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Papers show no specifications for house in Knob Hill

Knob Hill
Explaining the documents of the Knob Hill controversy. (WRDW-TV / June 23, 2011)

Thursday, June 23, 2011 / News 12 at 6 o' Clock

A simple piece of paper stopped Homes for our Troops from building a home for Sergent First Class Sean Gittens before it even started.

"The cease and desist letter was basically to the effect that your plans have not been approved at this point," Knob Hill Attorney and Board Member Carl Dowling said. "Don't start working."

The Knob Hill Homeowners Association sent the order to Homes for our Troops June 10. They say Homes for Our Troops never sent the neighborhood final building plans for the house they were going to build. Homes for Our Troops says otherwise.

"The homeowners president, Mr. Trump, emailed us back that plans were approved June 2," President of Homes for Our Troops John Gonsalves said.

Knob Hill said the June 2 approval was pending, given Homes for Our Troops submits final building plans, not preliminary ones. The neighborhood also says Homes for Our Troops sent them many different plans, none of which they could tell were final.

"They've submitted a number of different plans," Dowling said. "A number of different materials lists."

But Homes for Our Troops says the different building plans were efforts to work with the neighborhood.

"They asked us to make some changes to the plans, which we obliged everything they asked," Gonsalves said.

Even though Homes for Our Troops says they've made the proper changes to fit Knob Hill's building specifications, the neighborhood can still stop them from building the home.

The deed for this property is tied to Knob Hill's covenants and restrictions. Those rules say all building plans must be approved, but the rules give no specifications on what homes should look like or how big they should be.

"The way it stands now, the Board of Directors, A.K.A. the architectural control committee has the final say so," Dowling said. "Their approval or denial can be based on anything."

Gonsalves said he has a hard time understanding this.

"I mean it defies all logic for them to say this home is not good enough," Gonsalves said.

Not good enough because Homes for our Troops says Knob Hill's association wants it to be bigger. The only size criteria Knob Hill has is that homes should be a minimum of 2,700 square feet, but that's just a recommendation.

The homeowners association says the 2,700-square-foot guideline was set in 2000, and homes have gotten much larger over the years.

"Does it have to be 3,300 square feet?" Dowling asked. "We don't know. As we told them all along if they submit their final plans, their final materials list, we'd be glad to look at it and work with [Homes for our Troops]."