Property owner wants free fence from Anna Maria

Barbara Nally, owner of a vacation rental at 110 Spring Ave., Anna Maria, is asking the city to pay for a privacy fence between the home and a yet-to-be-completed walkway carrying pedestrians to the Sandbar Restaurant and a public beach access.

Attorney Leah Ellington, representing Nally, said work has begun on a drainage ditch along the west side of the Nally property where the walkway is proposed, even though the site plan has not received final approval.

Ellington stated, “If the site plan is not approved, even if work has already commenced, the easement will be moved back to its prior location. This plan is presumptuous, inefficient and a waste of taxpayer dollars.”

However, Ellington said Nally would “cease fighting the conversion of the ditch into a pedestrian walkway” if the city “pays for a privacy fence between her house and the ditch, subject to her approval, and 6 feet high, and maintained by the city for as a long as Mrs. Nally owns the house.”

Mayor SueLynn said she would bring the matter to the attention of the city commission. She also planned to ask city attorney Jim Dye for an opinion.

The mayor said she was “unaware” the city had stirred up another fight with Nally.

The Sandbar — which is paying for the project — is providing for an improved pedestrian-only pathway to the restaurant and a public beach access from its parking lot, culminating on the north side of the restaurant. The restaurant has agreed to maintain the walkway and stormwater drainage swale at its expense, even though the swale is city property.

Nally opposed the pedestrian walkway when first presented the proposal by the Sandbar. The project must pass a final site-plan review by city commissioners.

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