Four Murray Hill businesses shut down following fence feud

Action News ax Investigates: Fence prompts code enforcement shutdown of local business

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Update 11/16/2019: Perfect Rack Billiards will stay open.

Four small businesses in Murray Hill were forced to shut down this week following a fence feud with a neighboring property owner.

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On Wednesday, the fire marshal and code enforcement officials slapped cease-and-desist, along with stop-work orders on the front door at Perfect Rack Billiards.

Three surrounding businesses, Blackhat Vapor Company, Buchner's Bierhalle and Workshop Jacksonville also received stop-work orders.

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The paperwork said the businesses were shut down for safety reasons because they don't have a secondary fire exit.

Cory Goff's parents opened Perfect Rack in 2008 after purchasing the building in 2006.

He said they did have a second fire exit, until Sleiman Enterprises put up a chain link fence with no gate on the adjacent property, essentially caging them in.

"We're stuck in the middle, literally," Goff said.

Action News Jax told you Monday the gate blocked Perfect Rack Billiards' dumpster from getting picked up, forcing them to close the kitchen.

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The business took another hit when the fire marshal showed up to shut them down.

"Everybody has their right to protect their land and protect their properties, but we also feel like we have the right to serve our business and continue operation," Goff said.

Neighbor Marcee Ford said she's furious.

"It's very unfortunate, not just for the business owners but for the community," Ford said.

Sleiman Enterprises said it decided to put up a fence along its property line because of a beer garden next door.

Goin' Coastal is the owner and landlord of the building.

In a statement to Action News Jax, Sleiman Enterprises said:

"Our fence was established to protect our property and our rights against a use that was causing issues and never targeted in any way at Perfect Rack or their ability to operate."

Right now, the only option is for Goin' Coastal and Perfect Rack to agree on a joint access arrangement, but Goff said they can't work out a deal.

Action News Jax called Goin' Coastal, but we're waiting to hear back.

Action News Jax contacted the city of Jacksonville to find out if there was a solution.

In a statement, the city said:

"This is a private matter and while we want to see all businesses thrive, they must be up to code for the safety of all patrons and customers. In this case, a secondary form of exit/egress is required to comply with code."