Marblehead To Demolish Dream Home After Lengthy Dispute

MARBLEHEAD (CBS) – A longstanding feud between neighbors in Marblehead will end with the demolition of a million dollar home this week.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe reports.

WBZ-TV’s Christina Hager reports

A judge ruled in December that Wayne Johnson’s dream house must be torn down because it violates town zoning regulations. The legal dispute has been winding through the courts for 16 years.

It wasn’t the outcome he was hoping for, but Johnson is just relieved his legal problems are over.

“I’m happy to be able to get on with my life and not have to be dealing with this miscarriage of justice that has truly been a real burden for 20 years,” said Johnson. “It is sad, for sure, but there’s more to life than a house.”

Neighbors had complained about Johnson’s house blocking their view of the water.

Johnson said he tried to work with his neighbors over the years to resolve the issue, but they wanted no part of it.

He said he even offered to cut off part of the house that obstructed their view.

“I’ve made many offers. If they were well-intended, they would have said, ‘OK, we realize this was an honest mistake by the town,'” said Johnson.

Johnson said the town approved everything all of the renovations on his house before he made them.

He said he plans to rebuild on the property. His neighbors offered no comment to WBZ NewsRadio 1030.

Comments

One Comment

  1. Trish says:

    it’s nice to see that zoning laws in place are respected… so many times, once the house or structure is up, you’re stuck with it…..if it were the case in my town, I’d not have an ugly tennis court next to my house to look at…

    …one that no one uses and it’s all over grown with grass coming up through the pavement

  2. 1stackmack says:

    l’m on the fence on this one.this guy probably worked his tale off to built his dream home,when’t through the proper steps at the time.just to through it in the land fill over a neighbor who looses a stupid view.but some people would want to save a 100 + year old house from a development cause of that view,even though in may be half rotted away..

  3. Live Free or Die Trying says:

    I realize zoning laws are in place for a reason, but there are a few issues here. 1: If you’re wealthy, you’ll probably complain about just about anything. 2: It appears somebody messed up on the zoning board during the initial construction. And 3: Stay the heck away from neighborhood associations.

  4. chilitokid says:

    If I were the home owner I’d build a much smaller house but construct a 50 foot high fence so the complaining neighbors still couldn’t see the water!

  5. chilitokid says:

    or better yet add 50 pine trees to block the view.

  6. beenwatchingthisone says:

    No, the zoning board told him the plans he filed were in violation, and if the case went against him he would have to tear it down. He went ahead and built anyway. Gambled and lost.

    1. Wayne H. Johnson says:

      There never was a warning from the town until 3 years after the house had been built and a Building Permit and a Occupancy permit issued by the town.

  7. julie says:

    yeah, he was warned at MANY early stages that the town had issued the permit in error. i am sympathetic about the $10k or $20k he wasted on initial plans, but it was at THAT point that the town reversed itself and several courts ordered him to stop. many judges told him quite clearly that he was proceeding at his own risk.

    i believe he lost 17 appeals along the way. EVERY LAST ONE. and yet he KEPT on building!

    the only injustice i see here is the poor neighbours who had to wait 2 decades for enforcement on a 1995 order!

    good riddance!

    1. Wayne H. Johnson says:

      The only warning i received was from the complaining neighbor, whose attorney wrote me a letter. I took the letter to the Building Commissioner who told me the attorney was in error and that I had a legal buildable lot. After a month of blasting ledge and the pouring of a foundation the attorney asked a Land Court Judge for a Temporary Restraining Order to halt the construction. The Judge denied the request for a TRO when he had all the authority to halt construction. The town reversed themselves three years after construction was completed and an Occupancy Permit was granted.

      1. julie says:

        ok, if this is true, i would amend my opinion. however, it is certainly not how the press has portrayed it. aside from the puff pieces the last few days, every last article i have seen asserts that the permit had been cancelled and/or you were warned before anything ever went up. or before MUCH went up.

        at the very point the judge passed on issuing a TRO, didn’t the neighbors indicate intent to appeal?l as someone who had an unbuildable lot myself, i know i would have been PETRIFIED about proceeding with anything if suits/appeals etc were ongoing/ imminent.

        that said, you seem like a nice guy, and it is hard to dislike you. i hope you really don’t blame the neighbors — the issue is between you and the town and whether the lot was buildable or not. all of their activism about restoring their “view” wouldn’t have amounted to a hill of beans if there hadn’t been an
        underlying issue over the lot.

        as such, stop saying “none of the other neighbors had a problem with the house” in interviews! it shouldn’t even matter if the SCHEYS had had no problem — their opinion should not have bene a factor whatsoever in what the town did or did not do.

        good luck to you.

      2. julie says:

        after posting all that, i decided to go to the source: http://www.massachusettslandusemonitor.com/files/A0929305.PDF

        footnotes 4 and 7 seem pretty clear!

  8. Kristin says:

    REGARDLESS, this issomebody’s home. A lot of work went into this. To tear it down is a waste of resources. This makes me VERY angry. I hope he finds a way to “get back” at his neighbors and that judge. People in this world need to mind their own business!!! JERKS!

  9. George Bush says:

    He should get some Roosters for his new home.

  10. grace says:

    This guy even offered to switch houses and the neighbor wanted no part of it. Sounds like this guy really tried to come up with a resolution……….sad that they are just going to tear down a perfectly beautiful house. If I was this guy I would move far far away from these neighbors.

  11. andyme says:

    No people, if he was told by the zoning board that he was in violation then he is wrong, congrats to the court and board for pushing for compliants. i guess i would sell the lot and find another location, why build next to neigbors who are not friendly. Many times after a structure is built the court system does not do the right thing. To the neighbors: “The value of a house is increased many fold by the value of a good neighbor”. What class do you put yourselves in?

  12. paul says:

    I know that the guy built his house “against a zoning violation”…..what was the violation? I heard that he was too close to the property line. This is where “I” have a problem. The house was still on HIS property. He owns it. He pays taxes on it. He should be able to build on it as long as it is safe.

    1. bdbd says:

      The lot did not meet zoning requirements for a buildable lot. Read the comments above about how he was warned many times and yet decided to go ahead and build. The guy only tried to come up with a resolution after he’d built the house and lost in every legal proceeding. Yes, he put a lot of work and resources into this, but he did all of that with full knowledge that it was at his own risk. Like so many bullies, he thought that if he kept pushing forward he’d get his own way, regardless of the rules. Fortunately, he failed. This is a just outcome and, I hope, a lesson for others.

      1. Wayne H. Johnson says:

        The Land Court denied a Temporary Restraining Order request to halt construction after the foundation for the house had been poured and a month of blasting had taken place to clear ledge. Is this the warning you are referring to? If the the Judge wanted to halt construction he had the power to do so at the time of the TRO

  13. julie says:

    yeah, plus he’s a rich stockbroker. not that it matters to me, but for those of you up there cursing the neighbors, you might want to bear in mind that he and his neighbors had SIMILAR houses when this all started, then the rich guy tries to expand his house way beyond what the law/lot allows.

    fwiw, i think the builders have brought their own suit against him b/c they feel “duped” for having proceeded with construction after the permits had been yanked. i guess they got paid just fine but they don’t want their NAME sullied by association with this mess!

    1. Wayne H. Johnson says:

      There never was a warning from the town until 3 years after the house had been built and a Building Permit and a Occupancy permit issued by the town. The Land Court denied a Temporary Restraining Order request to halt construction after the foundation for the house had been poured and a month of blasting had taken place to clear ledge. Is this the warning you are referring to? If the the Judge wanted to halt construction he had the power to do so at the time of the TRO

  14. H.Wilson says:

    16 years in that morass we call a juditial system…judges that work 3 hours a day surrounded by “court officials” who are related to legislators..a sad joke..

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