Thursday, March 2, 2006
That's Just Wrong: Fence
When it comes to real estate everyone knows it's all about location, location, location. But when some South Florida condo owners lost their waterfront access, they called to say that's just wrong.
WSVN--For Yvonne Fiejoo, there's no place like home.
She enjoyed growing up on Park View Island in Miami so much, she visits her parents whenever possible.
Yvonne Fiejoo: "I was probably seven or eight years old when I moved in. I went to the elementary school that just over this bridge."
Her memories however revolve around this 20-foot piece of land on Indian Creek.
Yvonne Fiejoo: "Dive in and go in the water and try to catch frogs. And, have picnics. It was a good time."
But as an adult...
She cannot relive her childhood. She can't even see where she used to swim.
Yvonne Fiejoo: "The fences that they've put up, it's blocked access to our own property. We can't have picnic anymore."
The two neighbors at the end of the complex nearest the water decided they didn't want to share the waterfront view with their neighbors. But it appears they didn't know they were violating the original contract.
Yvonne Fiejoo: "This is the original survey's from each unit. From each lot. From 1957."
Plans for the townhome complex clearly show the area where all owners are to share the waterfront access.
So Yvonne went to the City of Miami Beach to find out why it approved for her neighbors to build the fence.
Yvonne Fiejoo: "It's all please call this department. Please call that department. No you called the wrong department... call this person. Leave a message for this person. This person will call you back. "
She has has even shown the maps and the legal description to several city employees.
They keep promising to send an investigator, but instead of getting her sunny ocean view, she keeps getting burned.
Yvonne Fiejoo: "We contacted them three months later and got the message. I'm sorry nothings been done, we're short handed, I'm going out to lunch please call back later."
Now, she says that's just wrong.
When Seven News contacted the City of Miami Beach, a spokesperson first told us the fence was blown down by hurricane Wilma so it wasn't an issue anymore.
We checked and as far as we can see, it's still there.
Then we were told this is an issue for the homeowners association and that the city doesn't have any control.
Craig Steves: "But Yvonne and her neighbors don't have a home owners association. They wonder if the homeowners on the end are receiving preferential treatment because one is owned by a wealthy businessman, the other a Miami Beach police officer."
Yvonne Fiejoo: "That's basically our back yard. They took away our back yard."
When we tried contacting one of the homeowners, he refused to return our calls.
But we did obtain these documents in which the City of Miami Beach Zoning Department recently recommended denying the fence because quote - the permit appears to be issued in error. Gate appears to restrict access to easement of next door neighbor.
Yvonne Fiejoo: "I was even wondering if we could evict him from the space?"
Now Yvonne hopes this new information is enough to win her fight to tear down the fence.
The city has even agreed to re-open its investigation.
But if she's denied again, she does have one more option - she can sue the condo owners for blocking her view and her memories.
Yvonne Fiejoo: "This water is ocean access... which is very valuable. Right now in today's real estate market, it's almost priceless."
PLEASE SEND STORY IDEAS TO: