Duplex in View Dispute Now For Sale

By Dave Fratello | March 19th, 2012
Neighbor disputes can be among the most contentious. It's never all business. It's often business-plus-personality, business-plus-home, my rights versus yours, friend against friend, neighbor against neighbor. A pocket of the community can become divided.

When people are at loggerheads on a neighbor dispute and just can't work things out, the authorities get involved. And that's what happened at 7th/Highland over the past few years.

Tree cut by city after complaint by neighbor
The owner of an old duplex on Highland complained that ocean views down the 7th St. walkstreet across the street were impeded by trees in the informal front "yards" of some neighbors – technically city property.

Citing city rules regarding the height of foliage along Sand Section walkstreets (42"), the duplex owner sought a city order to chop the biggest trees in the "yards" of some neighbors.

Suffice it to say that no one was satisfied with the outcome of that challenge to the old trees and foliage. (This Beach Reporter story picks up some of the late-stage details.)

In late 2010, the city came in with chainsaws, "butchered" the yard – according to the owners – but did not eliminate the biggest trees.

And now, after all that, the duplex whose views were said to be impeded is up for sale. The "dream home" that was supposed to be built there to take in ocean views down 7th St. may not be built by this owner in the end.

Owner of 300 7th initiated complaint over blocked views
The duplex is 300 7th St., boasting a larger-than-average lot (3325 sq. ft.) to go with the 70-year old building. It's a corner lot facing north. Obviously it's just steps from downtown.

Most of the development in the area, especially on lots fronting Highland, consists of duplexes and townhomes. Many are newer, commonly 3 stories, not 2 like the current structure.

That south-of-the-pier, walk-to-downtown location will always have demand, even with Highland as a factor. You can't really look forward to much of an ocean view, we now know.

Purchased in 2002 for $1.2m, 300 7th is now up at $1.899m.

And if it trades, the sale might be the last chapter in this sad story. Too bad there's no "rewind" button to take it all back.

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