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Dispute between neighbors causing long construction delay

Some construction disputes do not involve the builder directly, but instead are between the developer and neighboring property owners. Neighbors are not always thrilled with the owner’s plans for his or her property, and may have legal recourse to stop construction, at least until the issue is resolved.

The resulting delays can be extensive, causing the construction company to lose time and money as they wait. The company’s interests might best be handled by an attorney in this situation.

In an example, plans to build a “pop-up home” in a dense residential neighborhood are on hold due to complaints from a neighbor. The neighbor says the new home, which towers over the adjacent properties, is too close to her chimney, less than three feet away. This proximity could cause carbon monoxide to back up into the neighbor’s home when she uses the fireplace.

A pop-up home is a type of passive house, a style of housing which focuses on energy efficiency. The developer offered to raise the neighbor’s chimney to 20 feet, but the neighbor, who has lived in her house for 50 years, refused. She said she is within her legal rights to have the developer amend his construction plan, rather than pay to change her home.

Work on the home has been shut down since Oct. 24. Several others in the neighborhood have spoken out against the pop-up house, saying its height and look clash with the “feel of the neighborhood.” Meanwhile, the developer is defending his right to build what he wants on his personal property.

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