Another day, another misbehaving billionaire neighbor ...
In late May, a whole lot of you got mighty riled up over what I like to call “Redwood Gate
” — an obnoxious and apparently recently resolved (out of court) neighborly dispute
in San Francisco’s chichi Pacific Heights nabe involving pugnacious software kingpin Larry Ellison, his not-going-to-budge downslope neighbors, and a few slightly
view-obstructing redwood trees.
Now, fresh from the “bellicose bully of a next-door neighbor” file comes news of another impossibly rich person with a somewhat disagreeable reputation. Donald Trump
hired contractors to erect a massive wooden boundary fence and plant dozens of trees around the home of David Milne, the stiff-necked Scotsman whose property abuts Trump’s proposed $2 billion golf course development
on the wild northeast coast of Aberdeenshire, Scotland.
The catch? Trump’s people sent Milne a bill for £2820 ($4,600) — half the total amount of the cost to construct the fence and plant the trees.
Milne, who has lived comfortably with his wife in their Menie Estate home for the past 20 years, remarks
on Trump’s slap-in-the-face invoicing decision:
There is no way I'm going to pay it. As far as I'm concerned it's just another attempt to intimidate and bully me. But it's not going to work. I'm not paying any attention to it at all.
I could not believe it when the bill arrived. I priced the materials and I could put up the whole fence on my own for about £800.
As reported by The Daily Mail
, the orange-skinned global warming skeptic
and Milne have been going at it for a while now. After the masterplan for the controversial 1,235-acre golf resort — the “world’s greatest golf course” — was given the green light
by the Scottish government in November 2008, Trump attempted to buy Milne’s property so he could expand the development. Milne, naturally, refused.
In addition to his individual disputes with Milne and, perhaps most famously, a kilt-wearing fisherman named Michael Forbes
, Trump has also really ruffled the feathers
of locals. The massive development — which, in addition to twin 18-hole golf courses includes hundreds of luxury homes, a hotel, and other buildings — will be built on sand dunes and beaches that are home to some of Scotland’s rarest birds ... seven endangered species
to be exact.
If all goes as planned, the development will open next summer. It's also worth mentioning that The Donald himself is half Scottish (his mother, Mary MacLeod, immigrated from the Isle of Lewis to Manhattan at the age of 20) and he's made a big deal about this
from the get-go. That's super and all, but it doesn't give Trump the right to act like a lunatic ruffian.