World War II Veteran Sues Collegedale, Neighbor, Alleging That Fence, Garage Were Built On His Land

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

A World War II veteran is suing his neighbor and the city of Collegedale, alleging that part of his land was taken by the neighbor with the acquiescence of the city.

Vernon Herod and his wife, Roberta, are suing Tammie Davis Crabtree and the city in Circuit Court.

The Herods live at 4520 University Dr. and Ms. Crabtree at 4524 University Dr.

The suit says Ms. Crabtree last June began building a garage and a fence on the Herod property. It says Ms. Crabtree failed to get a building permit for the garage.

It says Mr. Herod complained to City Commissioner Larry Hanson, who contacted Andrew Morkert, city zoning official.

The complaint says Mr. Morkert recommended that the Zoning Board of Appeals not grant a variance to Ms. Crabtree, but it did anyway.

It says Ms. Crabtree tore down a fence that Mr. Herod had built about 35 years earlier and put up the new fence that was 1-2 feet on his side of the property line. The garage encroaches a foot on the Herod property, it was stated.

The suit says last November that Mayor John Turner notified Ms. Crabtree to stop the alleged encroachment, but she refused. It says the mayor then named a new Zoning Appeals Board.

It says Mr. Herod approached the new chairman of the appeals board, and he advised him that the encroachment "was not very much" and "would not hurt anything."

The mayor then dissolved the Zoning Appeals Board.

The suit, filed by attorney Robin Flores, says the Herods are very elderly and in ill health. 

It says Ms. Crabtree has sought to intimidate the couple, including placing a sign on the fence that says "Beware of Dog."

The suit says Ms. Herod has suffered a stroke over the conflict.

The complaint asks Ms. Crabtree to pay $500,000 for punitive damages, $500,000 for the medical condition of Roberta Herod and $200,000 for loss of consortium.

It asks that Collegedale be ordered to pay $100,000.

The suit seeks an injunction ordering Ms. Crabtree to tear down the fence and garage.



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