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Gate across disputed public road puts Palm Harbor neighbors in turf war

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A gate erected across a disputed local road, which allegedly blocks street access to other properties, has sparked a turf war between two Palm Harbor neighbors.

Noell Family, LLC, is suing Anthony and Patricia Lollis – President and Secretary-Treasurer, respectively, of Mickey’s Roof Service – as well as Pinellas County, in a complaint filed Nov. 29.

Noell Family owns property neighboring the Lollis’ home. The couple recently put up a gate across Roberts Road, a local road servicing the two-acre lot in Palm Harbor containing their home and two other structures.

Attempting to civilly solve the issue, the Noell Family attorney contacted the Lollis’ via mail in a letter sent April 20.

In the letter, the attorney advised the couple that the road is not private property and stated that the couple is “well-aware of that fact.” The letter demanded the gate be removed within 10 days or Noell Family would be given no other choice but to take the matter to court.

The Lollis’ retained an attorney to responded to the letter.

On May 13, a letter was constructed informing Noell Family and its attorney that the gate was installed in order to deter “undesirable persons” and gave a gate code for access beyond the gate. The letter stated that the gate will remain up until a decision has been made as to whether the road is public.

While the suit insists the road in question belongs to Pinellas County, county records say otherwise.

Roberts Road was established in the 1940s by Pinellas County, but the county does not currently maintain it.

In correspondence to Noell Family with the determination on whether the road is public, the county claims it “has no present need which would justify the staff resources and expense to make this determination.”

Now two parties are facing court action, accused of five counts.

This is not the first dispute over Roberts Road making its way through Pinellas courts.

In an earlier case, the Lollis’ sued Velda Deddo in 1990. Deddo, the previous owner of Noell Family’s property, had constructed a pedestrian gate across the street.

In that case, the final judgment determined “Roberts Road is a public roadway and that neither party shall interfere with its use by the other party …”

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