Neighbors fight homeowner who wants public land to build a dock - WFLA News Channel 8

Neighbors fight homeowner who wants public land to build a dock

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HERNANDO COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

For three-fourths of a mile, a narrow shell path winds along the Gulf of Mexico in Crystal Beach, Pinellas County.

It's one big reason Lisa Roe loves living in the small community."We all come down at sunset...it gives us a path to walk on....it's something that everybody uses," said Roe.

She and a group of neighbors are fighting a request from neighbor Glenn Bergoffen.

He's asking the county to give him a 6X90 feet strip of public land to connect his home to the water, so that he can build a dock.

"Once he gets this permission to take this property and build this dock, then there's nothing that stops every other homeowner along this frontage from doing the same thing," said Roe.

Bergoffen's representative, Todd Pressman, said his client wants what several of his neighbors already have, a dock.

Pressman explained the dock would have less of an environmental impact than the half dozen boats anchored at will just beyond the shoreline.

The deal would include putting a legal easement on the strip, so the public would always have access. "For anyone who is making the charge or making the claim that it's going to be blocked , that is absolutely incorrect," said Pressman.

But residents like Dianne Fecteau aren't convinced. "If it was so important for him to have a dock, then he should have bought waterfront property," said Fecteau.

Her husband is collecting signatures on a petition to prevent the deal. Another neighbor is circulating a second petition to make the public waterfront path a preserve.

Meantime, Pressman said Bergoffen also has 150 signatures from people who believe the county's should approve the request.

The issue will go before the Pinellas County commission April 9th.

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