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Fight Over A Big House On A Small Lot Heats Up In Harrison

HARRISON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) - There's a big house brouhaha in a well-to-do Westchester suburb.

Neighbors say their town should not have granted a building permit for a large house on a small lot, and some want the $1.6 million home under construction to be torn down.

"They say it will fit into the fabric of the neighborhood? It will be a house, a pool and concrete," said Doug Amman.

The September view from Amann's back yard is dramatically different from that in May when the Town of Harrison granted a building permit for a 4,000 square foot home on a one-third acre lot.

Harrison House Fight
(credit: CBS2)

"The house went up in record time. And we still, after almost a year, are waiting for an answer - is this house legal or not?" Amman said.

The legal challenge involves a 1970s zoning change requiring an acre to build, and a 1940s bankruptcy sale of the land.

READ IT: Legal Arguments From Neighbors Opposing Construction (.pdf)

A lawyer for the homeowners' association says two lots were merged into one, and Harrison improperly granted a building permit on land that used to be another home's back yard.

The association wants the permit pulled and the house pulled down.

"Eventually, after all of the appeals and once the litigation is concluded, the house would have to be torn down and the property would be restored to the condition it was in prior to the issuing of the building permit," said attorney Paul Noto.

In July, the town zoning board of appeals took a preliminary vote, indicating it would stop construction. Town lawyers forced a delay in a final vote to August, then September and now October.

 READ IT: Legal Argument From Owners Of The Home (.pdf)

During the legal challenge the builder exercised his right to continue construction.

A lawyer for the owners of the home told CBS2 "the building inspector properly issued the permit, allowed construction of this home, the house is already built, and we hope the zoning board acknowledges that."

Will this five bed, five bath stay or go?

"They pushed forward and ignored the risks," Amman said.

The board votes on October 14th.

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