Carport, fence put neighbors at odds

9-10-13-carport dispute
For about 40 years, there's been a carport at the Northeast Portland home Floyd Montgomery shares with his mother-in-law, Lois Ross. But their neighbor, Vince Erceg, wants the carport moved because it violates city code. Sept. 10, 2013 (KOIN 6 News)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — For about 40 years, there’s been a carport at the Northeast Portland home Floyd Montgomery shares with his mother-in-law, Lois Ross. But their neighbor, Vince Erceg, wants the carport moved because it violates city code.

Floyd Montgomery and his neighbor Vince Erceg are at odds over a property line in their North Portland neighborhood, Sept. 10, 2013 (KOIN 6 News)
Floyd Montgomery and his neighbor Vince Erceg are at odds over a property line in their North Portland neighborhood, Sept. 10, 2013 (KOIN 6 News)

The city of Portland said Montgomery has to either tear down the carport or move it.

The carport has “been here for quite awhile, since like the ’70s,” Montgomery told KOIN 6 News. As for the request to move it, “we’re not happy about it,” he said. “We’re just not happy.”

Portland city code requires a five-foot setback from the neighbor’s house, and Erceg complained to the city. A spokesman for the Bureau of Development said Montgomery will have 30 days to move the carport, unless he applies for a variance to allow it to stay.

“We don’t want to put the expense of doing it, and we don’t think we should have to move it,” Montgomery said. He said Erceg calls the city for everything — from where his cars are parked to shrubs in the yard.

“I’ve never done anything to [Erceg],” said Montgomery’s mother-in law, “but he sure picks on me.”

Erceg did not want to go on camera but he had plenty to say when he spoke with KOIN 6 News.

Floyd Montgomery and his neighbor Vince Erceg are at odds over a property line in their North Portland neighborhood, Sept. 10, 2013 (KOIN 6 News)
Floyd Montgomery and his neighbor Vince Erceg are at odds over a property line in their North Portland neighborhood, Sept. 10, 2013. (KOIN 6 News)

“Well, let me tell you, he started the ball rolling,” he said. “He should have thought this out when he took a saw and cut somebody else’s fence down. Now that’s a pretty bold step.”

Several years ago, after Lois Ross’ husband died, Erceg put up a fence to block what he called the eyesore next door. In response, Montgomery paid for a survey and found the fence was inches over his property line.

In February, Montgomery tore down Erceg’s fence and built one of his own.

“I’d like to just have love and peace with all my neighbors and I can’t even communicate with him,” Montgomery said. “I’ve tried to in the past.”

Neighbors said they’re staying out of the dispute, which seems to be increasingly contentious as time passes.

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