A group of residents in the Robinson subdivision are suing their neighbour over what they claim is disruptive, unsettling behaviour that’s impacting their abilities to enjoy their own properties. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

Robinson subdivision residents file lawsuit against neighbour over loud music, floodlights

The situation was allegedly triggered by the defendants disapproval of a lot being subdivided

A group of residents in the Robinson subdivision are suing their neighbour over what they claim is disruptive, unsettling behaviour that’s impacting their abilities to enjoy their own properties.

Among the allegations are that he frequently plays extremely loud music and points lights at a home being built on an adjacent property, apparently in protest of the property owners wishing to subdivide and sell a portion of their lot.

Alain Dallaire, Kathleen McDade, Mike Turnbull, Chelsea Mooney, Kevin Joseph Kennedy, Carrie Louise Kelly, Jeff Boyd and Dan Otterbein filed a statement of claim against Gary Richard Irvin to the Yukon Supreme Court Sept. 29.

The plaintiffs are seeking an injunction that would prohibit Irvin from playing an audio device loud enough that it can be heard from their properties, and from shining any lights at them.

Irvin has not yet filed a statement of defence. The News was unable to reach him for comment and the allegations have not yet been tested in court.

According to the lawsuit, the plaintiffs had little to no issues with Irvin up until September 2017, when Dallaire and McDade, who own the lot next to Irvin’s, applied for a building permit and permission to subdivide their property.

Their intention, the statement of claim says, was to create an additional lot that would be sandwiched between theirs and Irvin’s, and they received a permit to build a new dwelling 50 metres away from the property line.

Irvin, however, told Dallaire that he was not happy with the location for the building, the lawsuit alleges, and after construction began, he started to “play loud music near the New Dwelling and to shine bright lights” towards it.

Initially, according to the statement of claim, Irvin would park his truck near the new building, open the truck’s doors and play the radio as loud as possible while pointing the headlights at the building for “several hours at a time,” three to six days a week.

However, the alleged conduct has increased with “frequency and intensity” since then and “is now exhibited most days from noon until 11 p.m.,” with an RCMP officer who responded to a noise complaint in July observing that Irvin had “installed speakers and a large spot-light in the middle of a field” on his lot.

The music is loud enough that it can be heard from all the plaintiffs’ properties and inside their homes, including some several hundred metres away and separated from Irvin’s property by forest, the lawsuit claims, and attempts to resolve the situation have either been ignored or unsuccessful.

The statement of claim also alleges other disturbing or unsettling behaviour by Irvin, including spending “an entire afternoon standing on his property line, in the middle of a meadow, staring at Mr. Dallaire without saying a word” and running over Kelly’s dog with his car and nearly hitting her baby stroller when he encountered her as she was walking down the road.

“The plaintiffs spend less time outside on their property because of the intense noise. They also spend less time on the nearby trails as they are scared of running into the defendant,” the lawsuit says.

“The defendant has created noise and light, aimed at Lot 9 with the intent of annoying the plaintiffs, of disturbing their quiet enjoyment of their land, and of dissuading the construction of the New Dwelling.

“The defendant’s behaviour and conduct display malicious intent towards the plaintiffs, as well as a vindictive, oppressive, outrageous, egregious and high-handed course of conduct.”

Irvin, in 2014, unsuccessfully sued the Yukon government over its decision to allow Mount Lorne property owners to subdivide their lots, telling the News at the time he had specifically bought his property in 1988 because the regulations then prohibited subdividing.

“I brought the property on that basis. I lived in Marsh Lake, and the lots were too small, and it was just crazy,” he said.

“Because it said you couldn’t subdivide, well that’s perfect, that’s exactly what I wanted. I didn’t want to live in a town.”

Contact Jackie Hong at jackie.hong@yukon-news.com

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