Saturday, August 19, 2006

Naturally Rude

RIVERTON, Utah (AP) -- A vent cover on the side of a house looks like it might be a rude hand gesture. Then again, it might be a cactus, abstract art-style. It depends if you're the owner or a neighbor.

"This kind of shows the attitude that we've been dealing with all along," said neighbor Stan Torgersen, who sees it as a hand giving the finger, visible from all his back windows.

The acrimony began last fall, when Darren Wood's hill lot was excavated. Torgersen was worried that the excavation might damage his foundation, so he and another neighbor asked the city to intervene.

Riverton officials ordered a soil test, something Wood said had been done by the previous owner. A new exam, [Wood] said, would delay the project by four months and cost him $3,000.

More recently, the Torgersens and another neighbor complained to the city that the home exceeded the height allowed by code. "We used to have a view of the mountains," Janet Torgersen told The Salt Lake Tribune. "He didn't have to take everyone's view."

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.

Plus, he added, the city approved the house plan.

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


People in California can't tell the difference between the Virgin Mary and a bird, people in Utah can't tell the difference between a cactus and a bird.


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