Monday, February 20, 2012

Before You Build That Dream Home, Do Check Your Local Restrictions

Or this can happen:

The Detroit Free Press: Courts order demolition of $1.1 million Macomb County mansion built too close to property line

The Michigan Court of Appeals has told a couple they have to tear down all or part of their $1.1 million mansion because they built it too close to their property lines.

The order came in a lawsuit a neighboring couple filed in 2004 against Simon and Saca Palushaj over their 9,000-square-foot house in Macomb County’s Washington Township, 25 miles north of Detroit.

Tuesday’s unanimous ruling acknowledged the extreme nature of the resolution and encouraged a compromise, according to The Macomb Daily of Mount Clemens.
The Palushajs messed this one up quite nicely. Not only did they thumb their nose at the restriction, but they began building after the lawsuit seeking to prevent the house from being built in violation of the restrictions was filed against them.

It's rather hard to have a lot of sympathy when they were clearly on notice that they were in violation of the deed restriction before they proceeded with construction. Had their neighbor waited until after it was built to file or complaint there might be a bit more sympathy for them, but not with this chronology.

Now it looks like their house is going to undergo some radical restructuring or they're going to have to buy off their neighbor with some considerable compensation in order to keep the house as-is.


Home on the Range said...

Here's the legal record of the appeal:

I'm familiar with wheelchairs in that a nephew had a spinal cord injury following a motorcycle accident. One doesn't need 9000 square feet to accomoodate one, in any aspect.

God, Gals, Guns, Grub said...

I have a co-worker who had a house under construction in 2007... they poured the basement walls and the city inspector determined it was 32" too close to the front of the property violating local codes and ordinances... the city would not grant a variance...

...after 13 months and many legal bills... the builder had to tear out the basement/foundation and start over... house was finished in 2009...

Dann in Ohio

Aaron said...

Brigid: exactly so. I know some wheelchair users and they live in homes far smaller than 9,000 sq feet. Not a great argument on their part but a nice attempt to pull the ol' heartstrings.

Dann: That can suck, especially if the city had already given permits and the builder followed them. If the builder ignored the codes or such to your friend's detriment that would be a definite problem.

In the area in MI where I live we have a few builders with reputations for ignoring building codes/ordinances and daring the authorities to try and stop them, especially when they are building big houses for rich and powerful people in the area. Sometimes they push it through with a variance after the fact and other times it ends up in court and often the houses get redesigned, again to the homeowners detriment.

Never a dull moment in residential construction issues.

God, Gals, Guns, Grub said...

Aaron: It was the builder's fault, they had measured incorrectly... but then tried to get a variance that was denied... it was a $35,000 "concrete" mistake...

Although there can be disadvantages... I like living 5-10 miles outside of town... in an unzoned township... on county AGRI./RESID. designated land...

Dann in Ohio