TAMPA (WFLA) – Majid Esmaeili feels trapped. He has an exotic bird rescue sanctuary in Hillsborough County and right now has no legal way to exit his property without crossing over a neighbors land.
Esmaeili’s property is surrounded on all sides by other landowners and does not currently have any direct legal access to a public street. He also is housing over 200 exotic birds who need a home with reluctant neighbors to give him access to their property so he has a way out.
Esmaeili says he originally had an agreement with one landowner that gave him access, but that agreement has fallen apart.
An attorney for his neighbor, Lynda Fowler and In The Breeze Farms, Inc. sent Esmaeili a letter advising him he is no longer allowed to access his property by crossing her land.
“One day I come to feed the birds and they put a lock on it,” said Esmaeili.
Fowler says she’s been trying to work with Esmaeili for the past ten years to have him clear a 200 foot section of his own land so that he would have access to a public street, but so far he’s refused to do it.
Esmaeili maintains he did clear a long stretch of land, by hand, to get out to the road, but the access point still requires him to cross Fowler’s property.
Esmaeili says the disagreement has prevented volunteers from bringing food to him and his birds.
He says he founded the bird sanctuary to give a home to birds that have been abandoned by their owners.
“I opened Zaksee to give home to the birds that people don’t want them anymore,” said Esmaeili.
Fowler says she plans to meet with neighbors to work on a permanent solution that will benefit everyone.
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