Engle Homes agrees to pay City $500,000 for Illegal Logging

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first draft 11/7/00

At Tuesday night’s commission meeting, the City announced that a settlement was reached with Engle homes regarding illegal cutting of trees. More than 225 trees were cut down at their Reserve Development , located off of Creekside Drive in North East Coral Springs. This was performed without obtaining of a Tree Cutting Permit required under the City Land Development Code Section 212.

The City was notified by a concerned citizen, Nicholas Savasta, a resident of Coral Springs, at the March 7 meeting earlier this year. Nicholas brought to the attention of the City Commissioners that the developer Engle Homes Inc. was cutting trees without a permit. 

On March 8, Judd Blake, the City of Coral Springs Forester visited the site and confirmed Mr. Savasta’s accusations. In fact, more than 225 tress were cut down without permission and several dozen others remained unprotected. A letter was sent out on April 5 to Engle Homes notifying them of their failure to secure permits and that they will be held accountable for the illegal activities. (click here for City Correspondences). The City immediately issued a Stop Work Order and a violation action against the developer.

According to City’s Land Development Code Section 212 (click here), not only must you take out a permit for every tree cut down, but all trees left on the site a must be protected from construction equipment and debris. Some species are considered native and must be treated differently than others. Engle Homes apparently either didn’t review the code or operated indifferently to it and cleared the trees on the land, while failing to secure the permission from the City. They are now paying the price. 

The Grand Reserve is part of several projects developed by Engle Homes selling new homes with prices from Mid 200’s to $400’s.(Click here for Engle Home Reserve info). Engle Homes, based in Boca Raton, primarily builds homes and townhouses and has operations in six states, ranking as one of the nation’s 20 largest builders. Engle Homes recently accepted an offer to sell its operations to Technical Olympic USA Athens, Greece-based construction company.

Engle Homes will be allowed to continue to work on the Reserve project once the $500,000 is given to the City. The funds will be placed in the City of Coral Springs Tree Fund that is primary used for the improvement of landscaping within Coral Springs.

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Howard Melamed


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