Boathouse roof ruins neighbor's view, but appeals court rejects complaint

October 02, 1998|By Andrea F. Siegel | Andrea F. Siegel,SUN STAFF

Whether a Pasadena man's replacement of a flat boathouse roof with a pitched roof was more than a repair is immaterial, an appeals court panel ruled yesterday. What matters is that his neighbor's complaint that the new roof ruined his view of the water is not an issue for the court.

The Court of Special Appeals said the question of the pitched roof Donald Mangum put on his boathouse, blocking his neighbor's view of Cockey Creek, had been decided by the Maryland Department of the Environment. The department saw the building plans that added a 3.5-foot peak to the boathouse and gave Mangum the license to replace the roof, calling it a repair. The Army Corps of Engineers also granted Mangum the necessary permits.

His neighbor, Robert C. Hook, did not appeal the MDE decision.

But when Mangum sought a county permit, Hook challenged it. The county Board of Appeals approved the building permit, and Anne Arundel Circuit Judge Eugene M. Lerner reversed that ruling on appeal.

The two sides debated whether a reconstruction counted as a repair if it changed the appearance, and whether a repair can include an improvement.

The intermediate appellate court ruled yesterday that it is not up to the Board of Appeals or the county permit office to decide what MDE means by "repair in kind."

Pub Date: 10/02/98

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