Judges deny HOA’s request to quash group home decision

Article Courtesy of  The Palm Beach Post

By Hannah Morse

Published August 27, 2019


A panel of three judges unanimously denied the Wellington View Homeowners’ Association’s lawsuit to reverse an October decision to allow a group home to be built near its neighborhood.

The Wellington View Homeowners’ Association had hoped a judge would reverse a decision that will allow the nonprofit HomeSafe build a group home for at-risk boys near its neighborhood.

But on Wednesday, circuit court judges James Nutt, Donald Hafele and August Bonavita denied the HOA’s petition.

“We are pleased that the judges ruled in our favor, and are excited to move forward with the new campus which will provide a safe, nurturing home for 12 children,” said HomeSafe CEO Matthew Ladika in an emailed statement.

The lawsuit, filed in December against Palm Beach County and The Children’s Place at Home Safe Inc., centered on a decision county commissioners had made two months prior.

Commissioners in October of last year unanimously approved the nonprofit’s ask to build a 11,000-square-foot home on three acres on Lyons Road south of Southern Boulevard. The land used to be part of the 157-acre Wellington View development in suburban West Palm Beach.

Commissioner Melissa McKinlay hailed the ruling on Friday. “I am pleased that the court made the right decision for the smallest of voices,” she said. “These young children will now have the opportunity for a safe and healthy home.”

Matthew Ladika is the CEO of HomeSafe. On Wednesday, a panel of three judges unanimously denied the Wellington View Homeowners' Association's lawsuit to reverse an October decision to allow a group home to be built near iys Neighborhood.


In the lawsuit, the HOA argued that the land was “legally set aside ... by the original developer for the residents’ benefit” — it was designated for public civic use and the site would be better used as a park.

After the court ruling on Wednesday, attorney Joni Armstrong Coffey provided a statement on behalf of the HOA: “We have seen the court’s order. We’re disappointed in it, and at this point we are considering what our legal options may be, including appeal.”

This HomeSafe residence would house up to 12 boys aged between 12 and 17. The home planned to have a bedroom and bathroom for each boy, a reception area, offices, dining area and kitchen. The nonprofit planned to also build a 5,500-square-foot building for recreational activities.

A HomeSafe spokeswoman said the project would take 18 months to complete, but did not have a start date.