Councilmember Lovell's Neighborhood Feud

It's an odd thing when the front door of a city councilmember's home is festooned with bright, urgent notices from the city's building-permit department. In the case of Councilmember Sue Lovell, that's only where the oddness starts.

A loyal Hair Balls reader earlier today emailed a photo of Houston Lovell's front door in Montrose, which is peppered with orange notices from the city saying she'd never gotten a permit to build a couple of upgrades to her home.

But Lovell says it's no big deal.

Eight years ago, Lovell says, she hired someone to build a storage unit next to her driveway and a deck in her yard. The deck was about half-an-inch too close to the power lines, so she had it pared back.

"It was a long time ago," says Lovell, "and it didn't get permitted. I contracted with someone I trusted to do it the right way and they had not, so we're getting it fixed."

Okay. But eight years ago? This is coming up now? And why is it taking three notices on the front door to get it taken care of?

Lovell says she's "been in conversations with the permitting department" and is preparing the required site plans to submit to the city to get a permit.

She says she thinks someone in her neighborhood reported her.

"I have suspicions," she says. "These slum lords that live across the street have these terrible apartments and we're constantly reporting them, so I think it was probably just them retaliating. It comes with the territory. But the bottom line is I have to do it the correct way and I'm doing it."

It must also be noted that some of Lovell's neighbors, if our e-mail traffic is to be believed, aren't happy that her dogs get loose sometimes.

Unhappy enough to go through the city permit records to see if changes made eight years ago got the proper permits? That's pretty unhappy.

We're sure the relevant workers in the permit department are pleased as punch to be caught up in the middle of this little neighborhood feud.

-- Chris Vogel

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