BELLEAIR BEACH - Bruce Sparks may sell his home after all the media attention he received from painting a for sale sign on his roof, but in the process, he bought a lot of trouble.
Hopefully, civil disobedience won't be the new marketing trend for "By Owner" home sellers.
Back on September 18 a Belleair Beach resident filed a citizen's complaint concerning 2165 Louisa Drive. A courtesy notice was sent to the owners, Claire and Bruce Sparks, who were informed that they were in violation of city code 86-64(a)(3), which is the ordinance that covers signs.
The Sparks were told to correct the violation by September 26. The day before the deadline Mr. Sparks phoned city hall and said he would need an extra day to get the roof painted over.
Sparks was advised that he would receive a Notice of Violation which would provide him until October 2 to repaint the roof. But when that day arrived Sparks told city representatives that he had been unable to find a painting contractor and couldn't paint over it himself because of problems with his back. Sparks indicated that he wanted a hearing in front of the Code Board.
A hearing was set for two weeks later and was held Tuesday, October 17 at 7 p.m. The inspecting officer and code enforcer is Belleair Beach police Officer Randy Lamb, who sasid he received a phone call from Sparks the day of the hearing at 2 p.m. Sparks informed Lamb that he was painting over the roof.
Officer Lamb said, "Right before the hearing, I inspected the roof and saw that he had painted over the 4SALE sign. The case was heard by the Code Board anyway. The board voted to issue an order to him giving him 5 days to abate the violation." Sparks wasn't present at the hearing.
Officer Lamb said of Mr. Sparks, "He's a nice guy. I'm sure what he did was a marketing ploy. But I would urge everyone to call and check with their county or city before doing anything to find out if they need a permit and to make sure they are not violating any codes. Finding out after the fact and going backwards can get costly."
Officer Lamb said Belleair Beach residents are pretty knowledgeable when it comes to the city codes. "We receive alot of citizen complaints. Our residents know what most of the ordinances are. This year we have received 500 complaints. Our goal is not to fine people. It's to keep everyone in compliance."
Return to Home Page
Return to Current Edition