Former Yahoo! CEO Terry Semel and his next-door neighbors on Further Lane in East Hampton, Jonathan and Peter Sobel, have been fighting in court for at least four years. The issue: a little extra house Semel built on his eight-acre property. You would think that the Sobels would just let it go—that's what Terry thought, too. But no. Instead it has erupted into "World War III," he told the East Hampton Town Zoning Board of Appeals last week.
He approached the board meekly, speaking quietly at first. “I was hoping to come here for a peaceful summer,” he said. His voice quavered and broke at moments as he spoke, but he ended on a louder note saying that he would pursue the fight he says his Further Lane neighbors began. “I don’t care how long it takes or how much money it takes,” he said.
Some might say the tearing up and a “World War III" analogy is over-the-top — after all, what we are talking about is real estate in the Hamptons. But Terry will tell you, there are parallels.
I Among them: Injustice. Indignity. Oppression. The curbing of a man's basic human freedom to build himself a massive mansion on a slip on sand in commemoration of his life on earth. This battle with the Sobels is like Semel's Vietnam, his Afghanistan, his Iraq. It's a quagmire, but he is soldiering on, because he knows it is the right thing to do. Others might buckle, others might look for an easy way out, but not Terry. He will stay strong: "If somebody wants a fight, they picked the wrong person,” he said.
Former Yahoo Exec Promises Fight [East Hampton Star]
Earlier: Warring Hamptons Neighbors Stay on Their Sides of the Fence