In the pioneer days, a group of men could raise a barn in an afternoon for free, aside from the cost of the timber, but for all of his riches, real estate mogul Howard Lutnick still could not realize his dream until now: to build a barn.
A judge refused to dismiss a lawsuit brought by Lutnick against the village of Southampton’s town planning board which refused to allow him to build an 11, 000 square foot barn on his 40 acre Long Island estate. It is not surprising that nearby residents wouldn’t want a huge barn on a property, given the fragrance of manure that can waft in the direction of neighbors when the wind blows a certain way, but the community is not upset that he is going to use the barn to house cows, which is his aim, but that he might use it to store his cars.
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Whether the objection is due to neighbors’ spite or is based clear principles is anyone’s guess, but Lutnick has retaliated to early efforts to block his plans to build a barn. He built a 10 foot hedge around his property to block his neighbors’ views.
Lutnick, who is head of BGC Partners, purchased the property for $15.23 million in 2003, and built a playground, a baseball diamond and a sculpture garden. The community did agree to a compromise earlier that would allow him to build a much smaller 2, 500 foot barn, but demanded he remove the playground and the sculpture garden.
Apparently, no one in Lutnick’s community wants him to have any fun. Or cows. Or cars.