NEPTUNE BEACH, Fla. – Residents on Wednesday evening attended a meeting of the Neptune Beach City Council, where some spoke up about an eyesore water tank that they said was recently built.
The 30-foot tank is located behind a shopping center on Atlantic Boulevard. Residents say it can be seen from a handful of homes in the Neptune by the Sea neighborhood.
Those homeowners say it’s an eyesore, and they worry it will negatively impact their property values.
Robert Vannoy, who attended the meeting, lives on Cherry Street.
RELATED: Neptune Beach city manager fired citing ‘flagrant neglect of duty’ & ‘willful misconduct’
“We call it the big green monster that was erected behind our house pretty much within an eight hour period with no warning whatsoever to what was coming for us,” Vannoy said. “We’ve had a stop work order placed by the city, and then tonight was the discussion on ways to try and move forward with how to remove this absolute eyesore that popped up to us overnight.”
“My wife left for an appointment in the morning doctor’s appointment in the morning, and when she came home in the afternoon, it was up,” resident John Cicchino told News4JAX.
Aside from the tank itself, residents said they are also frustrated with how the decision was made — seemingly with no public input or review.
“Why was this not brought before the Neptune Beach City Council, the Community Development Board and the residents of Neptune Beach?” asked Cicchino’s wife, Susan.
That process, in part, led to the firing of Neptune Beach City Manager Stefen Wynn, who signed off on the permit for the tank.
Developer TLM told the Council that water flow tests showed the shopping center project was not getting the amount of water it needs to be up to code. Residents said they might be true, but that it doesn’t warrant a water tank to be installed with little to no oversight and input.
Elaine Brown, the mayor of Neptune Beach, was at the meeting. She said the City Council “heard it loud and clear from the residents.”
“Certainly a lot of discussion and a lot of problems for them and their property values and the aesthetic value of their home, and we want to work together to get it gone,” Brown said.
Brown thanked the cooperation of residents and their willingness to work with the developer.
Until the water issue is resolved, the shopping center can’t open. It’s a project that has more than $600,000 invested.