Have you ever been driving down a road and looked over to see something curious in a yard? Something like an old rusted car, or maybe an old bird feeder?
Does it make you wonder what the neighbors think? Well, here’s a story at Roanoke.com, where we know what the neighbors were thinking. The article is titled Decision against northeast Roanoke couple’s carnival rides will stand, judge rules. Does that get your attention?
The story goes that a couple moved into their home about two years ago. Then, they assembled a number of antique rides in their yard, which measures 1.4 acres.
The “rides” include a 1973 Ferris wheel and a Gravitron ride. The Gravitron weighs about 19 tons and is valued at more than $200,000. At this point, I am guessing that the neighbor’s had noticed!
To no one’s surprise but theirs, soon they were cited by an inspector and told to remove the rides. They appealed to the city’s zoning appeals board. The board determined that the rides were not permitted in a residential area, because the machines are “substantially similar” to a commercial amusement park. (Imagine that!)
From there, they appealed to Circuit Court. The Judge ruled against them, while admitting, “Nobody loves a ride better than I do,” but he found that such rides were improper for a residential area.
The couple have now filed a $2 million civil suit against the city and senior code compliance inspector, arguing that he had defamed them while investigating the rides.
The suit alleges that the inspector sent an internal email which described them as “a real menace to the neighborhood”. They have not decided if they will appeal the “ride ruling”.
It makes me wonder why they couldn’t just be happy with a roaming Gnome with a tank top, or a birdfeeder for the squirrels. Even a rusty car seems like a better plan.
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