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Judge slams Shuswap homeowners for ignoring rules, annoying neighbours

Shuswap Lake
Image Credit: Wikipedia Commons
August 10, 2016 - 10:30 AM

KAMLOOPS - A judge has ordered major renovations be done to a lakeside property in the Shuswap neighbours describe as a "monstrosity" and an "abomination."

B.C. Supreme Court justice Nigel Kent says in a ruling released Tuesday, Aug. 9, Svend Lojstrup and John Jensen ignored building restrictions and breached a so-called gentleman's agreement with neighbours when in 2011 they built a home on top of a retaining wall on their Shuswap Lake property.

Neighbours argue the concrete and Allan block wall, which is 4.5 metres tall in some places, is not only an eyesore, but also violates height, location and safety regulations set by the subdivision and regional district.

Court documents show Lojstrup and Jensen did not provide the required drawings and plans before building, which Kent says was a "flagrant breach" of building regulations.

The judge says in his decision that the wall is an imposing structure towering over the neighbouring home, and he rules that it is a clear violation of the regional district's rules for height and location.

Kent's decision says the retaining wall must be removed, and Lojstrup and Jensen must pay their next door neighbours $50,600 for trespassing and in punitive damages.

"In my view both defendants are guilty of arrogant, high-handed and contemptuous conduct to an equal degree and should be sanctioned by a punitive damages award in equal amount," he writes.

The judge also lays out a specific criteria for how renovations are to be done at the property, including how many years of experience the contractor must have.

Kent says the instructions are necessary because the homeowners have "exhibited contempt in the past for both the property interests of their neighbours and for restrictions imposed by building codes and bylaws."

News from © The Canadian Press, 2016
The Canadian Press

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