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Miami Beach developer, neighbors settle dispute

The residents of Sunset Islands 3 and 4 have settled their differences with the developers of a mixed-used condo building at the foot of an historic bridge leading into the island community.

The agreement, which was submitted to the city on May 13, marks an end to dozens of hours of hearings, rehearings, appeals and private meetings regarding the project, slated to take the place of what’s now a defunct development site and an empty cleaners.

Developers of the Palau at Sunset Harbour project agreed to build farther away from the Sunset Drive bridge and to set back ground-level shops at least 10 feet from the property line, among other concessions. A corner near the bridge will now become a public plaza.

In exchange, the residents of Sunset Islands have agreed to support the project.

Residents had fought the development of the posh, 50-unit condo building, designed by local architect Kobi Karp, because they said it overwhelmed their neighborhood and the historic character of Sunset Drive.

“At the end of the day, they realized that the changes we pushed for made for a better project for them,” said homeowner association president Terry Bienstock.

In March, Sunset Islands homeowners won an appeal of the city’s initial approval of the project, but settled the matter with Palau before a city board could take it up again. Bienstock threatened to take their difference to court if homeowners didn’t get what they wanted.

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