Land trust bought 10-foot-wide side yard, proposed selling grass

Better Call Behnken

Previous homeowner says she declined purchase offers

HOLIDAY, Fla. (WFLA) – It’s investment property that has a lot of people scratching their heads.

A mysterious land trust bought an oddly-shaped parcel that runs along the backyards of nine Pasco County homes. It even bought a private road and then sold it to residents desperate for a path to get home.

At the same time, in 2008 it bought a 10-foot-wide section in Colonial Hills, that few living in the area today are aware of.

Walt Reibel lives across the street, and was stunned by the news.

“It’s kind of crazy,” Reibel said. “Why would you buy just 10 foot of space?”

Records show the trust bought this section in 2008 through a delinquent tax deed auction. That same day, it also bought a 20-foot-wide parcel in Holiday and a private road in Zephyrhills.

Months later, residents along Plaza View Dr. bought their road for $4,000 after they say the trust threatened to deny access to their homes. There were heated disputes over the other parcels, but then relative silence for 12 years.

Now, people living in these nine homes that abut the property are in a panic, after one received a trespass warning and another was told to get his pool off of the trust’s property.

It’s unclear what the trust is planning for the side yard.

Pasco County Tax Collector Mike Fesano says there are oddly-shaped parcels all over the county.

“This was created 50 years ago, 40 years ago,” Fesano said. “You’re not finding this in newer communities. You are finding this issue in older communities where these properties were abandoned by developers .”

As for the trust, it’s keeping its identity a secret, but its lawyer tells me the Pasco investments were good business opportunities. That leaves neighbors puzzled.

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