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Old 08-17-2006, 12:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Naughty neighbor - window shaped like middle finger

Somebody builds a house that blocks the view of their neighbor. The neighbor complains to the city. The builder gets even by installing a window shaped like a hand flipping the bird.

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Naughty neighbor - window shaped like middle finger

RIVERTON - Maybe it's a hand flipping the bird - or it could be a cactus.
For three families, it's just another dispute in a yearlong battle over a house being built along Reeves Lane in this southwest Salt Lake Valley community.

Owner Darren Wood described the vent covering placed Monday as decorative "abstract art" and a "cactus." But his neighbors uphill say it's a hand flipping them off.

"This kind of shows the attitude that we've been dealing with all along," said Stan Torgersen, who added that the gesture is visible from every window on the back of his house.

Words among the neighbors were first exchanged around September when the Wood family began work on their new home. Their lot was actually a small hill with an underground sewer pipe. To make room for the house and avoid the pipe, the hill was carved out - to within inches of the Torgersens' fence.

Worried that the excavation would disrupt his foundation, Stan Torgersen said he and his neighbors, the Eastons, asked the city to intervene. Riverton City then required the Woods to test the soil - something Darren Wood said had been done by the previous owner. And this new test would set back his building schedule four months and cost him an extra $3,000.

The next confrontation came about a month and a half ago when the house frames were erected.

While the Torgersens and Eastons normally see the rooftops of the other houses along Reeves Lane below them, this house extends more than 5 feet above the line of the hill.

"We used to have a view of the mountains," Janet Torgersen lamented. "He didn't have to take everyone's view."

The Torgersens and Eastons said they contacted the city because they thought the home's height was against code.

Wood conceded that it might be - by a little more than a foot. But once the house is completed and the soil and landscaping laid out, he believes it will be within regulations. Plus, he added, Riverton City was given the plan to the house and approved it.

"I think the bottom line is harassment," Wood said of his neighbors' grievances to the city. They will find another issue to complain about."

The Torgersens and Eastons have again turned to Riverton's government to resolve the vent covering they interpret as an obscene hand gesture.

Janet Torgersen said she spoke with - and showed photos to - Riverton City Manager Lance Blackwood and others at City Hall.

"They said they're looking into what they can do because the city of Riverton does not want that," she said.

Wood said he might be willing to change the vent covering. "If it's offensive to them - as they have been to me - I'm not above an apology [from them]."

If the house being built is to code, plans approved by the city/county/whomever, the people with their view ruined need to deal and stop harrassing the neighbor. If the view was that important, he should have bought that land himself so that there was no chance of it being ruined. It is not his property, it is therefore not his decision.

Seeing the vent, I didn't really interpret it as giving the middle finger. Maybe the neighbor needs to get his mind out of the gutter, or stop looking so deeply into it to have another grievance with his neighbor. If I saw that without being told what the neighbor thinks it is, I would have never guessed it is that gesture.

I'd love to hear your thoughts/comments on this.
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Old 08-17-2006, 12:50 PM   #2 (permalink)
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looks like a middle finger to me. he he. But I agree with you, he should have bought the land himself.
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Old 08-17-2006, 12:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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This just strikes me as hilarious. It sounds like the "offensive vent people" are going strictly by the rules. They were building their dream home, and the neighbors have made the process unpleasant for them. Hey, if that situation was mine and I had the opportunity I'd do something similar. Pushy people really get to me.
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Old 08-17-2006, 01:03 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Man is that hilarious! A pain in the ass, will be reminded every time he looks that way of just how much a pain he must have been. From that photo, it certainly didn't look like his view is blocked! Grow up...
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Old 08-17-2006, 01:07 PM   #5 (permalink)
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When I was a kid, a guy in the neighborhood next to ours wanted to expand his house but needed a variance from his neighbor since the addition would have been 6" inside the easement. The neighbor wouldn't give him the variance, even after a substantial amount of money was offered. The first guy (who was wealthy enough to do this), painted the house completely purple, tore up the lawn and installed astroturf, cut down all the trees and hung University of Alabama paraphenalia all over place (the other neighbor was a huge Tennessee fan). It ended up in court and the judge ended up telling the second neighbor that he was a complete idiot for not taking the money in the first place.

This is no different.
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Old 08-17-2006, 01:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
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That is just hilarious. I have to say that the people complaining are idiots. There is nothing they can do to stop what their new neighbors are doing. If I were someone trying to build a new home and was given that much crap, yeah, I'd do something just like that.
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Old 08-17-2006, 01:53 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
I have to say that the people complaining are idiots. There is nothing they can do to stop what their new neighbors are doing.
Even if the plans were given approval the neighbors can force the city to enforce building codes. Happens all the time up to the energy and budgets of the various parties. The builder has put himself somewhat in the odd-man-out position with that "vent". Still, sounds like the deal is close to done. Too bad. Very often with these disputes the builder is a developer without any real intention of living there and therefore they don't care about effects on the neighborhood. If the builder really intends to live there he should have worked this out beforehand. They _all_ should have acted like adults. Never makes for a happy living arrangement to have a bunch of homeowners at odds.
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Old 08-17-2006, 02:21 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Fucking awesome!

The man who thought of building that deserves the "Coolest Asshole of the Year" award in my book.
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Old 08-17-2006, 02:27 PM   #9 (permalink)
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"He didn't have to take everyone's view."
I'm going to have to go with cry me a river.
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Old 08-17-2006, 02:35 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I think the picture of him staring at it across the yard is priceless. Its like.. "Is that... giant grate flipping us off?"
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Old 08-17-2006, 02:46 PM   #11 (permalink)
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I think it looks like the "finger"....what I dont think it looks like is a cactus
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Old 08-17-2006, 02:49 PM   #12 (permalink)
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It is a giant finger and it is cool. Just tell the uphill neighbors to get their mind out of the gutter and enjoy their new view of the modern cactus art.

People go crazy about their views. When I lived in Seattle people were killing dozens of 100+ year old trees located on city and others property to improve their views. The new view adds 10's of thousands to the property values.
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Old 08-17-2006, 04:05 PM   #13 (permalink)
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It reminds me of a house I saw in New York state... the city told him he had to have the color he wanted to paint it approved by the city... the city ruled in his favor that he could paint the house whatever color he wanted..... hehehehehe... so he painted it the brightest shade of purple ive ever seen in my life. You can see it from the throughway! It is fabulous!
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Old 08-17-2006, 06:58 PM   #14 (permalink)
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On the one hand, yeah, it totally sucks when the lot next to you is bought and someone builds a house there.

On the other hand, if the city says this guy isn't breaking any code or ordinance, too bad. Like was previously stated, if he gave that much of a damn about his view he should of bought the lot. There are all sorts of things to consider when you buy/build a house, and one of them is "is my view going to be preserved if someone buys the lot next to me?" Honestly, it doesn't block the view that much, and if it bugged me, I'd just walk around naked with the blinds up
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Old 08-17-2006, 08:16 PM   #15 (permalink)
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heh.
if you can afford a place of your own out in the middle of nowhere, maybe you can afford to sell it and get something different where your view isn't disturbed.

i just don't get it sometimes. How do these stories ever make it to the news? at least it provides us with a little laugh!
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Old 08-17-2006, 09:01 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I agree with Halx; that picture says everything, hahah.
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Old 08-17-2006, 09:48 PM   #17 (permalink)
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as a builder myself.. this gives me great ideas for my future projects.. we always deal with dicks like these on every job..
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Old 08-17-2006, 10:12 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Looking at the picture again I'd say the ugliest thing is the guy's own fence. Gawd, why do people erect those shiny white abominations?
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Old 08-17-2006, 10:39 PM   #19 (permalink)
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That's-- Plain and simply put-- Pure genius.
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Old 08-17-2006, 10:52 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I see this shit all the time. My last adventure was when three people across the alley didn't want me to build three stories. Never mind that that's what the property was zoned for.

They all got their houses cheaper because they were right across the alley from an R-4 (maximum density) zone. Once they owned them, they just didn't want anyone to be allowed to build that high, even if it was within code.

Here's the appropriate way to deal with people who want to tell other people what to do with their own property:

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Old 08-18-2006, 04:29 AM   #21 (permalink)
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I would just plant some BIG Leland Cypress Trees that can grow up 30 feet or higher on my side of my fence to block the view of that house.

And it would be really great if the neighbor had a pool behind his house and my new trees just happened to block the sun from shining on his pool.
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Old 08-18-2006, 04:49 AM   #22 (permalink)
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It doesn't appear to block the whole view. Just plant some big trees, as was mentioned, to block the view of the house. You could still see the mountains around it. It looks like a long enough chain of mountains that you'd be able to see them to the sides of the trees/neighbor's house.

Just think what good relations he's gonna have with his new neighbors. He's aliented someone who could have been a good friend and help in time of need.

I think the vent idea was gold. Just give you stupid apology and the homeowner said he'd take the vent off. Till then, just rot in your own crabbiness.
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Old 08-18-2006, 07:14 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Marv, that picture is hilarious. Disgruntled neighbor with hands on hips staring at the moon shot bush, priceless.
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Old 08-18-2006, 07:25 AM   #24 (permalink)
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I'm going to have to go with cry me a river.
And I think I'm going to have to agree.
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Old 08-18-2006, 08:53 AM   #25 (permalink)
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to me this is a perfect example of how some people just don't know what's important in life. why get a pissed over something as trivial as this. sure the view is obstructed, but as long as the guy is building within code, then there ain't jack that can be be done.

hey... if you cry me a river, then i'll stock it with fish, and we can all have some fun
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Old 08-18-2006, 11:46 AM   #26 (permalink)
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it does look like the middle finger but I thought it was funny. Could use one for my neighbors next to me..hehehe..but if the neighbors were so worried about what there complainning about then they should of bought the land like you said.
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Old 08-18-2006, 12:01 PM   #27 (permalink)
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The words vulgar, tasteless, childish, moronic, crass and self-abasing spring to mind.
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Old 08-19-2006, 12:23 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FoxyLucy
The words vulgar, tasteless, childish, moronic, crass and self-abasing spring to mind.
That pretty much describes me. What's your point?
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Old 08-19-2006, 12:49 AM   #29 (permalink)
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That pretty much describes me. What's your point?
All I´m saying is their neighbours are obviously ´neds´ as we say here in Scotland, I think you call them ´white trash´.
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Old 08-19-2006, 03:27 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by FoxyLucy
All I´m saying is their neighbours are obviously ´neds´ as we say here in Scotland, I think you call them ´white trash´.
Yeah, we do. I was just joking.
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Old 09-04-2006, 05:13 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Update: The guy took down the vent.

Quote:
Update: The guy took down the vent.]Link

A homeowner has removed the vent cover that he claimed was abstract art of a cactus and neighbors interpreted as a rude hand gesture pointed their way.

"We're just glad that it's down and over with," said Sharon Easton, who lives up the hill from Darren Wood's house and had a full view of the covering.

The Eastons and Stan Torgersen's family had been in a yearlong dispute with Wood and considered the image a direct message to them.

Wood sent a statement to The Salt Lake Tribune on Wednesday that said his "decision to place the controversial cactus would have made sense to only those involved.

"We as a family are looking forward to seeing this chapter of a third-grade spat come to a close," Wood said, adding that total costs of the construction interruption due to his neighbors' complaints reached $25,000.

Sharon Easton's husband, Mark, said he is trying to organize a meeting with Wood, but had "expressed to him that I am sorry for any discomfort that I have caused his family or him, and that I had no intent to do any harm to him when I called the city with my concern about safety."

The conflict started when the Woods excavated dirt from a hill on which the Eastons' and Torgersens' houses sit. The two families contacted the city, worried about the stability of the hill. Wood said he was forced to push back the timeline for completion of his home to conduct and pay for a soil test.

When Wood raised the frames for his house a few months ago, the Eastons and Torgersens contacted the city, contending its height might violate code. The frames rose higher than most rooftops near Wood's lot and partially obstruct the Eastons' and Torgersens' eastern view of the mountains.

In an earlier statement Wood conceded the house might be over the limit by a little more than a foot. But once the house is finished, and the soil and landscaping laid out, he believes it will be within regulations.

The Eastons said the Torgersens are on vacation this week and aren't aware of the downed cactus.

"I'm sure they will be very happy that it's been removed," Mark Easton said. "And probably relieved."
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Old 09-11-2006, 07:16 PM   #32 (permalink)
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Why in sam hell would they take that down?
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Old 09-12-2006, 05:57 AM   #33 (permalink)
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I must be the only one to not agree entirely with everyone's views no this. Though it is his property and he has a right to do what he wants, I'm sorry but what ever happened to courtesy? You move somewhere that others have been living harmoniously and peacefully for a long time and then just barge in and do whatever the hell you want, even if it upsets people around you. How would you like that if it happened to you? I agree that by now they are probably over-reacting, but I still think that this horrible contemporary habit of "I don't care about anyone else, this is mine I'll do what I want without any consideration for anyone" attitude, is awful.

I hate the way nowadays you can live somewhere and totally not give a damn about others around you and even antagonize them to the extent they hate you. And be happy with that. I could not live that way, I wonder how happy this guy is in his new wonderful home surrounded by a community that hate him? I'm not saying it's so important what others think about you, but I am saying it's good to get along with people and instead of isolating yourself, integrating yourself in a community.
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Old 09-12-2006, 04:36 PM   #34 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FoxyLucy
All I´m saying is their neighbours are obviously ´neds´ as we say here in Scotland, I think you call them ´white trash´.
Hey...at least I took the wheels off my house...I'm in construction...have been for 30+ years...looks like the guy next door got everything he asked for...I'm pretty certain the courts won't want to play with this but if they do they'll have a tough time with the first amendment and proving that vent is lewd!!!
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Old 09-13-2006, 01:19 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by little_tippler
I could not live that way, I wonder how happy this guy is in his new wonderful home surrounded by a community that hate him? I'm not saying it's so important what others think about you, but I am saying it's good to get along with people and instead of isolating yourself, integrating yourself in a community.
Is it the whole community that hates him? Or just the guy that owns the large property on top of the hill? I think you're making a big assumption here that may not be a reasonable one.
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