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"Millionaire Mile' residents snub highway

Hillsboro Beach residents love their way of life, including their gated mansions and their professionally sculptured trees.

But they don't love gawkers.

Hillsboro Beach so values its privacy that it is the only city along Broward County's coastline that doesn't want the stretch of State Road A1A running through it to be declared a scenic highway by the state.

State and county officials recently appealed to the City Commission to allow a section of A1A, commonly known as "Millionaire Mile," to become part of the state scenic plan.

But Hillsboro Beach, home to about 3,000 residents in the height of winter season, doesn't want the recognition.

"We've got a beautiful little town and we're selfish," said Hillsboro Beach Commissioner Larry Fink. "Quote me on that."

Mariano Berrios, the state's scenic highways coordinator, said eight segments of highway have been designated as scenic. Those include U.S. 1 through the Florida Keys and the Old Florida Heritage Highway, or U.S. 441 south of Gainesville.

In Broward, officials want the entire stretch of A1A in the county considered scenic, and the only kink in that plan so far is Hillsboro Beach's resistance.

All of Broward's other cities along A1A have given preliminary approval.

"Any designation of scenic highways will bring it to the attention of the general public," said Hillsboro Beach Vice Mayor Rick McCarty.

"Anything we can do to minimize outsiders is what we want to do.

"We're afraid the scenic highway thing has a tendency to attract people for a nice drive. That's real tough for the people who live here."