Did A West Michigan Pastor Build A Spite Fence On His Property?
Living on a Michigan lake is a dream that many of us have, but sometimes dreams don't always work out the way you expect, and one West Michigan family says they're dealing with a bad neighbor, who is also a local pastor.
In a recent Facebook post shared to multiple community groups, Yankee Springs Township resident Teri Messer says she and her husband recently returned to their Gun Lake cottage after a vacation to find a 'Spite Fence' installed just inches from her home.
3 months ago we arrived home from vacation & to our unwanted surprise our neighbors to the right of us had a fence constructed over the entire wall of our cottage… the side our bedrooms are on! Needless to say… they have covered up 3 of our fire safety windows! Not only did they take our light … air & part of our view… they took our fire safety...Unbelievably he is a pastor of a well known church in our surrounding area!
The cottage, along the shores of Gun Lake, sits along the property line to 3255 Sandy Beach St.
The pictures posted show a fence that blocks windows, maintenance, and fire escape access from the Messer's property.
Many of the comments online seem incredulous that someone who is a pastor would do something like this:
So much for the "Golden Rule" that guy is just a plane a** hole. I don't know how he can call himself a Christian. I hope he doesn't go on vacation. A couple pickups and chains would take care of that in short order.
That is just spiteful. Why???? It looks ridiculous! I hope they have to move it back 10 ft.
This fence is mean and illegal. Your neighbors should be ashamed of themselves. It’s good that you are letting everyone know what they did and how the elected officials are responding.
That’s awful Terri. What on earth does that get them? Most people on lakes understand the trade off of living on a lake…..your houses are closer and privacy is more limited.
You need to contact anyone you know who is a member or has ties to this pastors’ church. Pastor is a public office and he needs to act in a way consistent with that calling. His behavior is disgusting and unfitting for a follower of Christ.
As is often the case, there are two sides to every story. We have reached out to Pastor Mark Heijerman and will let you know if he responds.
So, what is a 'Spite Fence'? According to the NOLO legal encyclopedia, it's pretty simple:
Spite fences are fences constructed purely to annoy a neighbor.
So what do you think, is this Pastor out of line or can he do what he wants with his property?