- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Neighbors in a Fountain, Colo., community are demanding a family remove a ramp they installed outside their front door for their handicapped daughter, saying the structure threatens property values.

The neighbors said they’ll sue if the homeowners, Vincent and Heidi Giesegh, don’t dismantle the ramp, a local television station reported. But the parents say the ramp is necessary for their 16-year-old daughter, Kirsten, who has cerebral palsy.

“As she goes into her spastic modes, we could just tumble down the stairs and both of us could get massively hurt,” Mrs. Giesegh said.

The family doesn’t live in a community guided by Homeowners’ Association policy, and they say the city already approved construction of the ramp. But neighbors say the family’s next-door neighbor expressed concern about property values, and that was enough to rally many in the community to threaten suit, the station reported.

The next-door neighbor who allegedly started the complaint did not provide a comment to the station.

But Mr. Giesegh had plenty to say.

“It’s kind of irritating,” he said. “I mean, we’re trying to do our best to assist our daughter with her daily needs to get in and out of the house.”

The Gieseghs say they’ve reached out to the Rocky Mountain American Disability Center for guidance.

• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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