California man ordered to remove 72-footer from his yard

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A Newport Beach, Calif., man who has been restoring a 72-foot wooden boat in his yard for six years was ordered to remove it or risk going to jail.

The court order is the latest development in a conflict between Dennis Holland and some of his neighbors and city officials, who sued the 65-year-old resident in an effort to have the vintage boat removed, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Holland now has until April 30 to remove the vessel from his Holiday Road home or face fines of as much as $1,000 a day or possibly jail time. Superior Court Judge Gregory Munoz issued a preliminary injunction Thursday and set an April 30 trial date.

Holland, who said his work was slowed when he underwent cancer treatment, said he needs another three to four years to restore the boat.

Holland has been violating a 2009 ordinance that requires him to obtain a permit and give officials an estimated completion date, the newspaper said. Because Holland said the project is too complex to pick a date, the city hasn't granted him a permit since 2010.

Holland contends that his restoration project was legal when he moved the boat to his home and that the city cannot retroactively enforce a law. He also argues that the city singled him out when it created the ordinance in 2009.

“I can't move the boat," Holland told the newspaper. “The city's going to have to come in and destroy it. I don't have the heart to.”

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