Berm built in front yard can stay
By TIM GRANT
© St. Petersburg Times, published December 3, 2000
CARROLLWOOD -- The homeowner who built a large berm in his front yard to shield traffic and block his view of a cemetery on Armenia Avenue was granted the variance he needed.
A land use hearing officer has ruled that Travis Goss can keep the 6-foot berm he built even though county codes limit front yard fences and berms to 4 feet. Walls 6 feet or higher are limited to side yards.
Building inspectors cited Goss in April when they discovered that he built the berm at 12222 N Armenia Ave. without a permit. Any grade or land alteration more than 3 inches in depth requires county approval.
Homeowners who opposed Goss argued at the hearing that his berm blocked their view of Lake Carroll. They said that by building a berm instead of a fence, Goss had sidestepped county rules limiting front yard fence heights.
In this case, the buffer Goss created is considerably higher. The berm has been topped off with a row of palm trees standing 8 to 10 feet high.
Goss, 40, retired from his dental practice to be a full-time partner in CTA Restaurants, which owns a chain of Burger King restaurants in Hillsborough County.
After paying $385,000 for the property in January, he said he built the berm to reduce noise, create a safety buffer from wayward cars, and block his view of Carrollwood Cemetery across the street.
- To reach Tim Grant call 226-3471, or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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