A large house under construction in a quiet southeast community is pitting neighbour against neighbour.
"The house is already under construction and anyone can tell reading just the bylaws…they don't belong in this neighbourhood," said Vincent Masellis who has lived next door to the property for 30 years.
Masellis' home looks over Connors Road with a panoramic view of the city skyline.
But his view west to the Alberta Legislature is now gone, replaced by a blank wall.
"This is outrageous," he said.
The new owners of the property began building a home late last fall.
When construction began, Masellis called the city, concerned about the size of the home.
City said house meets rules
He was told the house meets all the rules, but as the house kept going up Masellis wasn't convinced.
A number of letters and phone calls later, the city realized it made a mistake.
He was told that the attached garage was larger than the bylaw allowed. That should have triggered a process where neighbours are notified that they can contest the design.
The rules state that appeal has to happen within 14 days of construction starting.
That time had long passed, meaning Masellis and his neighbours had already missed their chance.
It’s a mistake the city admits making but not one that needs correcting, said Jeff Price, the city’s director of permitting and licensing.
The house fits the character of the neighbourhood, he said.
"It would have been a reasonable development because it met the same sort of standard as the other houses along that avenue," said Price.
But the home’s neighbours don’t agree.
House blocks out sun
"It totally eliminates my sun in the morning," said Joan Groff who’s lived on the other side of the property for more than 50 years.
"It’s not right."
Masellis is considering taking the issue to the Alberta Court of Appeal, but the homeowner’s lawyer said that won’t likely change anything.
"What the courts have said is there must be finality in the process," said lawyer Jim Murphy
The complaints came only after his clients were well into the construction of their home, he said.
"That is exactly, exactly what the sort of circumstances the court is trying to avoid."
The city suggests if people have a concern about a construction project not to wait to file an appeal.
"If anybody in the community thinks there's a permit happening and there's something wrong — inspite of not getting any notification — they have the ability to launch an appeal to Subdivision and Development Appeal Board," said Price.