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Home under construction in Davis County creating tension with residents, city officials

Published: Friday, Aug. 9 2013 7:10 p.m. MDT

Residents in Kaysville say a new house being built in neighboring city of Layton is too high and blocking their view of the mountains. Layton officials are sympathetic but say the house meets city codes.

Alan Neves, Deseret News

KAYSVILLE — A neighborhood dispute over a tall house under construction has become a source of contention between two Davis County cities.

Neighbors say the home located behind the area near 50 E. Alfred Ave. in Kaysville blocks their views of the mountains, and they question whether it is within zoning limits.

The challenge is that the new home is located over the border in Layton, and the matter has even created tensions between leaders of the two cities.

“We anxiously watched and waited, hoping a rambler would be built there,” Kaysville resident Annette Johnson said, “and this is what developed.”

The 4,900-square-foot house has an average height of 30 feet, according to Layton city officials. Johnson said it towers over what she and her husband believed was their piece of heaven on earth, complete with $150,000 in upgrades including a man-made waterfall.

“It’s just been a very, very tragic thing for our family,” she said.

Neighbors have joined the cause, writing complaint letters.

“The house is obviously an eyesore,” said Richard Rieso, who lives across the street from Johnson.

“Their bedroom window is on the back,” said next-door neighbor Cheryl Allen. “They’ve lost every bit of their privacy.”

Kaysville Mayor Steve Hiatt said the situation has become "incredibly frustrating" for him, too, and he's expressed those frustrations to Layton city officials. But the house is in Layton and it has different zoning laws. Kaysville officials can't do anything about it.

Layton City Mayor Steve Curtis was sympathetic Friday, but not apologetic.

“It’s something that’s a moot issue,” Curtis said. “It would be not only unethical to tell the builder to tear it down, but it would be wrong.”

Johnson said she still wants questions answered, like whether the deck comes too close to her property.

“We feel like there was no respect shown to the homeowners here,” she said.

Johnson said her family wasn’t sure what recourse they had, and they were likely going to move.

Curtis said one possible way to help the proximity troubles would be to plant trees along the property line.

Email: aadams@deseretnews.com

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