The Palm Beach Post:All Aboard Florida: Martin resident files to intervene in suit challenging tax-exempt bonds

Posted on June 9, 2015

A Martin County resident has filed a motion to intervene in a federal lawsuit challenging whether All Aboard Florida will get $1.75 billion in tax-exempt bonds.

In the motion filed Friday, Walter J. Postula argues that the express-passenger rail project could cause the value of his Hobe Sound home to plummet. Postula points to a study released by the Martin County Property Appraiser’s Office last week, which found All Aboard Florida caused the value of smaller homes along the Florida East Coast Railway tracks to fall by as much as 29 percent.

Indian River and Martin counties, which oppose the project for fear it will negatively impact quality of life and the safety of residents, filed lawsuits against the U.S. Department of Transportation this year to block All AboardFlorida from being able to use the tax exempt bonds. All Aboard Florida is an intervenor in the suit.

In the court filings, Postula argues he should also be allowed to intervene in the case.

“As a landowner living close to the Florida East Coast Railway, the same site that All Aboard Florida trains would use, he believes that his property will lose substantial value due to the many, noisy high-speed passenger trains moving on these tracks, the danger that they will create at the many two-lane graded crossings that (he) must use to get to the nearby town and cities as well as the major highways, the road gridlock that will result and the life-threatening harm that will follow will slower response times by emergency personnel and vehicles,” the motion said.

Martin County Property Appraiser Laurel Kelly released the report on June 1, two days after U.S. District Court Judge Christopher Cooper heard arguments in the federal case.

Cooper has not yet ruled.

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