The owners of a Sanders Beach mansion apparently are breaking city rules by landscaping too close to Lake Coeur d’Alene.
Roland and Beatrice Almgren are building retaining walls within 40 feet of the summer water level, said city attorney Jeff Jones. That’s closer than the shoreline ordinance allows.
At Jones’ request, a city building inspector posted a red “stop work” order at the site on Feb. 8.
The Almgrens could not be reached for comment Wednesday afternoon. They have an unlisted phone number and were not at home.
The city hasn’t issued a citation, Jones said.
“Before we discuss any penalty, we’ll meet with them and their attorney,” he said.
Jones is waiting for the Almgrens’ attorney to return from out of town.
The couple’s Tudor-style home, 1301 Shoreline Drive, includes an elevated yard across the road.
The partially completed landscaping project is at the bottom of stairs leading from yard to beach. It includes several berms, held back by timber retaining walls. Some bushes have been planted on the berms.
The Almgrens, who bought the home in 1991, have made headlines before. In 1992, they had a sunbather arrested for being on the beach, which belongs to lakeshore homeowners but has been traditionally open to the public.
After a public outcry, the Almgrens relented. They removed a “no trespassing” sign from the beach seawall and replaced it with one that reads: “Private Property. You are welcome to use our beach. Please do not litter. Thank you.”
They also dropped legal action aimed at clarifying their property rights.
One of their neighbors, Robert Romer, also is being investigated for possible violations of the shoreline ordinance and other parts of the city’s zoning code.
Romer’s copper-roofed home has also focused recent attention on Sanders Beach. The city questioned his claim that his home is a triplex and business office. Romer made the claim to explain his need for a new dock, which was built without a necessary state permit.