Author Topic: Another neighbourly disagreement - how to proceed?  (Read 10547 times)

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FizzyChip

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Another neighbourly disagreement - how to proceed?
« on: January 03, 2013, 10:47:18 PM »
The current item "Neighborly Courtesy" on the EHell webpage, reminded me of a bit of a sticky situation we're having with our own neighbours at the moment and I wanted to ask for opinions.  The background to the story is a little long and involved – apologies.

BG: My Mother's home is on a well-established street, which was built back in the 1970's.  She's widowed & in her 70's now & lives (previously alone) in what was the home in which I grew up.  The houses themselves are set well back from the road and the general trend is a driveway leading to the house, & a grassed frontage with trees, plants and garden beds.  My Mum's is like this, as is the next door neighbour's & are both owner occupied.  Her neighbour (whom I'll call Kate), is in her early 40's, is rather a dab hand at gardening and as a result her lawn & garden beds are lush (imagine very green & manicured) & she has installed underground reticulation.  My Mother on the other hand has never enjoyed gardening, she pays a local retired man to come in once a month/every six weeks to mow the lawn, keep the weeds down & maintain the plants.  She does not have reticulation, preferring to water by hose and sprinkler, as a result, while her garden could not be described as unkempt, it IS significantly less lush than Kate's.

Also, it's worth noting that the area of frontage (approx 3 yards), closest to the road and extending back towards the house is officially classified as "public land" owned (but not maintained by) the local authority.  As I understand it, this is to accommodate any changing needs in the future (road widening etc), although this area is generally is treated (and maintained) by the occupier as part of the privately owned property & in on the odd occasions when a neighbour has a lot of guests for a party, it is established etiquette to ask your neighbours if it’s ok for guests to park on “their” area of public frontage.  End BG.

Now, when I returned from living overseas after some years, my Mother was kind enough to open her home again to me for a period to get myself re-established.  I noticed fairly early on, that Kate did not utilise her own areas of driveway, garage or land to park her car.  She did not even park in the street in front of her home; instead, she was parking on the grassed "public" area of my Mum's front yard.  I asked my Mother about it and ascertained that for the previous several years (since the reticulation had been installed), Kate had been doing this.  Neither she nor my Mother had ever discussed it, Kate just simply seemed to prefer parking there & as a result the grassed area had become flattened and discoloured.  My Mother admitted to me that she disliked Kate parking there as it felt intrusive as she did it so regularly, but that as a shy, older person living alone, she felt too intimidated to broach the subject.

You know what happens next right?  The next time I saw Kate parking her car on my Mother’s lawn, I approached her.  I greeted her in a friendly manner as we are aquainted.  After some small talk, I asked her why she parked on the lawn in front of my Mother’s house, Kate immediately became defensive and responded that as it was public land & she could park there if she wanted.  I (ever the peacemaker), told her that I knew that, but suggested as the area was becoming worn, perhaps she could park elsewhere. 

Well, that was it, Kate reiterated that she could “park there if she bloody well pleased” and promptly stalked off.  Ever since then, Kate has not spoken to either my Mum or I and seems to be making a point of parking in “our” yard daily.  Question is, what to do and how to deal with this from here.  Any suggestions?

EDIT: I don't currently have a car car to park there myself and my Mother prefers to heep her own car securely in the garage. 
« Last Edit: January 03, 2013, 10:59:54 PM by FizzyChip »

katycoo

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Re: Another neighbourly disagreement - how to proceed?
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2013, 11:03:03 PM »
Its go to the public authrity to enquire about the ability to park on the land.  if she's allowed, there's not much you can do.

WillyNilly

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Re: Another neighbourly disagreement - how to proceed?
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2013, 11:06:45 PM »
If she really is legally allowed to park there, the only thing you can do to prevent it is to get your own car and park there preemptively. 

JenJay

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Re: Another neighbourly disagreement - how to proceed?
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2013, 11:07:47 PM »
She'd rather park in her neighbor's yard than her own driveway? That makes no sense to me. Doesn't it mean she has a longer walk to get into her home? Isn't it muddy when it rains?

As for what to do, hmmm. I suppose inviting all my friends to come park on her lawn would be retaliatory rudeness, eh? I'd probably decide to start putting out the sprinkler a lot more often.  >:D

gramma dishes

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Re: Another neighbourly disagreement - how to proceed?
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2013, 11:10:47 PM »
Its go to the public authrity to enquire about the ability to park on the land.  if she's allowed, there's not much you can do.

That's what I would do too.  I'd call the local authority and ask.

If she really is correct and she can park there legally there isn't much you or your Mother can do about it.  But I think it would be odd indeed if that's actually the law, since the homeowner is expected to care for that little strip of property.

wheeitsme

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Re: Another neighbourly disagreement - how to proceed?
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2013, 11:26:44 PM »
She'd rather park in her neighbor's yard than her own driveway? That makes no sense to me. Doesn't it mean she has a longer walk to get into her home? Isn't it muddy when it rains?

As for what to do, hmmm. I suppose inviting all my friends to come park on her lawn would be retaliatory rudeness, eh? I'd probably decide to start putting out the sprinkler a lot more often.  >:D

Is there a way to set up some above ground sprinklers like these?  That way it's easier to take care of the grass, and it might help keep her off.  Especially if you put them on a timer...

http://www.whateverworks.com/itemdy00.aspx?T1=K9201&srccode=NXCKC6&utm_source=google&utm_medium=comparison&utm_campaign=datafeed&gclid=CJvBorjtzbQCFSmCQgodtiQA_Q

FizzyChip

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Re: Another neighbourly disagreement - how to proceed?
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2013, 12:23:59 AM »
Hi, thanks for your replies.  and Yes, I agree it's a bit odd her not parking on her own property when she has ample room both on her own driveway and lawn.  It is a longer walk for her, but as for the muddy arguement, we're in Australia and to be honest we don't get a lot of rain to turn it into mud.  I am only guessing that she does not want to wear her own lawn or risk her reticulation by parking in her own front yard, she's never actually answered my question as to "why?".

I have called the local authoirities and yes, there is little legal recourse we can take, it is public property, even if her reasoning is off and our request has turned into a vendetta!

I do like the suggestion of the strategically placed splrinklers though and I never thought of that.  Perhaps we should try planting a tree too.  Will let you know how we go!

Shoo

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Re: Another neighbourly disagreement - how to proceed?
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2013, 12:28:01 AM »
I would plant as many trees as the space will hold.  But choose trees that don't get too big!

And I'd consider motion-sensor sprinklers too!   :P

JenJay

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Re: Another neighbourly disagreement - how to proceed?
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2013, 12:39:47 AM »
I was telling DH about this and he said he'd find out if we could put in raised flower beds. I like the trees, too, except I wonder if the city could charge you for their removal if they ever need to widen the road. At least beds would be easier & cheaper to take out if you had to.  :-\

JadeAngel

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Re: Another neighbourly disagreement - how to proceed?
« Reply #9 on: January 04, 2013, 12:47:14 AM »
Hi, thanks for your replies.  and Yes, I agree it's a bit odd her not parking on her own property when she has ample room both on her own driveway and lawn.  It is a longer walk for her, but as for the muddy arguement, we're in Australia and to be honest we don't get a lot of rain to turn it into mud.  I am only guessing that she does not want to wear her own lawn or risk her reticulation by parking in her own front yard, she's never actually answered my question as to "why?".

I would say this is why, if she is garden proud she would not want to risk killing her lawn or tearing up her sprinklers by parking on her own garden so she parks on yours.

Plant a tree but make sure she knows you're doing it otherwise if she pulls onto the lawn and hits it she could claim that you are liable for damage to her car. Best to make it a native/local tree as well, most councils prefer them to imports.

Iris

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Re: Another neighbourly disagreement - how to proceed?
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2013, 12:51:42 AM »
Just wondering - are there gutters on your street? To give a bit of perspective to other ehellions, I am also Australian and this is a common set up - it's very unusual in Australia for private land to extend all the way to the roadway, especially in suburban areas. I have never, ever known someone to park on the public street frontage in front of another person's house except (as pointed out) with express permission for a special occassion and in an area without guttering. I honestly find it bizarre that someone is doing that.

As to moving forward, I would check the local council laws first, and also check with the RTA (or equivalent body in another state). If Kate is blocking pedestrian access while parking she may very well be breaking a law. Secondly I would think about planting a tree, or roses, or another 'scratchy' sort of a plant. Thirdly I would give Kate a wide, wide berth from now on. She obviously has no regard for common courtesies.

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sparksals

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Re: Another neighbourly disagreement - how to proceed?
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2013, 01:00:38 AM »
How about parking your car on her frontage?

FizzyChip

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Re: Another neighbourly disagreement - how to proceed?
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2013, 01:12:32 AM »
At Iris - yes we have gutters.  We have the house in the middle of the property, then garden, then lawn which extends to the curb (& gutters) and then the street.  She drives onto our drive way, then onto the lawn, parks her car and walks to her house  :-\  pretty much every day now.

At Sparksals - I do not want to stoop to her level and start a tit for tat war (as tempting as it is  >:D)

I guess I could try something like this: http://www.news.com.au/national/humourous-picture-of-melbourne-parking-dispute-goes-viral/story-fndo4cq1-1226547568069

But I think the sprinlers and a native tree are the best way to go for now.  Thank goodness it's Friday, I'll go to the nursery first thing tomorrow morning!
« Last Edit: January 04, 2013, 01:14:26 AM by FizzyChip »

Lindee

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Re: Another neighbourly disagreement - how to proceed?
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2013, 01:31:31 AM »
Don't forget to pick up a nice sturdy, preferably concrete, tree ring and some stakes and protective windbreak material to make sure your tree is very visible.

FizzyChip

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Re: Another neighbourly disagreement - how to proceed?
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2013, 01:32:24 AM »
Don't forget to pick up a nice sturdy, preferably concrete, tree ring and some stakes and protective windbreak material to make sure your tree is very visible.

definately  :D