Suni Sands residents turn out for hearing

Posted at 7:49 PM, Apr 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-18 19:49:18-04

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla.- A judge is deciding tonight whether residents at a mobile home park in Jupiter will have to move out next week and make room for a new development.

Residents at Suni Sands were served eviction notices last year saying they must be out of the park by April 30.

They’re hoping a judge will let them stay at the park as long as possible.

Ronna Helm’s son and 86-year-old mom are her world. She says she moved to Suni Sands for the natural surroundings and neighbors they’ve come to call family.

“It's just a joy,” said Ronna. “It's just living in paradise being able to take care of my mom in her last years in this setting is lovely.”

That could change soon. A judge is considering whether residents will have to leave next Saturday to make way for a hotel vacation complex.

“It's going to be devastating for us and for mom,” said Ronna. “She loves to sit out and look at the palm trees waving in the breeze.”

Today, about two dozen Suni Sands residents turned out for a hearing on the issue. They’re pleading with a judge to hold off on evictions until a decision is made on who owns the property. There’s an appeal about whether Charles Modica legally owns the Suni Sands property.

“I'm very hopeful that she'll stop it until the appellate court because the legal proceedings are very expensive,” said Tom Ryan, the president of the homeowner’s association at Suni Sands.

But an attorney for the developer says unless a judge rules otherwise... “The judge is obviously giving it serious consideration,” said Philippe Jeck, of Jeck Harris Raynor & Jones, PA. Residents will likely have to move next week. “It’s set in stone,” said Jeck. “It’s the consistent date that they’ve been given for well over a year now.”

Ronna is still hoping somehow her mom can stay. “It’s just the last of her time in life,” said Ronna.

A judge is expected to make a decision next week.