Larry Hyman: Delray Beach commissioners approve housing complex despite family's objections

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. - The Delray Beach City Commission approved a 38-building housing complex along Federal Hwy. despite objections from the family of a man with cerebral palsy who lives next to the proposed development.

Larry Hyman lives at the end of a dead end on SE 7th Ave., and developers won the right to knock the dead end down and build an exit to the development.

"We are disappointed," said Carmen Sanchez, who lives at the home. "But we don't know what our next steps are."

Hyman, 69, often rides his scooter and walks in the area of the dead end.

He addressed the commission and said he didn't think the entrance was a "good idea."

"He moves very slow. He looks down when he walks," said Sanchez. "The cars, it's just so close, too close for comfort."

Hyman moved to the dead end years ago because he wanted the quiet area, without traffic.

Catalina Holdings says it would boost the city's economy.

Developers have agreed to put in sidewalks to alleviate residents' concerns as well as a golf cart and bike entrance in the area.

"We are looking at it as Delray Beach as a whole. I understand everyone has their concerns and you can concentrate on one homeowner. But we are not concentrating on one homeowner, we need to concentrate on the city," said Alex Gomez of Catalina Holdings.

The Palm Beach County Legal Aid society argued on Hyman's behalf and said commissioners should approve the project without the entry and exit in front of Hyman's home - even though the developers say it's crucial to getting cars downtown quickly.

"Mr. Hyman has chosen to purchase a piece of property and had a disability that needs to be accommodated to put him on equal ground as other folks," said James Rice, a lawyer with the Legal Aid Society.

Rice said they will decide on their legal options at a later date, but before the meeting he did say a lawsuit was possible.

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