CHARLOTTE, N.C. — It’s a neighbor versus neighbor battle you don’t see every day.
Sitting U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger and his wife filed a civil lawsuit against one of Charlotte’s wealthiest businessmen.
Doug Lebda is CEO of Charlotte-based Lending Tree. Lebda and his wife are building a beautiful new home next to the exclusive Quail Hollow golf course.
Pittenger and his wife live next door and just sued the Lebdas over the construction project.
The lawsuit says the new construction violates HOA building guidelines and suggests the home owner's association "knowingly approved" the plans that violate HOA rules.
The suit claims "The Pittengers, and other owners... will be permanently and irreparably injured if (they) are allowed to construct the planned structures on the property..."
The lawsuit asks for a ruling to "demolish or reconfigure the structures."
The lawsuit between the Pittengers and Lebdas boils down to the amount of space between their two homes.
They’re each required to have 10 feet of setback or buffer between their property lines and houses. Sources tell Channel 9 the Lebdas are over that line by two inches, and that the HOA granted them an “unintended overage variance.”
The Pittengers say in their lawsuit that "Punitive damages are appropriate in this case to punish Defendants... for their egregiously wrongful acts."
The Lebdas have not formally responded to the lawsuit but sources close to the case tell Channel 9 that they deny doing anything wrong and insist that they have tried to resolve this reasonably with the Pittengers.
A person familiar with the Lebdas' efforts told Channel 9 they redesigned a roof overhang and changed windows to address concerns.
That person said the Lebdas even offered to buy 50 square feet of the Pittengers’ property to settle the matter.
Documents reviewed by Channel 9 show the Pittengers wanted $1.725 million dollars for those 50 square feet of property. That breaks down to more than $34,000 per square foot.
The lawsuit maintains the "Pittengers are entitled to monetary damages” and also points to "emotional stress suffered" by the Pittengers as a reason for compensation.
Rep. Pittenger lost his Republican primary last month. He remains in office, however, until early January 2019.
Cox Media Group