The following story is a fictionalized version of a real event reflecting laws that may not apply to your jurisdiction. This article is produced for entertainment purposes only and should not be interpreted as legal advice. Readers are advised to seek legal advice relevant to their circumstances, the jurisdiction in which their matter pertains to and the laws in place therein.
“Dig up the pond over there. And the bird sanctuary goes in the corner,” Dave told the workmen as he hugged his wife. “Our dream garden! Just imagine enjoying the view of the bay from our little paradise.”
“What’s that wood for?” Sue asked.
“Our dream fence.”
“It’s awfully tall,” Sue frowned.
Dave smiled. “Tall enough to block out some annoyances.”
Sue frowned. “Annoyances? The only thing behind us is the neighbours.”
“Exactly!” Dave nodded.
“But they’re our friends!” Sue objected.
Dave explained. “Honey, we need some privacy. I find them a bit…”
“YOOHOO! SUZIE! DAVIE!”
“…intrusive,” Dave groaned.
Charlene called out from her sundeck. “What’s all the commotion, neighbour? It’s not like me to pry but I’ve noticed those workman unload 4 truckloads of material.”
Dave sighed as Charlene continued.
“Come join us for breakfast overlooking our fabulous bay.”
Suzie whispered to Dave. “What will the fence do to their view?”
Dave hesitated. “Well…”
“You’d better tell them,” said Suzie.
Dave and Suzie walked over to Charlene’s sundeck.
She peered inside Charlene’s home. “All your furniture faces the window!”
Charlene beamed. “It stops us from fighting over the amazing view.”
Suzie swallowed hard. “It wouldn’t be the end of the world if you didn’t have the view, right? I mean it’d still be a great house…”
There was dead silence on the deck.
Charlene gasped. “I think I’ll go lie down.”
Charlene’s husband apologized. “Please excuse my wife. She’s very attached to the view.”
When they got back home, Suzie blew up. “It’s criminal blocking their view!”
“Charlene will just have get used to it,” Dave replied with a shrug.
A week later, Charlene awoke to find her view blocked by the huge fence.
“Aggghhhh! My beautiful bay… it’s gone! Call a lawyer. I want that fence taken down!”
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IN THE COURTROOM
Charlene was in tears.“Your Honour, the loss of the view has been devastating to my family and has lowered our property value. Dave can’t put up a fortress-like fence just because he feels like it. Make him take it down!”
Dave fought back. “I have a right to do any landscaping I want. It’s my property. I didn’t put up the wall to block their view. I just wanted a bit of privacy.”
Is the fence legal? You! Be The Judge. Then look below for the court’s decision.
“The fence is legal,” held the Judge. “I sympathize with Charlene, but the law doesn’t recognize the right to a waterfront view. I would only intervene if the fence had been erected out of malice. But that’s not the case here.”