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Date of Issue: October 04, 2007

Code board cites 6 properties for overgrowth

The Holmes Beach Code Enforcement Board did some lawn maintenance work last week, finding owners of six properties in violation of rules against “overgrowth.”

By the morning of the Sept. 25 meeting, two of the properties had been cleaned up, according to code enforcement officer Nancy Hall. But she requested the board find that the properties had been in violation of the city’s nuisance regulations in the event a problem again crops up.

The board complied, voting unanimously that property owned by Timothy and Jennifer Absten in the 300 bock of 64th Street had been overgrown, as well as property owned by Lisa A. Mione in the 500 block of Key Royale Drive.

The board also took action in regards to four properties owned by Robert Byrne, a name familiar to board members for Byrne’s part in the bankrupt GSR Development and repeated complaints about his Holmes Beach properties. Byrne had partnered with Steven Noriega and GSR Development to buy Island properties and build luxury getaway homes. But the project stalled, spawned lawsuits and is now in federal bankruptcy court.

Hall told board members of repeated problems with tall weeds at Byrne’s personal properties in the 6800 block of Marina Drive, 400 block and 500 block of 74th Street and 500 block of Key Royale.

“This has been going on for years,” said Fred Lauerwald, a neighbor of the Byrne property in the 400 block of 74th Street. “The overgrowth is just unbelievable.”

Some of the complaints of overgrowth dated as far back as the summer of 2006. Most recent notices of non-compliance regarding the problems were sent out in mid-August, but Hall said when she surveyed each site Sept. 25 they remained overgrown.

The board voted to find Byrne in violation of city nuisance regulations at all four properties and ordered him into compliance by Oct. 2. Failure to come into compliance could result in a fine of $250 per day per property.

In regards to one Byrne property, board chairman Don Schroder recused himself, citing a potential conflict of interest. Schroeder, who works in the real estate business, said a bank contacted him about reviewing the property.