No Decision Made In McKennan House Lawsuit

The judge will likely decide towards the end of the summer

A court case involving two neighboring homes in historic Mckennan Park is not over.

On the final day of the trial, no decision was made in the lawsuit filed by the McDowell’s against the Sapienza’s and the City of Sioux Falls.

The McDowell’s believe the new home next to theirs is too tall and too close.

The trial has been going on for the past three days, with multiple witnesses taking the stand.

So Judge John Pekas said there is too much evidence he needs to look over before he can make a sound decision.

Instead all the attorneys were asked to send in their final statements.

But before then, the discussion was focused on the Board of Historical Preservation and what regulations they look at before approving construction.

The McDowell’s attorney, Steve Johnson presented a list of national standards historical districts should comply with.

On that list, includes a height restriction that says a new building may not exceed variance of ten percent of the average height on both sides of the street.

Testimony showed the Sapienza’s home is more than 8 feet taller than adjacent properties.

However, the current Board Chairperson, who was also on the board when the Sapienza’s presented their house plan, said the board was not aware of these requirements.

But agreed, when asked, that it would be important to look into height and how that height would fit into the neighborhood before approving it.

Earlier in the day, Joseph Sapienza also took the stand.

His attorney asked him with everything that has happened, what he would have done differently.

His response, “I thought we did everything we were supposed to.”

One of the attorneys says he doesn’t expect a decision until the end of summer.

Here is a link to day one of the trial and day two.