Climate change project divides a Miami Beach neighborhood

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Miami Beach's answer to sea levels pushed higher and higher by climate change — raised roads — has been endorsed by international experts and scientists as the future of infrastructure in a warming world. But at home, the idea has split a tiny, tony neighborhood in two, with some residents developing an opposition homeowners group to battle what they call a "coup" from the original association.

They say the elevated roads will push water onto their yards and sink their property value.

"Why are we the guinea pig for every coastal city on the planet?" said Bob Kunst, president of the newly formed nonprofit We Love Lakeview. "What the city is doing is putting our homes up for sale."

Lakeview, a sleepy neighborhood best known for its extravagant Halloween trick-or-treating, is next up on the list of neighborhoods the city plans to revamp to be sea-rise ready. Miami Beach is regularly cited as "ground zero" for climate change and has hundreds of millions of dollars of real estate at risk as early as 2060, when scientists say the world could see between 14 and 34 inches of sea rise.

Business and academic experts has confirmed the city's strategy of raising roads is the right one to keep public property safe from floodwaters. Topographic maps show that Lakeview has miles of road with less than two feet of elevation above sea level, particularly on the bay side, and the city's current plan includes raising all public roads to 3.7 feet.

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