The owners of The Metropolitan residential development have resolved their dispute with the city.
At their July 25 meeting, commissioners agreed to allow developers to pay a $50,000 fine for not undergrounding overhead utility lines on Northeast 24 Street and Northeast 13 Avenue when they started building The Metropolitan in 2014. Construction was finished in 2016. In return, the city will issue a certificate of occupancy to developers. Commissioner Tom Green abstained from the vote because he lives in the development.
Commissioner Julie Carson suggested $75,000 because she thought $50,000 wasn’t a big enough penalty – $34 a day since the project began. She praised developers for their work but said she was “very disappointed” that they did not live up to their original agreement. “This should have been undergrounded four years ago. It’s far too low [an amount],” said Carson.
But her suggestion failed to receive support from the rest of the commission. “They came back and did what they were supposed to do,” said Commissioner Scott Newton.
Developers also agreed to provide a letter of credit of $162,202.91 to ensure they complete the work. If developers fail to underground the lines, the city can claim the letter of credit. “It’s an amount that forces them to do it,” said Newton.
At a previous meeting, developer Michael Wohl said he and his partners tried their best but couldn’t get FPL to approve the undergrounding of the utility lines. “We have been great citizens here,” he said.