07/15/2010 03:06 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Manitou's Battle For House On The Hill Near End

A decades-long legal battle between a Colorado town and a landowner over a house built out of spite may be close to an end.

Manitou Springs has battled resident Tom McGee since 1991 over a house McGee built overlooking the city from atop Iron Mountain. The residence occupies land the city considers prime open space: 99 acres adjacent to the city including a 7,131-foot mountain.

McGee purchased the property in the late 1980s, intending to develop it for houses. When Manitou refused to extend utilities, however, he built a home on the top and sued the city.

The previous 19 years have seen a number of lawsuits on behalf of both the landowner and the city, culminating in a recent decision that Manitou Springs officials will purchase the property for $1.1 million.

A legal settlement with McGee's neighbor, Stephen Beisel, is still up in the air. Beisel told The Gazette,

"We're not headed to a settlement. There's no chance for a settlement," said Beisel, whose battle with the city dates to 1996 and includes a violent confrontation with Manitou Springs Mayor Marc Snyder, then a city councilman. "We have a very long history and there's no settlement with me."


Manitou House On The Hill