.
 

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