How many times have we heard about neighbors fighting because a newcomer built a house blocking the mountain views enjoyed by folks already in the neighborhood?
But it’s not unique to Colorado Springs and Pikes Peak. It happens everywhere people have mountain views and here is a classic tale making the rounds on the Internet.
It is a true story. Here’s how it goes:
Mark Easton, a city councilman in Riverton, Utah, in the Salt Lake Valley, had a beautiful view of the mountains to the east, until a new neighbor purchased the lot below his house and built a new home.
The new home was 18 inches higher than city ordinance allowed, so Easton demanded the city enforce the code.
The new neighbor had to drop the roof line, at great expense.
Then Easton called the city and informed them his new neighbor had installed some vents on the side of his home. He didn’t like the look of the vents and wanted the city to investigate. Neither did neighbor Stan Torgersen.
Below is a photo of Torgersen on his deck overlooking the neighbor’s house and its vents.
The photographer is Paul Fraughton of The Salt Lake Tribune.
Actually, the story and photos originated in the Salt Lake Tribune where reporeter Maria Villasenor wrote about the dispute in August 2006.
She identified the homebuilder as Darren Wood who described the vents as decorative “abstract art” and a “cactus.” Of course!
Wood was angry at the complaints lodged by Easton and Torgersen, which dated to September 2005 when design and construction on the home started. He said the complaints led to design changes and delays that cost him $25,000 or more.
Easton, Torgersen and others in the neighborhood got mad and circulated a petition trying to force removal of the “cactus.” It sparked debates about family values and protected speech and obscenity and free expression.
So, how was this dispute resolved? Easton eventually apologized and Wood took down the “cactus” vent.
Ahhh! A happy ending.