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Homeowner paints house like a flag to protest code citations

BRADENTON -- From the looks of it, Brent Greer's paint job on his house would appear to be a patriotic salute to the country he loves.

It's not quite that simple.

Greer, who lives on Riverview Boulevard, instead is using the paint job to protest what he sees as heavy-handed code enforcement by the city, according to a report by Bay News 9.

"I want to remind people this is America," he said. "This is the home of the free, and I'm not changing because I have some zoning ordinance that doesn't like the way I express myself."

Greer grew up in the 100-year-old home and now lives there with his wife and seven adopted children. He said they changed the color of their house after getting into a dispute with the city's code enforcement.

It stemmed from an anonymous tip in February about a dead Christmas tree on a balcony. While there, code enforcement officers fund other violations, said Volker Reiss, Community Services and Code Compliance manager.

Reiss said his officers asked the family to remove the tree and they complied.

Greer said to his surprise, they were told about more violations.

"He sent out a list of all these things and I was like, 'Are you kidding me?'" said Greer.

The city sent Greer a two-page letter, listing several violations at the home. Some of the issues were about missing window screens, painting, pressure washing, loose railings and trash on the property.

Greer said while everything was upsetting, one complaint made him furious. He said he was told his home's exterior painting was not up to city standards.

"This is a house where a family lives and plays, and it's my house," Greer said.

The Greers do not live in a deed-restricted community. He said he feels like he's being treated as if he does.

Greer was told if he did not fix everything, he would face a $250 a day fine.

He feels the city is picking on him for cosmetic issues.

Reiss said it's more of a safety issue.

"We ensure that properties are up to code and safe to live in and for neighborhood," said Reiss.

Greer said he's not happy about the way things have been handled. Although he's already fixed a lot on the home, he's hoping the city will back off.

However, he said he won't be changing the color of the house.

"It started off as a statement and that's way I'm going to keep it," said Greer. "I'm not going to paint over it, I like it."

Reiss said that's not a problem and he's free to paint his home whatever color he chooses.

The city plans to inspect the home again on June 16.

If it isn't up to code, the Greer's will be scheduled for a hearing the next day, June 17.

Brent Greer stands with his wife and two of his children in front of the 100-year-old home he painted.

Brent Greer stands with his wife and two of his children in front of the 100-year-old home he painted.

Homeowner paints house like a flag to protest code citations 06/05/14 [Last modified: Thursday, June 5, 2014 2:51pm]
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