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    Woman takes dog feud to council

    In a continuing quarrel, Beverly Lassor says Oldsmar allowed her neighbors to illegally build a fence. The city attorney will look into it.


    © St. Petersburg Times, published October 20, 2000

    OLDSMAR -- After a recent Pinellas County court appearance over her dogs, the feud between Beverly Lassor and her neighbors made its way to the City Council chambers on State Street.

    Speaking slowly because she suffers from cerebral palsy, Lassor complained to council members during the open forum of a meeting Tuesday that city officials had allowed her next-door neighbors, William and Doris Bowling, to build a fence in violation of city code.

    City Manager Bruce Haddock said that was not the case.

    "I am satisfied that the permit was done in compliance with the land development code," Haddock said.

    Lassor, who uses a wheelchair, filed a request for an injunction in September against her neighbors, blaming them for mysterious illnesses suffered by her dogs. In May, after a complaint by the Bowlings that the dogs barked too much, a judge found Lassor not guilty of an ordinance violation.

    The case was unusual because Lassor's dogs were listed as defense witnesses and accompanied her in the courtroom. Based on the dogs' quiet demeanor in the courtroom, a Pinellas County judge acquitted Lassor of the charges.

    Not long after the judge's decision, the injunction petition said, someone tossed pieces of bread into her yard that a veterinarian said may have been laced with laxatives. The Bowlings have previously denied the accusation.

    On Tuesday, Lassor claimed that Haddock and community development director Nick Staszko have allowed the Bowlings to illegally erect a 6-foot fence between their homes on Timber Bay Circle W. Lassor said the fence blocks her view of the street and is a safety hazard.

    "I am in a wheelchair and am not always able to stand up and look out front over a (6-foot) fence," Lassor wrote in a letter to city officials.

    Council members asked City Attorney Tom Trask to look into the matter to determine whether Oldsmar's codes have been broken.

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