Point of Beginning

Mansion owner, Hollywood battle in court over 'outdoor paradise'

May 8, 2008
After a city engineer and a city surveyor tell Jeffrey Cornfeld that the land adjacent to his property is abandoned, Cornfeld tracks down descendants of the last-known owner and pays them $300 for three quit-claim deeds.
 
Now, after spending close to $200,000 creating an outdoor paradise for his lakefront mansion, the city says it's publicly owned land.


HOLLYWOOD - The well-to-do neighborhood of Hollywood Lakes is lush with fantastically landscaped yards, but they don't tend to win major awards or catch the attention of movie location scouts.
 
Jeffrey Cornfeld, who spent close to $200,000 creating an outdoor paradise next to his lakefront mansion, has such a yard.
 
At least he thinks he does. After all, the yard has attracted bridal magazine photographers, garden book publishers and even location scouts for the 2006 movie, Miami Vice.
 
Cornfeld, 47, is in a legal turf battle with the city, which claims the "selfish" real estate investor and his family have been squatting on the publicly owned land since 1999.