Snowed In

by admin on February 10, 2011

My story is short and frustrating. I recently moved into a new house in the East Coast and the neighbors seem to be decent.

Up until the snow starts.  The “kids” of my neighbors decided to shovel the driveway after a snow storm. These “kids” are in their mid 20′s and in college and decided the best place for their snow was in my yard, ACROSS the street. Usually its the two boys and their girlfriends or other friends dumping it.

It was annoying and I thought it was a one time thing, but I was wrong.

This year we are getting slammed with snow and as of today’s date we have at least 40 inches of snow on the ground, with another 8 inches expected. Growing up in the midwest I was always careful to make sure I could see out of my driveway and take great care in ensuring my safety.

Again these kids decided to pile their snow in my yard. At the first snow storm as soon as they saw I was out shoveling my driveway, they stopped. This time, they didn’t, I asked them to stop putting their snow in my yard expressing the safety concern. They looked at me like I had 8 heads, took one shovel load and put it in their yard, and then back to dumping in my yard again, even while I was out there.

I understand they are frustrated and don’t have any place to put their snow, but I’m frustrated that they think that my yard is a dumping place for their snow.

I’m trying not to be the crabby new neighbor, but this is getting to the point of insanity. I’ve thought about putting up a snowman with a sign saying No DUMPING, but I don’t think that would help.

Now let me note the first time the father was out helping them shovel snow and didn’t say anything to them putting it in my yard, but since then it’s only been the boys. Also, they have plenty of room on in their yard, if they walked 2 steps over, it’s just easier to walk across the street and dump.

I’m at the edge and after asking them to stop politely several times, I’m really tempted to go out with a shovel and put it all back at the end of their driveway. 0128-11

{ 91 comments… read them below or add one }

lkb February 10, 2011 at 5:04 am

I guess I don’t see the problem with going over to their house (whether they are shoveling or not) and politely explaining to the kids and their parents (preferably at the same time) why it’s important to you that they not dump the snow. Maybe bring a plate of cookies so they can see you are really not trying to be a witch but that you have a real issue with it. (BTW, is it possible the father did not see you or hear you that first time?) Is it possible the kids were so tired or cold that it was not the best time for them to listen. (I’m from the Midwest and the snow we’ve had lately was a bear to push away.)

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mmaire February 10, 2011 at 6:38 am

The logistics of this don’t make any sense. Why would they walk across the street instead of just tossing it to the side of the drive? That doesn’t seem easier, that seems like triple the work with no real benefit – who cares where the displaced snow sits? It’s not like leaves in autumn that require disposal – it’ll melt eventually.

I don’t get why they’d do this, and I don’t get why OP would care so much. If they were dumping into her drive, one thing, but the yard?

None of this makes sense to me.

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josie February 10, 2011 at 6:40 am

Being nice evidently doesn’t work with them. Maybe its time to point out their own yard and no nonsensely tell them where to put it….their yard, not yours. Go ahead, pitch a fit!

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Vicky February 10, 2011 at 7:14 am

I am speechless. That is so rude and uncomprehensible that I am stuck at offering any words of advice. Can you go over and speak to the parents before the next snow storm? At this point, I don’t think you should worry about being the crabby neighbor. There is nothing crabby about wanting someone to keep the snow on their own property. Good luck.

Oh, and I do like the idea of putting all the snow back on their driveway – you are merely returning their property ;-)

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Bint February 10, 2011 at 7:49 am

Can’t you go to see them, ask why they’re still dumping it there, and give them a polite warning that if they do it again you’ll have them up for trespassing? How are they allowed onto your private land?

Yes, I would dump it back onto them after telling them I won’t let it stay on my land. But I’d probably threaten them with trespass, since nothing else seems to be working. Apologies if you can’t do this, because I’m not in the same country, but anyone doing that to me would be had up for it by this point.

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Alexis February 10, 2011 at 7:51 am

Before you wind up getting in a huge altercation with a couple of ingrates, just call the cops. Don’t even go outside and bother to talk with them, just call the cops. After you do that a few times, they’ll get the message. I would also talk to the neigbors. (Politely!!!) That way, if calling the cops doesn’t get any results, or doesn’t get results fast enough, a carefully worded letter from an attorney to your neigbors should put a stop to it. However, if you’d spoken up the first time, and kept on speaking up, you wouldn’t have this problem. Why DIDN’T you say anything when they kept on doing it right in front of you, or kept on doing it as soon as you went back in?

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DGS February 10, 2011 at 7:57 am

Rather than stoop to their level, call your township. I am pretty sure that they could get fined for doing that. And, you might want to inform them that you are going to contact the township/call the police. I am not sure where you are on the East Coast (your snow situation sounds more severe than ours, so you must be further Northwest of us in Southern New Jersey), but in our town, there are some pretty strict regulations about snow removal – you have to shovel your driveway and sidewalks, clear out any snow around your mailbox for the USPS vehicle, and you cannot dump snow on your neighbor’s yard.

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AS February 10, 2011 at 8:38 am

That is pretty annoying! Seems like a polite way of saying is not sufficient.
This is something that I’d be happy to know what to do too, as I live in a rented apartment complex, I have never had to deal with such neighbours. If there is some sort of a resident’s association in the area, maybe you could contact them. I don’t know if calling the police on them is a good idea.

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thisisnotmyusername February 10, 2011 at 8:46 am

Call the cops and report them for trespassing? I can’t think of any law against them putting snow in your yard, but that’s just not right :-/

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Cleosia February 10, 2011 at 8:46 am

I would suggest taking videos of them doing this and then lodging a complaint with your local police. Since they don’t have your permission to dump snow in your yard, they are clearly trespassing on your property. I am sure there are also laws regarding dumping anything on someone else’s property. It could mean a fine and\or jailtime. While I realize that you may not want to start a war with your neighbors, you may be able to have the local police just talk to them about it. An official warning may discourage them from doing it in the future. However, I would video tape their actions out of their sight as they my not take kindly to being recorded.

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Merrilee February 10, 2011 at 8:50 am

Have you spoken to the parents about it, since the 20 year olds don’t seem to hear you?

I’d be the crabby new neighbor and make certain the parents knew that what the kids were doing was not acceptable and stress the safety concerns. Good luck, OP. Why on earth would it be easier for them to walk across the street to your yard to dump snow? Rather than just pile it in their yard?

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Rosewater February 10, 2011 at 8:50 am

First I would speak to the father face to face then if the situation continues I would put the snow back where it belonged, it seems they’re not getting the point otherwise. Perhaps if they have to shovel the snow twice they will rethink their strategy.

If you don’t have one think about getting a good high capacity snowblower, they make life soooo much easier! If you do get one continue to the let “the boys” shovel the snow from their driveway, it may help them realize why it’s not a good idea to “dump” on their neighbors.

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My Story February 10, 2011 at 8:52 am

This is my story! After reading I neglected to mention a couple of things:

1. Their snow dumping is blocking my view on oncoming traffic and blocking on coming traffic’s view of me.

2. My house is on the downside of a hill and my basement has a tendency to flood badly. If they keep piling their snow on my yard, the water in my yard won’t drain properly and could (Will) back up into my basement.

So thought those tidbits may show the reasoning it’s frustrating… and also the fact they just assmumed it was ok.

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Wendy February 10, 2011 at 8:54 am

Did you speak to the father when he was out? Before taking the next step, I would talk to the parents since the “kids” (who are old enough to know better) seem clueless. If that gets you nowhere, I think at that point I’d be calling the local police. This could be construed as harassment, littering, trespassing or several other violations…especially since you’ve asked them to stop. (I’d aim for the trespassing and harassment claims.) There may also be local ordinances regarding snow removal in your municipality. Another thought, contact a local attorney and ask what your options are…you don’t have to retain him/her for anything at this point, just get some advice. Best of luck to you!

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SHOEGAL February 10, 2011 at 9:07 am

I think you have a couple of options: 1. you become more verbal and walk over there and have a discussion or 2. come up with a way that would prevent the snow from being dumped in your yard – making it somehow inconvenient/ impossible to pile the snow there. For instance – I find that when I don’t want guests in my home not to sit somewhere or use something – I make it so they can’t – that way I’m not upset and they are oblivious. Perhaps parking something in the street right there or putting up a temporary fence – you are well within your rights to do this -it is your yard – what could they say? In this situation – since you are neighbors – you really don’t want this to esculate into a situation where you can’t live by each other peacefully and I personally would like to avoid an unpleasant confrontation. It just seems they either aren’t listening or they just don’t care.

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NotCinderell February 10, 2011 at 9:08 am

I’d probably call my local non-emergency police and find out if there was something I could get them cited for. Barring that, I’d shun them. When they wave hello, pretend they’re not there.

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Stacey February 10, 2011 at 9:09 am

I have to ask, is this snow that they are shoveling being put in your driveway or making it harder for you to shovel? If it is, I completely understand and think maybe you should have a polite chat with your neighbor.

However, I don’t understand what the issue is if they are not putting the snow in a place that affects you in any way. I also live in the area and yes, we are being slammed with snow this year and the general rule is that you don’t put it anywhere that would impact another person, but how can snow in your yard hurt you or make your life more difficult? When my neighborhood get this much snow usually all neighbors help each other out. I think a NO DUMPING sign is ridiculous. I’m sorry, but I do think you are being a crabby new neighbor.

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Chocobo February 10, 2011 at 9:14 am

This is the weirdest thing I’ve ever heard, and I’ve lived on the East Coast (totally feelin’ ya on the “getting slammed with snow” this year) my whole life. I’m trying to imagine the conditions in which it would be easier to throw snow across the street rather than into your own yard. Sorry you have such terrible neighbors, at least under these wintery conditions. Maybe it is time to go talk to the “adults” across the street to ask them to stop their kids from shoveling into your yard. Have they not realized you moved in yet? Maybe they thought the house is still empty and no one would care. Or, more likely, they’re just lazy… Worse comes to worst, you might have to go to the police/town about it, which is better than setting up a precedent of getting walked all over. What they’re doing is totally unreasonable. I wonder if they will rake their leaves into your yard as well in the autumn?

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Just Laura February 10, 2011 at 9:15 am

Okay, I’m not trying to be a jerk here, but I lived in NYC and then NJ for several years and one puts snow in the yard. It may go in your yard, the neighbor’s yard… anyone’s yard. It MUST be off the sidewalk (a law in most municipalities), and one can’t throw it in the street. In a place with little or no yard (the OP says they “don’t have any place” for it, although OP then says there’s plenty of room in their yard – I’m confused), it has to go somewhere, right? And if their yard is farther than your yard, I can see why they might not want to haul each and every shovel-full that distance.
And it’s not like the snow is crushing your blooming azalea bush – you already have snow in your yard. If they were putting leaves in your yard, or trash, or grass clippings, I’d be on your side in a NY minute. As it is, I just fail to see the problem.

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Erin February 10, 2011 at 9:28 am

Why on earth would they cross the street to dump snow in your yard? I’d be pretty mad, too.

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bookworm February 10, 2011 at 9:37 am

You should go to their father about it, and don’t wait around for the next time they’re out shoveling. You are 1) expecting people who just got out of their teens to listen to reason and 2) waiting for somebody to read your mind about this issue. Knock on the door and address your concerns, and make sure you’re talking to the FATHER.

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kjr February 10, 2011 at 10:03 am

I too live in the northeast and have been dealing with where to put the snow. In our neighborhood the houses are very close together. We have a small parking area that barely has room for the cars as it is, nevermind the snow. We also have a garage . We have our summer car in there plus our lawn equipment, including the snowblower and shovels. Our neighbor had recently decided that it was easiest for him to snowblow his snow in front of our garage. I wasn’t home to see it the first two storms that they did it, but a neighbor across the street saw it and let me know. Last major storm I saw him out there and ran out and asked him to stop, as the pile was now well as tall as me and we had to dig out the pile to get into our garage. On top of that, from warmer days when we had some melting, it ices over the door and the door wouldn’t close. Although I was irate, I asked him nicely. He looked at me like I was asking him something very out of the ordinary but obliged. I understand that he may think we don’t use the garage on a daily basis – but who in their right minds thinks it is ok to block in someone else’s garage with their snow? We would’ve been doing it ourselves if it was ok.

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Snowy February 10, 2011 at 10:30 am

Safety concern or not, that’s just rude (and bizarre), and there’s no call for it. I’d talk to the parents again, politely, and maybe ask if there’s a reason why they do it–maybe the former neighbor used to let them, and it’s an alien idea not to do it. If talk to them doesn’t work, ask a neighbor about it to see if they have any insight that might help.

If nothing else, you can see if they’re violating some sort of ordinance, like trespassing. That’s an option that’s likely to garner you a neighbor war, though, at least if you haven’t tried more “friendly” methods first.

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Patti Purcell February 10, 2011 at 10:31 am

Wow, Are you kidding. Call the Police, that will stop them.. Really I think It is Ilegal to dump in your yard. Why would you waste your time and energy putting It back in their yard, just call the Police, that should stop them.

P. Purcell

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Xtina February 10, 2011 at 10:32 am

What?? Do these morons own your property?? If they do not, and you have asked them nicely severeal times to quit doing so, then it is not you who is going to have to worry about doing anything wrong. I would give them one more chance; either speak to them or give them a written letter stating your concerns and request, and tell them that if they do not stop putting their snow on your property, you will be contacting city code enforcement or the police, or whatever local department of enforcement handles those types of things. Then promptly follow through if they do it again.

This goes beyond merely being rude. This is illegal.

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Not one of us February 10, 2011 at 10:35 am

Wow, that is very wrong & rude.

Here in sunny & warm Massachusetts, we have also received over 40 inches of snow. It is also against the law to put your snow in the street or on someone’s property without permission. It is a $50-$200 fine and they label it improper snow removal or dumping.

I would speak directly to the adult homeowner and express your concerns. I would also find out the law in your town. If it happens again, I’d put it in writing, perhaps with your intention to contact the authorities.

I understand your frustration. I have over 8 feet of snow piled up around my backyard fence & on both sides of my driveway. Hopefully it will go away soon taking along with neighbors’ rude behavior.

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o_gal February 10, 2011 at 10:37 am

For Just Laura and others who have suggested that she allow them to pile it on her yard, since she already has snow in her yard – consider that they are also dumping all the other stuff that comes up when you shovel. Any rock salt used to help melt things, if they use that. Any dirt, rocks, twigs, etc. that get buried under the snow, and then get caught up when you shovel. It’s not just clean snow – it’s potentially a lot of junk too that she will have to deal with when everything melts.

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--Lia February 10, 2011 at 10:58 am

Legal problem, not an etiquette one. In the northeast, we call it illegal snow dumping. Call city hall or the police. Ask for the proper procedure. They may have gotten into the habit when the house was unoccupied. It’s likely that a mention from the proper authorities will do the trick. Know that you’re not the first with the problem. It’s huge up here and has been going on for generations. Fist fights break out in Boston over dug out parking spaces.

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Maryann February 10, 2011 at 11:06 am

I honestly wouldn’t blame you, OP, if you hired a snow plow to make all of their snow nightmares come true. (Not actually an acceptable solution, obviously, but I still wouldn’t blame you.)

I just hope you realize that, while I think you’d be well within your rights, any attempt to return their unwanted waste back to them could lead to escalation. If they feel so entitled that they think they can do this with impunity to begin with, there’s a chance they’ll find a way to get back at you.

Have you talked to the homeowners/parents, not merely asking but calmly demanding that they desist? I hate to suggest it since I’m in my mid-20s myself, and I’d hardly want someone running to my mommy and daddy for a problem they have with me, but they’ve left you with little choice.

And, by the way, you’re not the one being a bad neighbor, or crabby. You’re allowed to assert yourself when someone is treating you abysmally. If they accuse you of any such thing, please don’t give it a second thought, or even, “I was in a perfectly good mood until you came along.”

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lkb February 10, 2011 at 11:07 am

@OP (aka My Story)
“1. Their snow dumping is blocking my view on oncoming traffic and blocking on coming traffic’s view of me.

2. My house is on the downside of a hill and my basement has a tendency to flood badly. If they keep piling their snow on my yard, the water in my yard won’t drain properly and could (Will) back up into my basement. ”

I still say go over there and politely explain exactly this. Bring a photo of the traffic problem and/or your basement window. Maybe they didn’t realize. Again, if your snow is anywhere near as heavy as ours has been to shovel this year, perhaps they were too tired/winded etc. to listen. Shoveling heavy/wet snow is no joke, even in your teens. Been there, done that.

BTW — do it very soon: I’m in Michigan and we’re expected to go from -1 (today) to 40 (Sunday) — that snow is going to melt and it’s gotta go somewhere (I hope not your basement!)

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ChristiKayAnn February 10, 2011 at 11:10 am

Not trying to be rude here but to everyone who is saying they don’t see the problem did you read the whole post? The OP said this is a problem because where they are piling the snow blocks her view when she is pulling out of her driveway. Quote:Growing up in the midwest I was always careful to make sure I could see out of my driveway and take great care in ensuring my safety. / end quote/ and in her update she repeated this and also explained that when the snow melts it leaks into her house Quote: 1. Their snow dumping is blocking my view on oncoming traffic and blocking on coming traffic’s view of me.

2. My house is on the downside of a hill and my basement has a tendency to flood badly. If they keep piling their snow on my yard, the water in my yard won’t drain properly and could (Will) back up into my basement. /end quote/

Either of these reasons are wnogh for her to have a problem with the neighbors dumping their snow in her yard instead of their own.

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Louise February 10, 2011 at 11:11 am

Knock on the door and speak nice to whomever answers about this, be it the young men themselves or their parents (if it’s the latter, ask them to pass the message on). Explain that all the additional snow will mean a flooded basement. Also — and this is most important — ask why the snow was dumped in your yard. Put on your best friendly-neighbour-being-inquisitive act. Whatever they reply — they are worried about their basement flooding, too, they would rather keep their yard clear –nod, give a beaming smile and say, “That’s exactly how I feel; I’m so glad you understand why I don’t want extra snow in my yard!”

The next time you see them dumping snow in your yard, grab your cellphone and go outside. Remind them of the conversation you just add. Flash your cellphone. Say, “I’ve tried to sort this out nicely with you, but next time I see you trespassing in my yard, I will call the police. And if you don’t stop dumping snow in my yard, I will call the police right now.”

I would try to kill ‘em with kindness first, but if that doesn’t work, bare your teeth.

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Just Laura February 10, 2011 at 11:12 am

o-gal,
When we dumped in yards (and while we kept ours in our yard, our neighbors with a very small “garden” for a yard used ours), it was only snow. Rock salt was used for melting ice. Snow was shoveled. There were no twigs or dirt in our asphalt driveway, and who cares if there was dirt? Dirt also goes in yards. We had trees, so there were also twigs in the yards.
If the OP and her neighbors have a nice-sized yards, I completely understand the complaint. However, in Union County, NJ, there just wasn’t room to be picky. And have you seen the size of yards in Greenwich Village, NYC? Snow (and God-knows what else) gets piled several feet high in them. I’m not saying the OP is a bad person; rather, that in this particular instance one could be more accommodating.

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Kitty Lizard February 10, 2011 at 11:14 am

You’re lucky in that your neighbor kids are just rude, not crazy. I live in the Florida Keys – the home of the psycho neighbor. It is a rule here that everyone must have at least ONE crazy neighbor. We bought a house on the ocean – beautiful place in every way – except that the house across the street looked like the city dump. The realtor assured us that it was because the dock was under construction. The dock stayed under construction for the next three years. The weeds were three feet tall. The other neighbors and I filed over 90 code compliance complaints. The psycho husband and wife finally cleaned up their act – and the house, but it took close to four years and an incredible amount of unpleasantness. I’d gladly trade some snow for what we had to put up with. And we were lucky. A friend of ours had a neighbor who poisoned her dogs. Count your blessings.
Kitty.

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The Elf February 10, 2011 at 11:15 am

This depends on the configuration of the neighborhood. In my old (East Coast) neighborhood, it was all townhomes. When you shoveled your walk, you shoveled the snow into your own yard. But when you shoveled out your parking space, you shoveled it into the nearest yard. For instance, we had two parking spaces. One was across the street from us, and one was across the street and down a block of houses. Why on earth would I carry shovelfuls of snow down and across the street to dump it in my yard?

In our new (East Coast) neighborhood, we all have single family homes with driveways. You shovel out your own driveway, dumping it into your own yard. However, we never get a snowplow until days after. So the younger residents (most of the neighborhood is elderly) get out there and shovel the entire street. When you are shoveling the street, you shovel to the nearest yard from where you picked up the shovelful. That might be my yard, that might be the yard across the street from me. It’s all about what is nearest.

My guess is that since you’re being “slammed” you are having unusual amounts of snowfall. Then, all bets are off. Gotta clear the street, driveways, sidewalks, and everybody’s yard is going to get mounds of dirty snow. It’s just the way it is. Don’t be the crabby neighbor.

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The Elf February 10, 2011 at 11:17 am

With the additional information about the flooding, I’d talk to the family and specifically mention the flooding. I bet if they knew the full story they’d walk the extra couple of steps.

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Shayna February 10, 2011 at 11:17 am

I hear you on the flooding basement thing. While I didn’t have it happen to me, I know lots of people who did and it is a very expensive and time-consuming mess to clean up. You need to go back to their father and explain this again. If it doesn’t stop, a phone call to the police is in order. Take pictures of the pile of snow and pictures of them dumping it into your yard. And make sure they’re time- and date-stamped. That way you have some proof of who is doing it. How rude of them to simply dismiss your concerns like that.

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Maryann February 10, 2011 at 11:19 am

@OP: I’ve lived in San Diego all my life and never dealt with snow problems, not even once, and I figured out that you didn’t want the excess snow in your yard because it would block your view of traffic (especially problematic if you need to back out of your driveway.) I don’t understand why that was questioned.

@mmaire: At first this confused me, too. But I thought about it. The street is already plowed, presumably. If it’s a narrow street, that could make it easier to walk across than having to walk down the driveway and to a convenient place in the snowy yard to dump the snow.

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Katy February 10, 2011 at 11:30 am

Just because the OP’s house is more “convenient” to dump snow (although I too am failing to see how walking across the street with a shovel full of snow is easier) dumping anything on your neighbor’s property without permission is rude and probably illegal in most cities/suburbs/towns. There is no excuse, whether or not you all are under 40 inches of snow and it has to go somehere. Yes, it will melt eventually but as it poses a traffic hazard and potential flooding to the basement then besides being rude it poses a real threat. I would hate to live next to any of the commentors on this site who think the OP should just suck it up and stop complaining. Imagine if it were the middle of the summer, you are landscaping your front yard and have a dug up a lot of dirt. Do you just dump it in your neighbor’s yard because you need it out of your way?

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Kaypeep February 10, 2011 at 11:38 am

I don’t understand why you won’t go speak to the adults in the household and request that they stop putting the snow on your property. Can you explain why you haven’t done that? Your concerns about safety with the car are quite valid, as is the concern about too much snow saturating your lawn, which will cause basement flooding when the spring rain comes. (FWIW, this has been mentioned on the news that homeowners should be concerned about this.) Just go to them and ask them to please stop dumping their snow on your property. It’s creating a safety hazard and a potential flood hazard. If they do it again, go out and stop them. If they don’t stop, call the police. Film them if you have to. I’d rather have an irate neighor than risk my safety or deal with a flooded basement.

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Dorothy February 10, 2011 at 11:42 am

To those who don’t understand the problem with dumping snow in someone else’s yard: it makes it VERY hard to pull out of your driveway when the snow piles on either side are higher than your car. In this case it is putting the OP in danger of causing an accident (especially on slippery, snow covered roads!). I would go over to the neighbor’s house and talk to them again about this issue (Maybe they didn’t take you too seriously the first time since you didn’t say anything when they went back to using your property as a dumping ground?). If that doesn’t work, I would check to see if there is any legal recourse (calling the cops once or twice might do the trick, but I would recommend you talk to the neighbors first, otherwise you really WILL be the crabby new neighbor!!). As tempting as shoveling the snow back into their driveway sounds, I can only imagine that would not end well on either side. Good luck!!

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Ashley February 10, 2011 at 11:44 am

I would be half tempted to buy a snowblower and give it all back to them! Makes no sense…walk two steps and put it in the yard, or walk…idk, MORE than five steps to dump it in someone elses…weird.

In all seriousness though, it IS a safety hazard. A similar situation happened outside my office recently. I’m in the midwest and we got HAMMERED with snow recently. The driveway to my office is already insanely close to an on ramp, but now you can hardly see out into traffic when you are trying to leave, because the plows pushed the snow off the road onto the curb, and then whoever does the sidewalks added to the pile on the curb, rather than putting it on the lawn of the office where there was much more space. So now rather than being able to see traffic, we all have to inch SUPER slowly into traffic, and pray that people getting onto the freeway see us. I called the city and explained the situation. They didn’t seem to care. I’m going to have to go out with a shovel soon and knock some of it down.

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TheOtherAmber February 10, 2011 at 12:01 pm

Dumping snow in someone else’s yard is likely illegal, and as has been mentioned it’s not only a safety hazard but a flood hazard.

Go over and have a talk with the parents and remind them that they do not have permission to dump snow in your yard and you would like them to stop doing it immediately. Tell them that you don’t mean to be difficult about it but not only is it dangerous for traffic but the extra snow is likely to cause a flooding problem with your basement. And let them know, as nicely as possible, that if the behaviour continues then you will have no choice but to see what legal remedies are available to not only stop them from doing it but also compensate you for any damages to your basement as a result of the flooding caused by the additional snow. Explain that if an accident occurs because of the snow blocking the view then you could legally be held liable, and you simply cannot accept the either the legal or financial resposibility for consequences of them dumping snow in your yard.

For those who live in areas where you don’t have to dea with snow at all or often, yes this is a real problem. Many accidents are caused by snowbanks obstructing views of oncoming traffic. And basement flooding can be a very serious and costly problem, one that many insurance companies here won’t cover anymore.

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Xtina February 10, 2011 at 12:03 pm

Another alternative is to tell them yes, they can continue to dump snow in your yard, but there will be a fee to do so. :-)

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Just Laura February 10, 2011 at 12:12 pm

I want to add:
I just did some quick legal research, and not all places have anything on the books for illegal snow dumping, outside of dumping snow in streets, other paths of egress, and natural waterways. However, I did find a town in Indiana that charged someone with “criminal trespass” for plowing snow on to his neighbor’s property that had “no trespassing” signs posted.
So if the OP’s municipality/county has a law akin to this, I stand corrected.

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Calliope February 10, 2011 at 12:21 pm

I think lkb has the best idea. Take a plate of cookies over and speak with the parents. These are your neighbors, after all. I’d imagine you’d rather be on civil terms with them than be known as “the crabby neighbor” or “that neighbor who calls the cops at the drop of a hat.” The kids sound less than delightful, but there’s a good chance the father doesn’t know their method of snow dumping bothers you. Talk to him and be friendly. And, fingers crossed, the “kids,” like most people in their twenties, will be moving out soon.

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Kelly February 10, 2011 at 1:00 pm

I’m appalled at the couple of people here who think this is no big deal. Maybe they have never had a flooded basement or can always see oncoming traffic when they back out of their driveways. I really can’t see any excuse to dump anything from your yard onto your neighbor’s yard. Period.
And I agree with the poster who mentioned that it’s not always just snow. Our house sits on a corner lot with the main road. All winter as the plow comes around the corner we get all the salt/sand/leaves/garbage from the main road on the perimeter of our lawn. It takes a big clean up job in the spring to get all the garbage picked up and then most of the summer to get the grass to come back.
OP, since you have aleady asked them not to do it, I’d say to call your city and see what your options are.

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Michelle P February 10, 2011 at 1:08 pm

As someone who has needed to depend on her neighbors in times of trouble, I would not suggest going to the police, and certainly not “shun” them as one poster has suggested. I would go over with the plate of cookies like one poster suggested, introduce yourself, and politely bring up the problem, citing the safety issues. It may be that the parents don’t realize how often the “kids” are doing it. I would tell them once. If it continues, then you call in authorities.

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Baku-chan February 10, 2011 at 2:00 pm

If you have a snow-blower, blow it back. Preferably into their driveway!

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K. February 10, 2011 at 2:04 pm

I would definitely start by talking with the home owners instead of going straight to the authorities (although I would also research my options in case I needed to pursue other alternatives). I would not, however, take cookies or any other sort of gift with me. That sends a very mixed signal. You are not making a friendly house call; you are coming to address a very specific problem.

As I see it, the time to take the cookies is *after* they have stopped trespassing. First you establish boundaries and then you extend your hand.

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