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Member of pioneering Miami-Dade family asks court to halt voter-approved tennis center plans

Bruce Matheson has not given up on his fight to stop the expansion and renovation of Crandon Park Tennis Center, on Key Biscayne land donated to the county by his family more than 70 years ago.

Matheson, who argued against the Nov. 6 ballot item to give the park a $50 million face-lift, has asked the Miami-Dade Circuit Court to halt any construction on the property. The complaint argues the referendum language was misleading, and that the county's Home Rule Charter was violated because the plans are only conceptual.

Matheson's family donated 975 acres to the county in 1940 under the condition the property remain a park. The family filed suit in 1986 after the county reached an agreement to build the tennis center. A settlement was reached in 1993 in which the sides agreed no stadium would be higher than 37 feet, 6 inches, that no new structures would be built, and that there would be no retail sales.

Voters chose overwhelmingly to allow new construction at the site, for which bonds issued by the county would be repaid through tournament revenues.