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ONLY ON 3: Couple says battle with building inspector still holding up dream home

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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.

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