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Supreme Court will hear bay access tiff

By JON WILSON
Published May 20, 2007


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ST. PETERSBURG - A neighborhood issue about access to Boca Ciega Bay has reached the Florida Supreme Court, where the dispute about an easement will be heard on Sept. 21.

The easement helps connect the waterfront to Bay Park Gardens, a serene subdivision west of Park Street along 37th Avenue N.

The passageway lies between two large pieces of property. The owner of one has argued that the passage should be closed to the public.

About 30 subdivision residents disagreed. They sued in 2001, arguing that the easement was theirs to use to reach the waterfront.

The case's legal briefs are due early next month. Meanwhile, residents and lawyers aren't saying much about it.

The easement was noted in county record books decades ago. One of the arguments has focused on its 21st century validity.

Old court records show that the easement was meant to be used by subdivision residents only and not the public at large. That use was affirmed in a 1958 court decision, records show.

[Last modified May 19, 2007, 20:24:56]


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