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“I’m not leaving”: Coral Gables homeowner fined nearly $30K in ongoing fight with city – WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports | Fort Lauderdale


CORAL GABLES, FLA. (WSVN) – A South Florida homeowner, whose house has been at the center of controversy for years, has received a new costly notice from the city.

Orlando Capote, a Coral Gables resident, has been fighting back with the city for years to live peacefully in his home.

Capote’s home is tucked away in the middle of a huge development in Coral Gables. Throughout the years, new development has sprung around his home. Yet, he remains put inside his home, refusing to leave.

Although Capote has been going back and forth with the city for years on the issue of his house, he received a “Notice of Intent to Lien” a few days ago.

“It says that I owe them over $29,000 in fines and they intend to lien the property,” said Capote.

The fines have to do with a carport that, Capote says, has been there for decades.

“The canopy. What was decided after a series of meetings with the city was that we would apply for a permit for the material to cover the structure and we did that on Nov 1 2023. But now they’re saying ‘once you apply for a building permit, you get six months to get it done and after six months you can actually apply for another six month extension.’” said Capote.

Capote said he’s currently in the process of getting all the materials approved for the carport to be in compliance. Still, he didn’t expect the notice to appear in his mailbox.

“This has been years of this harassment because all they want to do is take a home from us. It’s a constant psychological attack on us. What do you think my reaction would be?” said Capote.

7News reached out to city officials. In an email, they said that there is no lien on Capote’s property nor any fines, even though the notice that was delivered to his home is dated Feb 1 and clearly states that he owes nearly $30,000.

But city officials tell 7News that there are no fines on his home. They also said that they have given him extensions to comply with the carport issue.

“The city’s goal is to work with Mr. Capote so that the property complies with the code,” the city email read.

Capote said the city is backpedaling.

“Wait a minute. What does the letter say? The letter says ‘intent to lien’, okay? Now the city of backpedaling,” said Capote. “When you dig into the details, the truth becomes apparent.”

Capote said his family came to the U.S. for the American dream but that it has been difficult for him because of his longtime family home and his commitment to stay put despite the obstacles.

“This is just one more incident in a long series of incidents to make my life miserable so I will leave,” said Capote.

“You’re not leaving? the reporter asked.

“Does it look like I’m leaving? No. I’m not leaving,” replied Capote.

The city said Capote has until March 4th to take care of the carport issue. Capote said that is only possible if the materials are approved for the carport by then.

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