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Chip and Joanna Gaines have become HGTV superstars ever since their show Fixer Upper hit the airwaves back in 2013, and the husband and wife work together to remodel and redesign homes that were/are in desperate need of repair. Throw in their adorable children their lovable little menagerie of animals, and Fixer Upper is a wonderfully charming series. Unfortunately for the Gaines' family, one man isn't quite so charmed by the project-oriented family. In fact, he's suing them for a million dollars as part of a property dispute.
The dispute started at the Gaines' Magnolia Market design store in Waco, Texas, which is housed across an alley from a company called Head Properties, where plaintiff Daron Farmer is a managing member. Farmer has owned a parking lot (accessible via alley) ever since he bought the Head Properties building back in July, but a pre-existing lease agreement allowed Magnolia Market employees and customers to park there. The lease expired on a Friday, according to the Waco Tribune-Herald, without Farmer and Chip Gaines having come to an agreement about a new lease. On the next Monday morning, Farmer alleges that Gaines put up a gate across the alley to restrict access to the parking lot.
According to Daron Farmer, he had planned to begin charging Magnolia customers $10 for parking in the lot, and the lawsuit claims that Chip Gaines prevented customers from parking there by blocking the primary entrance with the gate. Farmer is seeking between $200,000 and $1 million in damages from Gaines. He also asked that Gaines be compelled to take down the gate, but a judge refused the request.
The timing was unfortunate for Chip and Joanne Gaines. Their annual Magnolia Market Silobration festival kicked off the weekend after the alley mess started. The three-day festival drew large crowds to check out the vendors, entertainment, and Gaines family of Fixer Upper, so they had a lot going on without a lawsuit popping up. Of course, the huge crowds for the Gaines' event could have also meant a big profit for Daron Farmer if he had full access to his lot and could have charges $10 per car.
That said, the attorney for the Gaines' family argued that the blocked alleyway doesn't actually prevent customers from entering the parking lot and theoretically paying to park there. The gate only blocks one way for cars to get into the lot. Drivers can just drive around the corner and enter from another side. The gate is evidently inconvenient to Daron Farmer -- although he might change his tune if it wins him $200,000 to $1 million -- but it doesn't cut off access to the lot entirely.
Chip and Joanna Gaines have faced hardships in the past and come out ahead, so we'll have to wait and see how they handle being sued for a million dollars. You can catch new episodes of Fixer Upper Season 4 on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on HGTV. Take a look out our midseason TV premiere schedule to see what shows you can watch in the not-too-distant future.