FT. LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – It’s now or never for Dania Beach homeowners who live near the Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International to decide if they want to have county soundproof their homes.

Broward officials decided to force homeowners to make a choice after the Federal Aviation Administration ruled it wouldn’t fund a critical portion of an agreement the county had made as part of a major runway expansion plan. Under the deal worked out with Dania Beach, the county would pay about 857 eligible homeowners cash if they waived their right to sue, according to CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald.

That deal included financial sales assistance for the approximate 857 homeowners most affected by noise, and free sound-proofing for 1,700 homes. Homeowners would have been given a second chance to decide on the soundproofing after the south runway project is complete.

After the feds pulled out, the Dania Beach Commission unanimously voted to rescind that 2011 agreement with Broward County.  With the 2011 agreement tossed out, the homeowners lost their second chance.

Now, those homeowners are being approached in batches of 80 at a time, and asked to make a decision.  All 80 of the first group of Melaleuca Gardens homeowners have said yes.

The $790 million runway, which will rise 65 feet over U.S. 1 and run parallel to Griffin Road, is scheduled to open for commercial jetliners in 2014.

According to the FAA, an expanded runway will increase the airport’s capacity for take offs and landings, and reduce delays for passengers.

CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed to this report.


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