A judge blocks the construction of a controversial 2-story house | City News

A controversial two-story house proposed for the single-story Peaceful Valley neighborhood cannot be built — yet.

A Maricopa County Superior Court judge approved a temporary injunction on the home Sept. 25.

“The neighborhood is very pleased with the outcome and the judge’s decision,” Keri Kirby said of her lawsuit against local attorney Rylan Stewart, who wants to build the house, and the city of Scottsdale. “We have families that are second generation. Some of the families moved in in the 1950s and want to keep the character of the neighborhood as it is, so this is a huge win for the neighborhood.

The ruling also requires Kirby to post bond of $332,241, noting that a preliminary injunction requires a plaintiff to post “security in such amount as the court deems appropriate to pay costs and damages suffered by any party who has been unjustly enjoined or restricted. ”

This sum is based on Stewart “presenting evidence that (he) will have to bear the costs of a short-term rental at an average daily rate of $910.25 until the intended home can be built and used as Mr. Stewart’s primary residence,” the court found.

Kirby said: “Our lawyer is looking at how we will achieve this so that we can comply with the ruling.”

The city was named a defendant in the case because it issued a building permit for the house even though the neighborhood CC&Rs only allow single-story homes.

Kirby has since filed a motion to dismiss the city from the lawsuit if authorities revoke the building permit in the event a permanent injunction is ordered by the court. However, Judge Melissa Iyer Julian remained silent on the matter in her ruling.

Kirby, whose house is across a driveway from Stewart’s property, sued because a two-story house would face directly into her garden and eliminate any privacy she has.

Kirby filed the lawsuit herself because the neighborhood doesn’t have an HOA to champion the case.

All parties had their day in court on September 19 as Kirby and his attorney R. Lee Steers Jr. sought a temporary injunction to block the start of construction.

Stewart’s attorney, Ryan Bailey, declined to comment.

His defense argues that there are so many existing CC&R violations in the neighborhood, such as shrubs that are too tall and walls that are too close to the sidewalk, that they no longer hold any weight.

However, Julian wrote that “Stewart’s efforts to establish a waiver by pointing to other violations regarding unsightly objects, walls, and shrubbery do not support a two-stage covenant waiver”.

Stewart’s attorneys also noted that there was already a two-story house in the neighborhood.

However, Kirby said the owner of this home contacted the neighborhood before it was built in 2002 and no lawsuits were filed against him because the second floor was added to make room for care. a disabled adult child living in the house.

“The credible evidence presented showed only one violation of the two-story restriction,” the judge said. “This is insufficient in law to demonstrate that the engagement was waived.”