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.
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."
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.
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.
Beate Moore should be whipped and his followers. 40 acres and you can`t do what you want with it. Beata should be forced
to pay for the taxes for his view he wants. I hate him and people like him.
I say "Hurrah for the Revenge Hedge". But a better plan would have been to give the house and property free and clear to a family of crack heads, then the meddling neighbors would have wished, they had let him build his barn/garage. Besides how bad can a barn look, that a multi-millionaire builds. It's not like your living next door to junk dealers in "The Hamptons", and have to worry that he'll build a corrugated metal barn or paint it chartreuse.
About Teresa Mears
Teresa Mears is a veteran journalist who has been interested in houses since her father took her to tax auctions to carry the cash at age 10. A former editor of The Miami Herald's Home & Design section, she lives in South Florida where, in addition to writing about real estate, she publishes Miami on the Cheap to help her neighbors adjust to the loss of 60% of their property value.