Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Neighbours feud over fence

Latest in ongoing battle in Transcona

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The Berlin Wall. The Great Wall of China.

The 1.8-metre-high black chain-link fence on Day Street in Transcona.

This local partition has become a symbol of an escalating feud between two neighbours who live in a side-by-side home -- Darcy and Mary Krakalovich on the southern half, and Raymond and Barb Korb on the northern portion. The fence is 1.2 metres high around most of the Krakalovich yard, but shoots up to 1.8 metres in height along the Korb property line.

The Krakalovichs say they erected the illegal fence -- which violates the city's bylaws since it is too tall for their front yard -- in 2010 for peace of mind and safety after a 12-year battle with the Korbs "consisting of verbal harassment, assaulting us, destroying our property," according to an email the couple sent to the city.

The Korbs say they are the ones who have been victims of harassment, alleging everything the Krakaloviches told the city was "lies."

On Friday, council's appeal committee took the unusual step of allowing the fence to stay in an attempt to keep the peace.

"In my 13 years here (that) was the most graphic that it's become in terms of neighbourhood animosity," said Coun. Dan Vandal (St. Boniface), who chaired the appeal hearing. "It was really quite embarrassing. I hope they can go to mediation or something to try and live together more peacefully."

Darcy Krakalovich told the appeal committee he has been involved with a physical altercation with Raymond Korb, alleged Korb mooned his wife, the Korbs verbally assaulted his daughter and dumped chemicals into their flower beds and bushes, according to an audio recording posted online by CJOB.

Krakalovich could not be reached for further comment Friday, but said in an email to the city the fence has stopped the neighbours from harassing his wife.

"Prior to the fence, the neighbours would be outside teasing my wife and then all the profanities would follow," the email said.

Barb Korb denies the allegations and said Raymond, 70, was never involved in a physical altercation or pulled down his pants in front of his neighbours. She said she's "heartbroken" things have deteriorated to this point and confirmed both sides have phoned the police on one another but no charges have been laid. "I have no idea why things are so bad," she said.

The Korbs have lived on Day Street for 30 years, and the Krakalovichs moved there in 1994. Barb Korb said both sides initially got along well, but things turned frosty several years ago when she asked her neighbour not to throw salt in the back lane since it was killing the bushes in their yard and eating the pavement.

Since then, Korb alleges, she and her grandchildren have been the victims of verbal assaults, particularly in the back lane where "the action happens."

Korb said she's had snow thrown in her face and the neighbours put up a fence "deliberately just to get us mad." She and her husband complained to the city and now plan to try and appeal the city's decision to allow the fence to stay.

A city report said the two families have "not been getting along for several years" and contacted different city departments over several issues. The report said the fence feud went to court and prompted the Krakalovichs to submit an application for a variance.

City administration initially recommended the height of the fence be reduced to comply with Winnipeg's bylaws or be removed from the property.

Korb said she and her husband do not want to move after living in the neighbourhood for three decades.

"We're the only ones it affects. We have to look out this window and look at the fence," Korb said.

"They twist everything around."

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 13, 2013 A8

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