Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Keillor Sues Neighbor
Humorist Garrison Keillor and his wife have filed a lawsuit intended to stop their next-door neighbor from building a two-story addition they say would block their access to light and air.
The lawsuit was filed Monday in Ramsey County District Court by Keillor, the host of "A Prairie Home Companion" and creator of fictional Lake Wobegon, and his wife, Jenny Lind Nilsson.
They want neighbor Lori Anderson to stop building the 1,900-square-foot addition to the home she has owned since 1999. She lives there with fiance Paul Olson.
Both homes are in St. Paul's Ramsey Hill historic district.
Olson said he and Anderson were vacationing in New Zealand Nov. 29 when they got an e-mail from Keillor accusing them of building a carriage house. He said they ended their vacation early and returned home, hoping to talk to Keillor and Nilsson to work things out.
"They refused to talk to us," Anderson said. "We just wish they would have talked to us before filing a suit."
Anderson said they stopped construction and asked their contractor to draw up two alternative sets of plans in an attempt to accommodate Keillor and Nilsson.
Keillor released the following statement through his spokesman, David O'Neill:
"My wife and I live in a historic St. Paul house in a historic neighborhood, and this gives us an obligation to defend the house and the neighborhood against violations of the beauty of Ramsey Hill.
"A two-story stucco addition eight feet from the western wall of our house is a violation of it," the statement said.
The Minneapolis Red Star North Korean Tribune (MRSNKT) reports that:
...the addition would "obstruct the access of light and air to the Nilsson-Keillor property" and "impair or destroy protected historical resources."
The complaint also said the project would obstruct [Keillor's] view "of open space and beyond".
Anderson and Olson received a zoning variance for a 23-foot rear-yard setback rather than the standard 25 feet and conditional approval from the Heritage Preservation Commission, pending final approval of the plans.
The nine-page complaint filed by Keillor and his wife claims "the city's decision to grant ... Anderson's variance is arbitrary and capricious."
City Attorney John Choi said Monday that "we have reviewed the plaintiffs' allegations in the complaint and find them to be without merit. It is our position that the city, Board of Zoning Appeals and the Heritage Preservation Commission acted in compliance with the law and within our legal discretion."
Olson said Monday that Keillor and his wife "couldn't have cared less" when Anderson told them they were building a bigger garage.
From the alley, Keillor’s house is on the left. At right is Anderson’s house, with some of the construction visible. The work was given a zoning variance and Heritage Preservation Commission approval.
If you think all Minnesotans enjoy or are amused by Mr. Elite - you would be wrong.
David A. Andelman, in writing for Forbes, calls "Gary" a Misanthrope.
I'll be a bit more blunt: Gary is a hemorrhoid, a big, bleeding, nasty, pus-filled, infected, painful hemorrhoid.
Labels: gary keillor
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