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Homebuilder seeks truce in Riverview noise war

The Tampa Tribune
Published:   |   Updated: March 18, 2013 at 07:31 PM
RIVERVIEW -

For a month, an air cannon has gone off every 59 seconds. From sunrise to sunset.

It's driving everyone within earshot crazy.

But the neighborhood is getting a little closer to peace and quiet.

The noise is coming from Buzbee's Tropical Fish in Riverview. The owner, John Buzbee, has been feuding with a homebuilder for months.

He believes a ditch at MI Homes' new subdivision next door is draining water from the ponds on the back part of his farm, allowing birds to swoop in and eat his fish.

The builder said it did nothing wrong and couldn't help, so Buzbee fought back with the cannon to scare away the birds — and maybe a few home buyers, too.

"There was a mad exodus of cars out of here," Buzbee said.

MI Homes, along with everyone else in the neighborhood, wants the cannon to fall silent.

The recent floods have filled up Buzbee's ponds for now, but he says relief is short-lived.

"In a couple of weeks, even as we speak, the water is draining back down," he said. "It's nature at work."

After a report by The Tampa Tribune and News Channel 8, MI representatives paid Buzbee a visit.

"He didn't come right out and admit it," Buzbee said, "but anyone with half a brain can see that this ditch is draining water off this property. The engineer just wanted to deny, deny, deny it."

So, for now, the cannon will stay on.

But MI homes area President Marshall Gray said the company is thinking of ways to help Buzbee keep his ponds full.

"Our engineers tell us our property is not causing problems for the fish farm," Gray said. "But we still want to be a good neighbor and work something out."

In the meantime, the homebuilder has made an offer to buy the back part of the farm.

Buzbee said he's considering that offer.


sbehnken@tampatrib.com (813) 259-7804 Twitter: @shannonbehnken

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