Wayne Newton close to resolving Montana property dispute

AP News
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Posted: Oct 26, 2015 4:23 PM
Wayne Newton close to resolving Montana property dispute

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Singer Wayne Newton is close to resolving a property dispute after the neighbors who live next to his vacation home in Montana sued him when he put up a chain that blocked access to their land.

The 73-year-old Las Vegas entertainer and his wife own a 5,300-square-foot home on more than 3 acres along scenic Flathead Lake in western Montana, according to state property records. The owners of an adjacent property sued in September 2014 after Newton put up a chain blocking the driveway that leads from a highway to his home.

The neighbors, suing as Gromko Family Vacation Property LLC, said the chain prevents them from getting to their property, where they had built a garage to store their boat and watercraft trailers.

The neighbors had been using the driveway since 1993 and had rights to it, though not explicitly granted, before the Newtons bought their land in 2010, the lawsuit said.

The sides reached a settlement agreement that called for Newton to adjust the boundary line and sell a strip of land the neighbors need to get to their property. The deal hit a snag in August when the sides disagreed on how wide that strip of land should be.

They originally agreed on 10 feet wide, but the neighbors sought 14 feet because of the land's topography, their attorney, Randall Snyder, said in court filings.

That width was far in excess of what is necessary, Newton's attorney, Wendell Dunn, said in response.

Newton appeared in court in Polson on Thursday for a hearing in the dispute. After listening to both sides, District Judge Deborah Kim Christopher said she will enforce the settlement by adding 2 feet to the width of the roadway, rather than the 4 feet requested by the neighbors.

"My clients' position was vindicated by the Court," Dunn said in an emailed statement to The Associated Press. He declined further comment.

Snyder did not return calls for comment.