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Board Might Want Former Yahoo CEO to Tear Down House

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It's safe to say you've heard a thing or two about the impossibly monumental—and endless—skirmish between former Yahoo CEO Terry Semel and his neighbors, former hedge-funders Peter and Jonathon Sobel. But just like the summer, looks like this battle may finally come to an end. According to the EH Star, the Town Board has sided with the Sobels, which means Semel will have to (in theory) tear down a 1,600-square-foot cottage on his $40 million Further Lane property. But Semel's army of lawyers isn't quick to accept defeat. One lawyer reasons that so long as Semel removes the cottage's kitchen, which would render it an accessory structure, not a legal house, the Board will back off. Either way, that a petty argument between some rich guys—Semel accuses the Sobels of starting the whole debacle because he wouldn't sell them a piece of his land—would ever amount to something so "tangible," as Mr. Sobel's lawyer puts it, is pretty remarkable.

Here's the argument in a nut-shell. Semel owns eight acres of land on Further Lane. A few years back, he successfully filed for two permits, which together allowed him to build two 10,000-square-foot houses on his property. Semel then decided he'd just expand a pre-existing cottage to 1,600 square feet and get to work on the main house. Along the way, Semel added a kitchen to the cottage, which gave the Sobels an opportunity to strike. The Sobels then argued to the town that Semel had illegally expanded the accessory structure, and further, that the town had issued the original permits in error. Now, after much debate, the Town has decided to revoke to second certificate of occupancy, which means Semel can only have one legal house on his property.
· No Yahoo For Further Lane Houses [EH Star]