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Among Belleair mansions, neighbors squabble over proposed dock

in Local Courts/Top Headlines by

While good fences may make good neighbors, a proposed dock in the exclusive Belleair neighborhood in Pinellas County sparked a legal clash between two mansion owners.

Daniel Michael “Dan” Doyle Jr., 46, is CEO of DEX Imaging, a Tampa company that leases copiers and printers to businesses.

Doyle co-founded the company with his father, Daniel Michael Doyle Sr., who previously co-founded Danka Office Imaging, which also leases copiers and printers. In 2013, Ernst & Young named Doyle Jr. an Entrepreneur of the Year for the West Central Florida technology category.

Dan Doyle Jr. and wife Nicole live in an 8,515-square-foot waterfront mansion in Belleair, valued by the county at $3.4-million.

John Patrick Connelly, 62, is a local insurance entrepreneur and is owner and co-founder of Dynamic Solutions Group. He and wife Marilyn, live in a 6,067-square-foot waterfront property in Belleair — right next door to the Doyles. The county appraiser values the Connelly home at $2.15-million.

The discord between the neighbors began when Dan Doyle sought to build an 85-foot-long private dock just 35 feet from John and Marilyn Connelly’s property. And the Connellys aren’t happy about it.

In a complaint filed Sept. 6 in Pinellas County Circuit Court, the Connellys argue that local building codes would limit the Doyle dock length to 50 feet, and require it to be more than 250 feet from the Connelly’s property line — making it closer to the middle of Doyle’s waterfront footage, which extends roughly 800 feet.

To build his dock, Doyle petitioned the Town of Belleair for a variance, and the Connellys worry the town will grant him one.

The lawsuit claims Doyle’s proposed dock would interfere with their right to a “direct, unobstructed view” and with their “ingress and egress … from the natural line of deep water.”

The Connellys are seeking a temporary injunction barring Doyle from building the dock until the dispute — and Doyle’s request for a variance — is resolved.

Arial photography appears to show that the Doyle home now has no dock, while the Connelly’s has a comparatively small one.

While records show both Doyle and Connelly are registered Republicans, Doyle Jr. has been somewhat active in local politics.

In March 2014, Gov. Rick Scott appointed Dan Doyle Jr. to the Board of Governors, which oversees Florida’s 12 public state universities, which he served until January 2017.

“Doyle is a Scott supporter who co-hosted a fundraiser in his own home for the governor’s re-election campaign in September,” the Tampa Bay Times reported in 2014. “The event included a $50,000 per couple private dinner.”

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