Home Remodeling Ethics

Okay, so there is a situation that has arisen between two neighbors of mine that live across the street. No, it’s not about dog poop this time. The family living in the house across the street is in the middle of adding a second story to their house. They’ve got two boys just entering their teens, so it makes sense that they’d need to add some room to their moderately sized single story to accommodate the boys. It’s actually only half a second story since they are building the new addition solely on the eastern half of their home, leaving the remainder of their house in its single story state.

Now, the issue is that the neighbor on the east side of the house is very unhappy about the addition because once the sun hits its zenith, from there on out until it sets, she’s getting screwed on natural light. The new addition towers over her and casts a shadow onto her skylights and windows. The mother living in the remodeled house feels bad, and the neighbor is apparently airing her displeasure with other neighbors. She was informed of the remodel beforehand, but I don’t think she knew the extent to which this would impact her.

My question is… whose side do you fall on? What are the ramifications here? The addition has full permits from the city, so it’s not like there are legal grounds to stand on from what I can see. However, doesn’t the impacted neighbor have a certain reasonable expectation of being able to enjoy the same overall natural lighting and view the house afforded when she bought it?

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