Less than a week after avoiding a $17 million lawsuit filed on behalf of Stephen Baldwin and an associate, Kevin Costner has another legal dispute on his hands.
The 57-year-old, who earlier this year was also hauled into court over a massive bison sculpture, is now getting sued for obstructing the ocean views of a Santa Barbara neighbor.
Charles "Rick" Grimm, who filed the lawsuit, says Costner's decision to plant a row of tall trees is in violation of a 55-year-old subdivision contract that allows for greenery no taller than six feet. When he bought the home, which was to be used primarily as a vacation rental, Grimm says it featured "panoramic and generally unobstructed views" which "contributed substantially to the beauty and value of the property."
Naturally, the Costner family wasn't too thrilled about a constant stream of vacationers peering into their home and decided to add the green privacy screen consisting of 10-foot-tall hedges and large-growing Washington robusta trees. Grimm said the installation has greatly devalued his property — and he's suing to have the plants reduced to six feet, not to mention $150,000 in damages for "loss of enjoyment."
If the actor refuses an initial offer and the amount shoots up to $500,000 — the total that Grimm believes his property has been devalued by the obstruction.
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"Costner stated he would not 'back down' on maintaining the hedge and palm trees as he prefers, and that he will do everything in his power to secure his privacy," the documents state.
Unfortunately for Costner, it appears that there is legally binding wording preventing him — or any other owner in the subdivision — from installing any "wall, fence, or hedge exceeding six feet in height." Such declarations are not so easily overcome in court.
If Costner truly values his privacy, it looks like he'll have to shell out $500,000 to keep it that way.
You can view the full lawsuit (courtesy of SBView.com) here.