Lululemon founder in neighbour spat over huge dock

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Billionaire stretchy-pants magnate Chip Wilson has riled up neighbours with his plans to build a massive dock at his summer retreat near Sechelt, B.C.

At 2,500 square feet, the proposed dock would have a far larger footprint than the average Canadian house. At least 10 neighbours are protesting, saying the dock will endanger wildlife and the safety of other boaters.

The Sechelt Indian Band has chimed in as well, saying it should have a say in approving Wilson’s plans since the coastline is band territory.

Specifically, the proposal details a 2,498 square-foot dock and two 3,106 square-foot breakwaters as well.

The ultimate decision rests with the province’s Ministry of Forestry, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, but it hasn’t said when the final word will come.

Wilson’s plan is just the latest and most high-profile in a cavalcade of contentious property disputes across Canada. Below are some other interesting and unusual cases.

Monster house

Over in Brampton Ont., one man is fighting city hall and his neighbours in a bid to keep a massive home that’s been branded a “monster” and an “eyesore.”

The 6,600 square-foot blue behemoth is in a state of limbo after the city revoked a previously-approved building permit and gave owner Ahmed Elbasiouni the option to either demolish it, apply for a new permit or file to seek minor variances.

Neighbours just want it gone. The eight-bedroom colossus is an enormous outlier in an area comprised of 1,400 to 2,000 square-foot bungalows.

 Elbasiouni and the city are expected to clash again in court come March.


Rinks under attack

Wintertime killjoys have made their presence known in the last few months as a Canadian staple — backyard hockey rinks — have come under attack.

Last month, one man in Sherbrooke, Que. had to disassemble his backyard rink because a neighbour complained that it caused him “visual harm” — whatever that means? — and said it would hurt the value of his home. How’s that for planning ahead?

An Ajax, Ont., mom was shocked when the city insisted she take down her own small rink due to an anonymous complaint. Also in Ontario, Cornwall city officials came under fire recently after telling another family to remove their rink as well.


Tree troubles

Tree-removal has led to some very contentious cases. Whose property is it on? Who pays for removal? These issues have gotten ugly.

One absurd example in North Vancouver led to legal bills of nearly $170,000 after Elmer Friesen asked the neighboring couple if he could trim their trees to improve his ocean view. They agreed, but he allegedly axed far more than agreed upon.

Then it got really ridiculous.

In retaliation, Tak Kuen Chong  and Sak Keung Chiu strung up banners to block Friesen’s ocean view, including one reading: “You damaged my trees.”

The couple then said Friesen distributed a letter around the neighbourhood that questioned their mental health and saying they damaged the trees themselves.

They retaliated by staging a mini-protest outside Friesen’s workplace, leading to his termination.

The case was settled in 2009 as Chong and Chiu paid Friesen $30,000, just a fraction of the legal fees incurred.

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