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9 homes that upset the neighbors

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Ben Tesch

Everyone has driven past an oddball house that makes them wonder what in the world the neighbors think.

Homeowners' odd and sometimes-spiteful choices have been bothering neighbors, challenging local laws and affecting their area home values for centuries. From garish paint jobs to trash-covered lawns to imposing perimeter walls, it seems almost every neighborhood has at least one strange standout.

Some homeowners make changes to their properties with the intention of being annoying -- like building a house close enough to the neighbors to block their light and views -- but others are less malicious.

These houses often gain attention for causing heated feuds, and this is especially true for famous homeowners like Facebook (FB) founder Mark Zuckerberg, whose Hawaiian getaway recently drew ire from nearby property owners.

Click ahead to see nine homeowners who upset their neighbors.

Striped Kensington House – West London

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

The owner of a West London townhouse painted bright red stripes on her formerly white home to annoy neighbors who opposed her plans to renovate the property.

According to The Guardian, Zipporah Lisle-Mainwaring wanted to demolish and rebuild the home, but her initial request for planning permission from local government was denied. She won an appeal, but her neighbors -- who opposed the project -- launched a court challenge against it. In retaliation, she painted bright stripes on the front of the property with the last stripe purposefully left unfinished. Officials ordered her to return the house to its original state, but Lisle-Mainwaring refused.

Equality House – Topeka, Kansas

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons user Polylerus

In the case of another striped paint job intended to perturb the neighbors, nonprofit group Planting Peace painted the house it owns across the street from the controversial Westboro Baptist Church in the colors of the rainbow pride flag.

While the paint job itself didn't upset church members -- spokeswoman Shirley Phelps-Roper told local reporters that she loved it -- they're less-than-thrilled with some of Planting Peace's activities on the property. Planting Peace hosted a same-sex marriage on the rainbow house's front lawn several years ago as well several LGBT festivals. The group has also encouraged same-sex couples to kiss on the house's roof, where they can be easily seen by WBC members.

The Weidlake Party Houses – Los Angeles, California

Photo courtesy of Trulia

Los Angeles developer Danny Fitzgerald's four-mansion compound in the Hollywood Hills is perfect for throwing star-studded parties: It has a total of 51 bathrooms, 32 bedrooms, a gym and a nightclub big enough for 300 people.

And those parties -- by the wealthy tenants who rent the homes to throw lavish bashes -- have infuriated the neighbors.

These tenants have included Justin Bieber and a Saudi prince, the latter of whom was sued by Fitzgerald for allegedly causing $80,000 in damage to the property during a graduation party with more than 800 guests.

Police have been called to the home more than 90 times over the years for noise complaints and reports of public urination, an unpermitted lion (yes, you read that correctly) and a person with a gun, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Fitzgerald's neighbors claimed partiers at the house damaged their properties and threw trash on the street.

Hull House – Boston, Massachusetts

Photo by Wikimedia user John Stephen Dwyer

We've featured this home before in our gallery of some of the narrowest homes in the world, but this approximately 10-foot-wide, four-story home is also rumored to be a "spite house" -- built specifically to annoy or inconvenience its neighbors.

According to The Boston Globe, the house dates back to the Civil War era. One local legend says it was built by a man who, upon returning from serving in the military, found that his brother had built a house covering almost all of the land they had jointly inherited from his father. He built the skinny house in retaliation, blocking out sunlight and ruining the view on that side of the big house.

The Spite Tower – Adamsville, Massachusetts

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons user Linnaea S

This tower in Adamsville, Massachusetts, was built in 1905. Legends say it was constructed by a man trying to obstruct his neighbor's line of sight.

According to local historians, the most popular version of the story is that the tower's owner and his neighbor were involved in some sort of dispute. The neighbor -- a shop owner -- returned home for meals when his sisters signaled to him using a white cloth or napkin in a window. The tower was built to block his line of sight between the store and the house, according to rumors.

But local news reports point to a less spiteful theory: The tower was built as a well house for pumping water. The well house is located on the first floor, there's a water tank on the second and living quarters for the owner's chauffeur on the third floor.

Montlake Spite House – Seattle, Washington

Photo courtesy of Zillow

This home in the shape of pie slice was built in 1925 and, according to The Oregonian, was the result of a divorce. Legend has it that a judge awarded the husband the couple's home in a settlement and gave the 3,090-square-foot front yard to the wife, who built the small house to spite her ex. The house is 15 feet across at its widest point and just 55 inches across at its narrowest.

The the two-bedroom, 1.75-bathroom home sold in July 2016 for $500,000, according to Zillow.

Edith Macefield’s House – Seattle, Washington

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Ben Tesch

This little cottage surrounded by new commercial developments is locally referred to as the "Up" House, after the home of grumpy Carl Fredricksen from the Pixar film.

Edith Macefield had lived in this house at 1438 N.W. 46th Street for 54 years when she was approached in 2006 by developers who wanted to buy the property. She refused all offers -- up to $1 million -- to buy her out after they had already purchased all the land surrounding her home.

According to the Seattle Times, she was disabled and said she was "too crippled to move." Macefield remained in the house until her death in 2008, while the developer had to redesign the planned building around the home.

The house has since been purchased by the same developer, although the home's future is uncertain, according to the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Tyler Spite House – Frederick, Maryland

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons user Thisisbossi

This house was built not just to annoy its neighbors, but the entire city government.

According to local lore, the home was constructed in 1814 by Dr. John Tyler, who owned a parcel of land through which the city had announced plans to build a road. He found a local law that said a road couldn't be built where a building already existed or where work was already in progress. He found a contractor who started the project in the middle of the night, surprising the road crew who showed up to start work in the morning and found a hole where the road was supposed to go.

Mark Zuckerberg’s House – Kauai, Hawaii

Some of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's neighbors are grumbling about a rock wall he's having built on his property on the north shore of the Hawaiian island of Kauai. KGMB-TV

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg upset some of his neighbors earlier this year when he began building a 6-foot-tall stone wall around his property on the island of Kauai. Some neighbors claimed it was "daunting and forbidding," blocking their views and the island's tropical breezes, but others said the wall was an improvement over an unsightly barbed wire fence that once encircled the property.

It's not the first time the property's fencing has frustrated neighbors. A previous owner of the lot built a 15-foot wall around the property more than a decade ago and was ordered to tear it down after his neighbors sued.

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