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Old 05.10.2017, 22:37
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Could I win a fight against a neighbor's Baugesuch?

I'm not looking for a fight with my Swiss neighbors, but they are not very friendly. Today I see they mounted Baugespann poles showing where they want to build a gable window. Each house in the row where I live is consecutively higher than the previous one, so that everyone gets morning sun. Right now I get great morning sun deep into the house until noon.

Unfortunately, if the neighbors are allowed to build this gable window, the shadow of the new structure will block more than 75% of the window where I get this morning light. I was able to accurately measure this today by the shadows of the Baugespann poles as they landed on my house.

I also have privacy concerns as their new window would have a clear view into my upstairs bathroom window.

I'm sure my neighbors would love their new gable window - they get a big benefit, but I will permanently lose the morning sunlight that comes into the house. I don't see why I should willingly give up something I enjoy just to make them happy.

My question is if anyone has gone through such a thing? Are the sunlight and privacy concerns valid enough that I might have a chance to win this? Or is it a losing battle? I'm not really interested in going to court, but I don't know how this would get arbitrated. I don't think this is the same as someone taking away a scenic view. My house is going to be permanently darker.

I attached a picture to illustrate. The left house is the neighbor with the Baugespann. On the right is my house, where I computer generated the shadow the new structure will create based on the real shadows of the Baugespann poles. The tall green skinny window under my roof is what (until now) brings the sun in.

Grateful for any feedback.
Thanks!
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Old 05.10.2017, 22:54
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Re: Could I win a fight against a neighbor's Baugesuch?

It needn't cost you much at all, you visit the planning department, find out the facts. Then you complete a form or write a letter, stating your objections. The Gemeinde/Commune then consider all the objections, and you are told the result.
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Old 05.10.2017, 22:56
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Re: Could I win a fight against a neighbor's Baugesuch?

First, get the terminology right (I'm not being sarcastic there). It looks like they're planning dormer windows, not gable windows.

https://www.hunker.com/13412458/the-...-gable-windows

Have you seen the plans?
Do you have lots of disposable cash?
Does the other building owner?
Are you prepared for a protracted legal case?

Our landlord is involved in a long legal dispute with our neighbours on either side over plans to extend existing balconies, even thought nobody's light would be affected, and the residents wouldn't be able to see into rooms that they can't already see into if they were that way inclined. It's been going on for 18mths that I know of. Are you prepared for that?

By all means, get sight of the plans and get proper legal advice, but please don't bankrupt yourself in the process. Good luck.
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Old 05.10.2017, 22:56
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Re: Could I win a fight against a neighbor's Baugesuch?

Go to your local Bauamt, ask to see the permit application.

There will be a defined period of time during which you can lodge an objection. Ask the official at the Bauamt what steps you need to take to submit your objection, and follow those exactly.

(It might be wise to canvas other neighbors for their opinions.)

--

That said, be aware that you will likely destroy any relationship with the neighbors, possibly even spark an eternal neighborhood war. Think this step through carefully. Yes, I understand that their addition will reduce your enjoyment of your home, possibly also the value of your home; just be sure you are clear as to what you stand to gain, and what you stand to lose, in taking this step.

Can you see a possible compromise? An alteration to the proposed build that you could live with? If so, after filing an objection - and if you have a sense that your objection might hold sway - you might want to request a meeting with the neighbors to discuss alternatives.

Hope a solution equitable to all is found.
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Old 05.10.2017, 23:03
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Re: Could I win a fight against a neighbor's Baugesuch?

Yes, dormer windows, you are right. Sorry for the wrong terminology.

So if I lodge an objection, who makes the decision? The Bauamt from my Gemeinde? Doesn't it only get expensive if I object to the first decision (assuming it goes against me), and I end up fighting directly against the neighbor?

I don't really want to put money into a fight. I'm hoping this was rather cut-and-dry. If the Bauamt rejected the application, I assume if the neighbors wanted to fight then they would have to take the Gemeinde to court (not me).. ?
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Old 10.10.2017, 05:39
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Re: Could I win a fight against a neighbor's Baugesuch?

Maybe you should think about these:
First, could you win the fighting?
Second, if you can win the fighting. Could they give in? Maybe they will only do something more excessive.
Third, if you fight with them, they will only be your enemy instead of neighbor in the future.
Think carefully. Maybe you could find the better way to solve the problem.
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Old 10.10.2017, 07:04
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Re: Could I win a fight against a neighbor's Baugesuch?

Excellent description & photos.
I would not object as it will poison the atmosphere between you forever. No doubt they would say the same about having no evening light from your taller property. You can put a curtain up to protect your privacy if you have anything worth looking at. You have other windows in the house. You only spend a short amount of time per day in the bathroom.
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Old 10.10.2017, 08:31
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Re: Could I win a fight against a neighbor's Baugesuch?

Our independent property consultant/evaluator says that light has become a prime factor in the value and desirability of properties. Your neighbor is seeking to upgrade his property while in direct consequence downgrade yours aesthetically and financially, and you would bear the consequences of his upgrade for the rest of the time you live there.

I wouldn't hesitate to carefully document your consequences and contest his plans, respectfully but firmly. It's not a social matter rather a material matter, and barring any legal complication, will likely be seen that way by the planning commission.
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Old 10.10.2017, 08:48
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Re: Could I win a fight against a neighbor's Baugesuch?

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I'm not looking for a fight with my Swiss neighbors, but they are not very friendly. Today I see they mounted Baugespann poles showing where they want to build a gable window. Each house in the row where I live is consecutively higher than the previous one, so that everyone gets morning sun. Right now I get great morning sun deep into the house until noon.

Unfortunately, if the neighbors are allowed to build this gable window, the shadow of the new structure will block more than 75% of the window where I get this morning light. I was able to accurately measure this today by the shadows of the Baugespann poles as they landed on my house.

I also have privacy concerns as their new window would have a clear view into my upstairs bathroom window.

I'm sure my neighbors would love their new gable window - they get a big benefit, but I will permanently lose the morning sunlight that comes into the house. I don't see why I should willingly give up something I enjoy just to make them happy.

My question is if anyone has gone through such a thing? Are the sunlight and privacy concerns valid enough that I might have a chance to win this? Or is it a losing battle? I'm not really interested in going to court, but I don't know how this would get arbitrated. I don't think this is the same as someone taking away a scenic view. My house is going to be permanently darker.

I attached a picture to illustrate. The left house is the neighbor with the Baugespann. On the right is my house, where I computer generated the shadow the new structure will create based on the real shadows of the Baugespann poles. The tall green skinny window under my roof is what (until now) brings the sun in.

Grateful for any feedback.
Thanks!
First question, have you spoken to your neighbours to gently raise and show them your concerns? Surely this is the first step before taking formal action.

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Our independent property consultant/evaluator says that light has become a prime factor in the value and desirability of properties. Your neighbor is seeking to upgrade his property while in direct consequence downgrade yours aesthetically and financially, and you would bear the consequences of his upgrade for the rest of the time you live there.

I wouldn't hesitate to carefully document your consequences and contest his plans, respectfully but firmly. It's not a social matter rather a material matter, and barring any legal complication, will likely be seen that way by the planning commission.
Ditto on this, if a neighbour was planning to do something that directly affected my house value and enjoyment then principle demands you at least discuss it with them then if you feel very strongly about it raise formal objections if discussions fail.
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Old 10.10.2017, 09:25
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Re: Could I win a fight against a neighbor's Baugesuch?

While I firmly agree that talking to the neighbor is necessary, and likely going to be key to a compromise solution all can live with, it should be stressed that the OP also needs to be aware that the clock is ticking. There will be a set time period in which an objection can be lodged, miss that date and you lose your leverage. The time might be two months, or a few weeks.

So as you are trying to contact the owner to start talks, keep an eye on the clock.
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Old 10.10.2017, 09:34
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Re: Could I win a fight against a neighbor's Baugesuch?

I hear you how this must feel and how lack of uplifting morning light can effect the quality of life.

Then again, you say "I don't see why I should willingly give up something I enjoy just to make them happy."
Isn't that what they are doing?
They don't see why they should willingly give up something they enjoy just to make you happy.

The world where all people are considerate sounds beautiful and we are heading there as humans - more and more people are becoming aware, conscious.
Do we evolve fast enough is another question.

I personally no longer expect consciousness where there's none.

This type of architectural setting can come with significant pluses and major compromises as well.

When uplifting quality of morning light is important to you (understandably so), make it your priority and built the life around it.
Also, I invite you to see this as a good thing. Something wonderful will mostlikely come out of it, that at least I wish you.
I personally wouldn't put time, money, energy or any resources really into any fight, not even correct one. Sometimes if we chose to place such energy into upgrading our situation instead, it takes us to something wonderful. Can surprise even our own selves.

The truth is, because you appreciate magnificence of the morning light, means you deserve a wonderful place with plenty of it. And that I wish for you.
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Old 10.10.2017, 09:41
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Re: Could I win a fight against a neighbor's Baugesuch?

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I hear you how this must feel and how lack of uplifting morning light can effect the quality of life.

Then again, you say "I don't see why I should willingly give up something I enjoy just to make them happy."
Isn't that what they are doing?
They don't see why they should willingly give up something they enjoy just to make you happy.
The neighbours are not giving something up, their building is already in that position. They are the one making the changes and affecting another.

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The world where all people are considerate sounds beautiful and we are heading there as humans - more and more people are becoming aware, conscious.
Do we evolve fast enough is another question.

I personally no longer expect consciousness where there's none.

This type of architectural setting can come with significant pluses and major compromises as well.

When uplifting quality of morning light is important to you (understandably so), make it your priority and built the life around it.
Also, I invite you to see this as a good thing. Something wonderful will mostlikely come out of it, that at least I wish you.
I personally wouldn't put time, money, energy or any resources really into any fight, not even correct one. Sometimes if we chose to place such energy into upgrading our situation instead, it takes us to something wonderful. Can surprise even our own selves.

The truth is, because you appreciate magnificence of the morning light, means you deserve a wonderful place with plenty of it. And that I wish for you.
Sorry, but that sounds like a load of meaningless new-age drivel.
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Old 10.10.2017, 09:44
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Re: Could I win a fight against a neighbor's Baugesuch?

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Sorry, but that sounds like a load of meaningless new-age drivel.
Probably an Abraham-follower, if you think positive it will all come to you....
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Old 10.10.2017, 09:47
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Re: Could I win a fight against a neighbor's Baugesuch?

Thank you for the picture. I believe the neighbour will be able to see in to your window from this new dormer window. That would surely not be allowed without your consent.

As said before, you should go to the commune and get the facts. Also they would be able to listen to you and make suggestions.

There is in every commune a lot of jurisprudence on building. The commune knows these in detail. I can imagine that a dormer window is not written in the building reglement unless for example total height goes over the limit allowed etc.

Don't be shy to start legal proceedings.
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Old 10.10.2017, 10:27
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Re: Could I win a fight against a neighbor's Baugesuch?

Just a random thought here.

Are your houses of the same design?

If the neighbour can get permission to add a dormer window, so can you.

If you block his ability to do it, somebody else can use that to block yours.

Maybe not now but some years down the road you might want to add one, or if you sell the house the new owner being able to do that might add some value.

Especially if this is about converting underutilized attic space into an extra bedroom or something. That's a lot of extra value for comparatively little extra cost (assuming you or the next owner do the work at such a time that the roof needs replacing anyway).
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Old 10.10.2017, 10:31
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Re: Could I win a fight against a neighbor's Baugesuch?

Looks like the architect, knew what he was doing when it placed the window at that place and staggered the houses accordingly.

The only other option would be to add a roof window above where the small long window is. This may, subject to internal structure, give even more light then what you have now. A deal would be that he pays partially to this new window.

If you are afraid about a sour relationship with your neighbor: It seems it already is. A possible way to speed up the building permit process is to discuss a potential change with all affected neighbor and get immediate permission from them. If the neighbor goes the long, formal way and did not inform you before hand then he should not mind an objection.
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Old 10.10.2017, 10:33
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Re: Could I win a fight against a neighbor's Baugesuch?

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The only other option would be to add a roof window above where the small long window is. This may, subject to internal structure, give even more light then what you have now. A deal would be that he pays partially to this new window.
This sounds like a very reasonable compromise.
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Old 10.10.2017, 10:34
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Re: Could I win a fight against a neighbor's Baugesuch?

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Are your houses of the same design?

If the neighbour can get permission to add a dormer window, so can you.

If you block his ability to do it, somebody else can use that to block yours.
If you are last house in the row the but-it-blocks-the-sun reason will not work.
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Old 10.10.2017, 11:01
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Re: Could I win a fight against a neighbor's Baugesuch?

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The neighbours are not giving something up, their building is already in that position. They are the one making the changes and affecting another.



Sorry, but that sounds like a load of meaningless new-age drivel.
If they have unused used building rights they are entitled to build.

Buy a far bigger plot of land if you wish to guarantee light & views. Why should someone who has already built have any say over someone with the right to build but yet to be exercised? That right to build was always there nothing has changed.
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Old 10.10.2017, 11:09
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Re: Could I win a fight against a neighbor's Baugesuch?

The process for approval has in place the mechanism to view the plans and object if you wish.

This is not one of those cases where neighbours sign off and the permit is granted which is perhaps why the neighbour did not come to you in the first place.

Looks to me like your neighbour could build a dachfentster "roof window" instead without affecting your house.

What you want to check is whether there was at the original building time a supplementary plan which may have prohibited deviations from the original plan. Sometimes this exists when houses are attached. There are also rules in place for the style of roof.

Do you know who the original architect of your house was? Perhaps this person can help you.

If you have legal insurance this might help you to fight the matter. In your shoes I would kick up a stink. If that window had been there when you were looking to buy your house would you have walked away?


EDIT: I cannot comment on whether you can win. However an objection is not ignored so you are not wasting your time. Just be certain you do not miss the deadline for submission.
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