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Judge nixes bid to halt Montreal renovation

LES PERREAUX

From Tuesday's Globe and Mail

December 16, 2008 at 3:48 AM EST

 

MONTREAL — The owners of a Westmount house with a million-dollar view will have to give up a slice of their panorama.

 

A judge has refused an attempt by the couple in the affluent Montreal enclave to stop a neighbour from adding a fourth storey and cutting into their spectacular view of the city below.

 

Mr. Justice Robert Mongeon of Quebec Superior Court ruled Steven Goldberg is entitled to raise the roof on his house at 27 Bellevue Ave., even if it cuts into the sight line of his neighbours up the hill.

 

Mireille Raymond and her husband, John Keyserlingk, sought an injunction to block an addition they say will also block sunlight and decrease the value of their $1.7-million property on Sunnyside Avenue by about 30 per cent.

 

Those are exaggerations, Judge Mongeon ruled, after taking the unusual step of holding court on the hillside to check out the view.

 

The judge, who was assisted by a wooden frame and yellow police tape set up on the roof of Mr. Goldberg's house to mimic the new addition, found only a small sliver of the view to the east will be blocked.

 

"The loss must be considered in a much more realistic fashion than was initially presented," he ruled in a judgment handed down late Friday.

 

Mr. Goldberg's lawyers pointed out that he had submitted his plans to the City of Westmount in September of 2007 and his permit was granted after an in-depth study over six months.

 

The city argued nothing guaranteed Ms. Raymond and her husband that they would enjoy their view in perpetuity.

 

Ms. Raymond was upset by the verdict, saying the judge, like the city, seemed to discount the importance of the unencumbered view.

 

Ms. Raymond and Dr. Keyserlingk were ordered to

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