Recent news articles have incorrectly reported some of the details of the stipulated judgment that was approved by the Orange County Superior Court in the City’s case against Dennis Holland. The dispute centered on Holland’s long-term restoration of his 72-foot boat, the Shawnee, a project he has undertaken in the side yard of his residential property.To view a previously published story about the stipulated judgment, please click here.
The City has not agreed to allow Mr. Holland to rebuild the boat in the backyard of his property. In fact, the City informed Mr. Holland, prior to settling the lawsuit, that due to the sheer size of the boat, the City did not believe the boat could be restored on the property without violating the provisions of the Newport Beach Municipal Code (NBMC).
The mutually agreed upon terms of the judgment are as follows:
1. Mr. Holland admitted that his project to rebuild the boat was in violation of the NBMC and constituted a public nuisance.
2. Mr. Holland will have until September 1, 2012 to disassemble the boat. To ensure Mr. Holland’s compliance with this deadline, the court set a compliance hearing for September 12, 2012. The judgment also calls for Mr. Holland to either remove the disassembled parts of the boat from his property or store them in a manner that does not violate any provision of the NBMC or any other law.
3. The judgment prohibits Mr. Holland from rebuilding the boat on his property if it violates any provision within the NBMC or any other law. As previously stated, given the large size of the boat, the City does not believe Mr. Holland will ever be able to fully rebuild the boat on his property. This is because the boat is 72 feet long and NBMC section 10.50.020(L) prohibits the storage or parking of boats in excess of 35 feet on a residential property. This prohibition applies regardless of whether or not the boat can be viewed from a public right-of-way.
Further, should Mr. Holland decide to restore the boat on his property, and depending on how he does so, he may violate other provisions of the NBMC. These provisions include, but are not limited to: maximum height requirements for fences and hedges; front, side and rear yard setback standards; building permit requirements; and construction and maintenance project permit requirements.
The City will be monitoring Mr. Holland’s work to ensure he does not violate any provision of the NBMC or any other law. We are optimistic that Mr. Holland will comply with the judgment and any future work will comply with our Municipal Code. If, however, there is a future violation of law associated with the construction of the boat, the City can now seek judicial relief pursuant to the judgment.
We hope this clears up any questions or concerns that have been expressed by members of the community related to this matter.