Thursday, January 31, 2013

UPDATE: A little mudslinging in Mountain Shadows

Posted By on Thu, Jan 31, 2013 at 5:15 PM

UPDATE: Springs police provided the following information about Mrs. Armstrong's trespassing issue.

Call was received on 01/24/2013 at 4:34 pm as a Trespass in Progress
Screen says:
RP {Reporting Party}{Ms. L. Armstrong} is screaming.
RPS home burned down in Waldo Fire
Suspects work for Concrete & Plumbing Co
RP screaming ***Very Upset

RP owns a vacant dirt lot where her house used to be. The lot has no border, fence or any other dividing lines, there is nothing to indicate where one lot begins or ends.
There are no signs posted anywhere on or near lot. The home next to the RP's lot is in the early stages of reconstruction. A worker arrived today to pour concrete footers on the lot next to the RP's.

The area is very tight with little room to maneuver. The concrete driver unknowingly backed his truck on to the RP's lot and began to work.
The RP observed this and became very upset, the RP screamed at the worker who immediately moved his truck.

The RP was angry that the worker backed onto her dirt lot. Officer explained to the RP that it was accidental and that the driver moved immediately when asked.
Officer advised RP that if she doesn't want the workers using her lot for access she should post "No Trespassing" Signs around all sides, in plain view, in both English and Spanish. Also advised to contact HOA regarding the issue. No PC [probable cause].

———-ORIGINAL POST, THURSDAY, JAN. 31, 1:03 P.M.————

Drywallers, bricklayers, excavators — they're all busy in the Mountain Shadows area rebuilding houses destroyed June 26 by the Waldo Canyon Fire.

But not all is sunshine and rainbows as families try to reconstruct their lives and their homes. In one instance, a construction crew borrowed the use of a neighboring property to stage equipment and dirt without permission, says property owner Loretta Armstrong.

The builder gives a different story, and we'll get to that later.

Mrs. Armstrong says when she and her husband, John, took a prospective builder to their lot at 2515 Hot Springs Court several days ago, they found this:

Waldo Canyon Fire Mountain Shadows
  • John and Loretta Armstrong

"We went there with a prospective builder, and we couldn't do one thing," she says, since the lot was covered with construction equipment and materials. "Everything was messed up. Huge big piles of dirt. We could not even walk around the property."

Owner of the lot next door, 2517, is Pannunzio Inc., also known as Premier Homes. Workers there told them they had permission, but Mrs. Armstrong says that's simply not true. She's particularly upset because her driveway is cracked, and she thinks the construction crew did it.

Mrs. Armstrong says she called the city, which advised her she'd have to seek damages — she says the driveway problem will cost $1,700 to repair — in small claims court. She also called the Colorado Springs Police Department wanting to file a complaint for trespassing, but says police told her she would have to have a house on the property in order for it to be trespassing. (We've asked the CSPD for comment, and will update this post with anything we get.)

Finally, Mrs. ARmstrong contacted the owner of one of the trucks being used by the neighboring contractor — "Someone is responsible for their truck being on our property" — and was told the truck owner would check into the firm's insurance coverage.

Since then, the dirt and heavy equipment has been removed from her lot.

Scott Baughman with Premier Homes says a subcontractor digging a foundation placed an "extremely small amount" of dirt onto the Armstrong property, and one of its pieces of heavy equipment encroached by only a few feet.

But he understands the Armstrongs' frustration and he ordered it moved immediately. Baughman says Mr. Armstrong called Premier demanding $10,000 in damages. Premier wants to see some kind of validation of that figure, Baughman says, and if there's a desire to go to court, the company's preference would be mediation, which is cheaper and faster.

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