Excavations near the Metn highway, Friday, March 9, 2018. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
A previous version of this story erroneously reported that land being developed by Mikhail and Roy Samaha and Louis Abi Habib formerly belonged to Intra Bank.
The Daily Star regrets this error.
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Excavations at the base of Roumieh's lushly forested mountains have raised concerns about citizens' rights to limit private development where there is a public good.However, Abi Habib denied his project was a quarry and denied receiving any money in return for the rocks, instead saying that he was minimizing his own costs for transporting and dumping them elsewhere by giving them away.Four of the Roumieh excavations are being operated by local businessmen Roy and Mikhael Samaha, in a space of roughly 14,000 square meters on four adjacent plots of land, sitting Roumieh Mayor Adel Abi Habib, who beat out his relative Louis in 2016 municipal elections, told The Daily Star.Developer Louis Abi Habib told The Daily Star that his portion of the land would be developed into a gas station, mall and possibly a grocery store, adding that construction would begin in roughly seven months.Louis Abi Habib said that during his tenure as mayor, he rezoned 1.2 million square meters of local land, which the recent developments fall under, into a commercial area – an achievement in his eyes that limited construction on any plot to 30 percent at a height varying between 10-13.5 meters.
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