Neighborhood dispute in Sarasota turns 'colorful'

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Posted: Thursday, January 3, 2013 4:42 pm | Updated: 9:01 pm, Fri Feb 1, 2013.

SARASOTA - A Sarasota County homeowner has covered his home in graffiti.  All, we're told, because of a dispute between neighbors.

It's definitely a sight to see:  there's bright-colored spray paint on the front and side of the house, items displaced in the yard, and bushes removed.  Some think it is an eyesore and others say it's the tasteful eye of an artist.

It's offended some neighbors who told us in an email: "We live on a quiet street with mostly elderly people ... it looks like crap.  As tax payers, do we have to look at something like this out our windows?""

The answer apparently is yes.  

A complaint was called into the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office, however deputies ruled that no crime was committed.  Also, according to court records, the home's owners are facing foreclosure.

We even checked with county officials who said because the graffiti was not obscene and is on private property, is it not in code violation.  That could change as they are considering a new ordinance.

However, despite what some neighbors find as a nuisance, others say it's actually a cool way to design.

"I think it's their house and they should be able to do whatever they want.  So I don't have a problem with it," said Danny Fortner, who lives in the neighborhood.

Even one next door neighbor told us as long as they are respectful, he doesn't mind the colorful canvas.

"It doesn't bother me at all and they don't make no noise, I haven't heard anything other than normal people coming in and coming out, that's about it," said Julio Rubio, a next door neighbor.

For others, it simply re-coins the phrase "be nice to your neighbors."

"The neighbors complained about them removing the trees and they just wanted to make a message so they did on their own private property, I feel like it's better than doing it on someone else's property," said Wesley Pratt, a friend of the owners.

The owner of the house, which is located on Jean Way near McIntoch Road and Webber Street, would not go on camera, but told ABC 7 that it's simply a dispute between neighbors and he plans on restoring the house at some point.

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