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Condo owners: View trashed by Dumpster

From the north windows of his fourth floor condo, Jerry Naeger overlooks the picturesque Intracoastal Waterway. The view from his east windows is practically the same.

But from his balcony, which is on the south side, the view is not so nice. Naeger and his neighbors at Bay Mariner condominiums look down on a Dumpster site used dozens of times each day by the residents of Vista Moorings town homes.

Now residents in the two buildings are embroiled in a battle over where the Dumpster should be, how it looks, whether it's in the right of way and even how high the roof of the enclosure should be.

"There are plenty of places over there they could have put the thing," Naeger said. "But, for some reason, it had to be right in front of us."

Naeger and his neighbors want the Vista Moorings Dumpster moved. But the Vista Moorings folks want it to stay right where it is.

"It's beautiful," said Vista Moorings resident Paul Ricca. "It's all enclosed in a nice concrete building with a roof. You could live in there, I'm telling you."

When Vista Moorings was built four years ago, the contractor got permission from the town to place the Dumpster at its present site. But shortly after the concrete slab was poured, Bay Mariner residents persuaded the town to make the contractor move it a couple of dozen feet to the west.

That didn't sit well with the Vista Moorings residents whose homes faced the doors of the Dumpster enclosure.

So a year ago, Vista Moorings asked the town if the Dumpster could be moved back. A different building official said that would be okay if the Bay Mariner condo association didn't object and if the Dumpster was enclosed in a masonry building.

The Bay Mariner board agreed, but the truce was short-lived.

No sooner did construction begin than the Bay Mariner board changed its opinion and tried to withdraw its permission.

Indian Shores Mayor Bob McEwen, who lives in the Bay Mariner building, said the withdrawal letter came too late and the town has no intention of doing anything about the Dumpster.

McEwen said his view is of a shopping center and a Dumpster that's uglier than the Vista Moorings one. "It is naked," McEwen said. "There is no enclosure."

Recently, Naeger paid $400 to hire a surveyor who determined the Vista Moorings' Dumpster sits 3 feet into town right of way. The surveyor also discovered the concrete enclosure is too tall and doesn't meet the town's building codes.

The new findings have not moved McEwen and Mike Nadeau, the current building official.

"I've got one surveyor telling me it's not in the right of way and one telling me it is," Nadeau said. "I see this as a disagreement between surveyors."

As for the height of the enclosure, Nadeau said the town's code will have to be revised. "If the roof was lowered, you couldn't open the Dumpster lid," he said.