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KURE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — A battle we first told you about in February continues on Pleasure Island.

A couple says Kure Beach’s building inspector is still purposely stalling their dream home.

Ann and Richard Lawing began building their dream beach house nearly a year ago. They didn’t expect this dream to turn into a nightmare.

“My wife has been upset,” Richard said. “I have been upset. We don’t sleep good.”

The Lawings transformed 242 N. 3rd Ave. in Kure Beach from a bare lot to a three-story dream home with an elevator and an ocean view. But even though the $500,000 project ended in October of last year, the family still cannot move in.

“It is just unbelievable that we can a year later be stuck be still in the same position that we have been in for a year now,” Ann said.

The couple says they fixed small items building inspector John Batson listed in February when he first refused to approve the final inspection. Now Batson says the fire place is not up to code, because it extends six inches farther then it should from the house.

“It’s an architectural feature that makes the house attractive,” Ann said. “It does not cause anybody any problems.”

The Lawings say Batson has a vendetta against them and will never be satisfied.

“He is picking on something that was passed by a mechanical inspector,” Richard said.

The Lawings say Batson never said anything was wrong with the fireplace in the building plans and is now costing them a fortune.

Kure Beach Mayor Dean Lambeth says the Lawings are good people, but the decision is up to the Board of Adjustment.

“What they say goes,” Lambeth said. “The Lawings have the right to appeal. I think they should.”

Batson declined to comment on the story.

The Lawsons expect to spend even more money resolving the issue in court.

Comment on this Story

  • GuestyB7

    I’m sure all of you would have a lot to say if the deck collapsed and people were hurt. Then it would be, “who was the inspector”? You might not agree with authority or the man himself, but he has a responsibility and he can enforce it however he pleases. Going to the news does not fix the problem, hiring a reputable licensed GC would have. It isn’t as easy as it looks.

  • Guest284

    This is the most blatant abuse of power in our area and it has been going on for years. If you are not related or a friend of Batson you are screwed. He is a bully and I hope he gets what is coming to him. Kure beach inspections department consists of Batson and Batson only. He is judge and jury. How is that for checks and balances? A building inspector with a big ego and no one to answer to. Seems like a good idea. He should stick to fishing charters, he has got to be better at that!

  • Guest _CB

    Just go down, sit at the CB Charter Fishing Docks, make a calendar of every date and time you see John Batson there at the dock, and not inside the Kure Beach City Limits during the business day on the town’s clock, hand it in to the SBI and he will be history! And you will save all of the other tax paying owners at Kure Beach from having to pay for another of many lawsuits against the famous KB town employee bullies. They target seniors for money and property all the time! Watch some Betty White Off their Rockers shows. Empower yourselves, turn them in, BE DONE WITH IT!

  • LifeIsaBeach

    A Bully with a license to Bully while other so-called civil servants are too lazy and apathetic to intervene.

    What comes around goes around….and I hope it goes around the bully and the bully’s enablers.

  • Guest123123

    My business takes me to several different counties where I have to get these building inspectors involved in the applications process. There never seems to be any conformity among them. One inspector can come in and sign off in 2 minutes without even looking around and others are trying to find things wrong. Then when those items are fixed they come back only to point out more errors. Very frustrating!!

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