Creating Thriving Communities Through Land Use And Real Estate Law

“Let’s Talk About The Wall” – Good Fences Don’t Necessarily Make Good Neighbors, Part III

More in the continuing saga of the Thetford, Vermont zoning dispute involving the 60-foot-by-24-foot partition erected by Ruth Dwyer to block her view of her neighbor, Patrick Perry’s house.  She objects to seeing her neighbors mow their lawn, the light from their television, and children playing basketball, claiming that the activities offend her sensibilities and upset her farm animals.

Unfortunately, the enormous wall put her in violation of the Thetford zoning bylaw, which requires a permit for fences of greater than 10 feet.  Dwyer retroactively applied for a permit, but the Town denied her request, citing “undue adverse effect on the character of the area.” was denied.  Since Dwyer has refused to remove the wall, the town has been fining her $200 a day since March 12, 2015.

The fines due now total more than $26,000 (and are still growing).  As part of the ongoing litigation, the Vermont Environmental Court requires that the parties participate in mediation.  It appears that mediation will take place sometime in September.  While the fines could be waived altogether, the Town appears adamant that that will not happen unless the wall comes down.

For more, see the Valley News.