Monday, April 12, 2010
Help Me Howard: Nude Motel
Your neighbor is a hotel that has a pool where the guests sunbathe nude. Do you pull up a chair and watch or do you pull out the phone and start calling to find out if its legal. That's what is happening in Fort Lauderdale. Condo owners who are being told there is nothing they can do about nude neighbors, so they called Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
WSVN -- Every winter, Patricia Boerma comes to live in South Florida because, well who doesn't want to come here.
Patricia Boerma: "I used to be an avid skier until I discovered Fort Lauderdale in the winter and I thought the surf is much easier on the body than the ski's."
A nice place and a 7th floor condo with a nice view, actually a very unique view.
Patricia Boerma: "I saw exactly what clothing optional really meant."
A hotel across the street has become a clothing optional resort. To some people a place to get naked, to Patricia they are naked.
Patricia Boerma: "I was stunned."
Stunned because everyone can run around wearing nothing but a smile, in their birthday suits naked as a jaybird. Since we are G rated, we can't show it, but Patricia can't help but see it.
Patricia Boerma: "I don't think I'm a prude. I know I'm a senior citizen who maybe has different values than some of these people, they can do what they want, that's their private lives, I just don't want to have to look at it."
Right now you might be thinking, don't look Patricia, but she says when she takes her guests outside to enjoy her ocean view the guests at Seagate assume she is looking at them skinny dipping.
Patricia Boerma: "We've had the residents look at us and acknowledge that we're on the balcony, even though we may not be looking at them, and I find that very embarrassing to my guests."
Patricia was so embarrassed and worried she called her daughter and said, don't bring the kids this winter.
Patricia Boerma: "A 13-year-old grandson and an 11-year-old granddaughter, who would be embarrassed to death."
Patricia has complained to the city of Fort Lauderdale and the police who told her if you can't see anything from the street it's not a problem. So, she came up with her own solution.
Patricia Boerma: "They can do whatever they want over there, they can be undressed, they can be anything, I just want one palm tree to block the view."
One palm tree about right here to cover the nudity from Patricia's view. The hotel said, we aren't paying it.
Patricia Boerma: ""So, then I called you and I thought maybe Help Me Howard could help me."
Well Howard, the law won't allow you to run around naked in full view of everyone here, but are people living in a high rise covered by the law?
Howard Finkelstein: "It depends. State law allows nudity on private property, so long as it is not vulgar or indecent. However, many cities like Fort Lauderdale have laws that prohibit nudity if it can be seen from almost anywhere, including a high rise, such as in this case."
When we talked to Fort Lauderdale Police, they said if they were to enforce the code they would have to view the nudity with their own eyes and it has be offensive. They also said the nudity has to be in a public place and that the hotel is private.
We then talked to the hotel manager, she told us the owner wouldn't put a palm tree because it would block the sun and hurt their business, but the next day the owner called us and agreed to put up a few palm trees, saying she wants to be a good neighbor.
Patricia is now happy about the palm trees because she can enjoy her view and the sunbathers can enjoy their views.
Patricia Boerma: "I will be ecstatic and so will everyone in my building, especially because of the children."
Now things like this are tough for cops. If the State and City laws contradict each other, then the cops can use their discretion, and if you are worried about robbers rapists and murderers, some people walking around naked behind a fence aren't at the top of your priority list. Hopefully the palm trees will keep everyone happy.
Covered in concerns you want to strip away. Want to tell the naked truth. Contact us. We've got the skinny on a solution. No if ands or butts about it.
CONTACT HELP ME HOWARD:
EMAIL: email@example.com (Please include your contact phone number when emailing)
REPORTER: Patrick Fraser at firstname.lastname@example.org