Long Point home opposed before panel Neighbor challenges size, septic system

July 19, 1996|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

James and Stacie Boyle razed their one-story bungalow last year with plans to build a waterfront home twice the size.

The Long Point couple got a county permit and built a three-story, three-bedroom home with cathedral ceilings and views of Hunters Harbor.

But their next-door neighbor Calvin F. Shilling Sr. has challenged their dream home before the county Board of Appeals, contending that the home at 1673 Grandview Road in Long Point, Pasadena, is too large for the lot and that the septic system is in the wrong location.

Shilling, who has lived at 1679 Grandview Road since 1990, said state code restricts new homes from exceeding the original square footage by more than 50 percent and from increasing the original number of bedrooms.

"I don't care whether Boyle has a half-million dollar house or not," Shilling said. "It's just a comedy."

Shilling also objected to the new septic system on the west side of the property. Shilling said a survey by John Peacock, chief of the environmental program for the county Permit Application Center, showed only an 8-inch layer of soil over the ground water table. The state Groundwater Protection Plan requires that there be a soil layer at least 2 feet deep.

Shilling said the system could be located on the east side of the property, which has almost 6 feet of soil.

"I don't want to wait until it fails and have black sediment in the water," he said. "Rules to get a building permit and rules on the environment should be binding to everyone."

Shilling's opposition is a dramatic about-face from several years ago when he testified in favor of the Boyles acquiring some variances for their home.

James Boyle declined comment, except to say, "We've done everything by the letter of the law."

The Board of Appeals is expected to make a decision this summer.

Attorneys for the county filed a ruling in support of the Boyles, arguing that the house was allowed to exceed the 50 percent limit because some of the excess footage comes from the high ceilings, which is not actual living space.

Attorneys also contended that a new sand filter and more secure tanks would improve the septic system.

During the hearing, Anthony F. Christhilf, who represented the Boyles, portrayed Shilling as a disgruntled citizen who was upset that the Boyles got approval for a septic system before he got his last year.

But Shilling denied that claim and said he was forced to change his mind after he saw the plans.

"My neighbors have a perception that I'm a pain ," he said. "But I'm just a principled individual."

Pub Date: 7/19/96

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