Not Such a Good Neighbor



As a homeowner on the beach I am faced with a vexing problem. I have a neighbor who has established what I define as an “attractive nuisance”. The neighbor provides unsupervised, free parking for beachgoers even though signage indicates violators are subject to tow. This has resulted in the following behaviors directly affecting our neighborhood. 1) Public urination on property even during daytime 2) Trash making its way from my neighbor’s property to other properties 3) Loud and profane language at all hours 4) Loud music that rattles the windows in homes 4) A general degradation of the quality of life in the neighborhood 5) Undermining the sense of security one is entitled to in one’s home. 5) Underage drinking 6) A pair of tied together gym shoes hanging on a power line (I will let the reader research the possible meanings of this).

Over a 3 year period I have spoken with my neighbor and received the following responses: “We are not going to tow”, “ Not our responsibility” (note I was told that use of the word “responsibility” is a matter of semantics), “ We can’t tell who is a client and who is a beachgoer”, “We enjoy watching the bikinis going to the beach”, “Tow? Weren’t you young once?”

So, who is my neighbor? It is the UNITED STATES POST OFFICE of Fort Myers Beach. We hear much talk about saving the uniqueness of our small town beach culture of which I am an advocate. I do not sense that my “good neighbor“ shares that philosophy as indicated by their words and inaction.

I look forward to a proactive response to the problem from my “good neighbor”.


Mike Ratliff
Fort Myers Beach