Neighbors fight over 'revenge hedge'

A homeowner whose request to build a barn was denied because of neighbors' objections has planted a 10-foot hedge in retaliation, they say.

By Teresa at MSN Real Estate Oct 17, 2012 1:30PM

File photo of a hedge (© G Fletcher/Getty Images)In the Hamptons, people take hedges seriously.


Last year, the Southampton Village Board unanimously passed a law that included jail time for scofflaws who don’t trim their hedges by July 31 every year.


Now, a prominent resident is in trouble in nearby Bridgehampton over planting a "revenge hedge," which neighbors claim he planted to block their view after they objected to his plan to build a barn.


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Howard Lutnick, CEO of Cantor Fitzgerald, a global financial firm that lost more than 600 employees in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, owns a 40-acre property in Bridgehampton. He applied for permission to build a barn, saying he wanted to plant an orchard and grapevines and start a personal winery, according to The New York Post. His neighbors objected, saying he really wanted to store his car collection.

"Please do not destroy what is left of this beautiful, protected land by allowing for the construction of some overdone monstrosity with questionable purpose,"’ one neighbor, Robert Rosenthal, beseeched town officials, according to The Post.

A proposal to build a smaller barn, or even two small barns, was also met with objections. Lutnick’s appeal of the rejection by the town of Southampton -- of which the Village of Southampton is a part -- is pending in court.

In the meantime, Lutnick planted a 10-foot-high privet hedge, which neighbors say cuts off their view of a field and an orchard. (No word on whether it is well-trimmed.)


The town agreed, saying that the hedge is illegal and has to come down.


"This is definitely the revenge hedge," neighbor Beate Moore told The Post. "He blocked everybody’s view."


Oct 27, 2012 11:09AM
Read the rules before you buy. Others have a right to protect the value of their property.   
Oct 27, 2012 11:08AM
He should use vegetation killer and let them look at a dessert!
Oct 27, 2012 11:08AM

The more I look at the hedge the more I like it, a living fence what can be better. If they make him take it down I hope he builds one real ugly one , a real revenge hedge made up of old tires, rusted barbwire, scrap wood etc. 


Also what diffrence does it make whether he puts his car collection the barn  or uses it for a orchard and what buisness is it of the neighbors.

Oct 27, 2012 11:06AM
if there was a CC&R in place when he purchased the property that specifically outlined what you can and cannot do on your land, and it didn't include growing a massive hedge, then the complaining neighbor doesn't have a leg to stand on.   we own some property where there are very strict rules and one guy decided to build a non-approved fence on his parcel.  it was in court for a couple of years, even though he was in direct violation of the longstanding rules.  of course, the fence-builder was himself a lawyer, and i'm wondering if the hedge grower's neighbor isn't a lawyer, too....or has someone on retainer who can waste everyone's time on this....
Oct 27, 2012 11:03AM
All of you that are against building codes and ordinances, get neighbors the park numerous clucker parked on their property and collection of junk the owners will never use even if they think they have a plan.  Enjoy your the junkyards that you live next to.
Oct 27, 2012 11:01AM
Who would want to live in a neighborhood where your neighbors can dictate what you can do or not do. I think homeowner associations stink. I have acreage so I do not have to deal with people like that. I think the hedge looks great and gives privacy.
Oct 27, 2012 10:59AM
Oct 27, 2012 10:57AM
maybe he could make even more money by charging his neighbors for looking over his property for the view
Oct 27, 2012 10:54AM
I guess money can't buy you happiness...
Oct 27, 2012 10:53AM
It's his property, he should be able to do what he wants. If he's got 40 acres i say put up a 3 ring circus A bunch of rides, some tacky carnival tents and litter everywhere. No animals though.  They get terrorized enough.  Bet the neighbours would let him build his barn then. Hell, they'ed help him.
Oct 27, 2012 10:49AM
Remind me never to move to this town. People need to mind their own business. Who wouldn't plant a hedge with nosey neighbors worrying about their view into someone else's yard. So much for our supposed Free country. My yard is my yard it is not your view.
Oct 27, 2012 10:49AM
Rich people problems.  I'm having a tough time giving a sh-t.
Oct 27, 2012 10:47AM
Lease the property to a wind farm, they can put up some huge windmills and then let the people around them cry. People have too much say over other peoples business.
Oct 27, 2012 10:47AM

A hedge like that does not grow overnight. If we have a picture of the actual privet hedge, that thing's been there a good long time (though maybe it was "trimmed" higher than in the past).  It sounds to me like the neighbors are to drive this man off the property (car pun unintended).


I guess he ticked off the local town (probably by appealing his rulings). Places like that will pick-pick-pick until they drive away the "undesirables."  I guess he should just move somewhere else, though of course, that's exactly what the council wants. Bullying is like that; one just can't win.

Oct 27, 2012 10:47AM
How can a hedge on hi own land  be illegal? I'm sooooooooo glad I don't have busy-body neighbors like his!!!  The Hamptons are so over-rated. blech!   
Oct 27, 2012 10:44AM
Unless the town of Southampton and his neighbors help pay his morgage and taxes, I can't see what right they have to tell him what he can do on his property.  Thes damned busybody "homeowners associations" are everywhere, giving a few ****s the right to inflict their personal preferences on everyone ese who lives there.   I he wants to build a barn, or paint his house purple, it's his business.  He has 40 acres, so it's not like he's doing it just over the neighbors back fences.    
Oct 27, 2012 10:43AM
I sternly object to people using me as way to skirt the law. I only want to be a part of beautifying neighborhoods. NOT as a form of retaliation.
Don't cut me down. I have rights.
And if you cut me down I'm going to have a global protest. Every plant, tree, shrub and blade of grass is going to hold it's breath all at once. See how well you do with of oxygen.

Oct 27, 2012 10:42AM
Oct 27, 2012 10:41AM
At least with the hedge if he wants to run around on his property naked he can...wonder what they would say if he did this after they make him take it down??
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