4/1/2005, posted by Cskirspan
Hi everyone! My husband and I are having a bit of trouble with our new neighbor and we could really use a fresh perspective.
We live in the country- no really- tractors full of manure drive past our home numerous times a day and we used to (until about a year ago) live next to a dairy farm. What I'm trying to say, is that this is the country. We have a pet goat for goodness sake. I have lived here all my life; it's a wonderful place to raise kids.
The farm that borders our property was sold a year ago and a housing development has been put in there. Which is fine- I believe that my rights end at my property line.
OK, so the houses are now being sold and occupied. The closest is about 500 yds. from the side of our garage. When the family bought that house, DH and I brought them a cake and a bottle of wine that DH had made; that was over a month ago.
Here are the problems- complaints from them- so far:
1. Last weekend, DH tilled our garden on Saturday afternoon. Now we have a large garden (about an acre) and it does take him about 2 hours to do it, but the tiller is no louder than a lawn mower. It has a muffler. Neighbor calls and asks, after about 20 minutes, how much longer DH is going to be out there? I apologized if the noise was bothering her and said we could stop and finish it on Sunday if that would help. She answered, "No, it will help to know when he's going to be finished!" I told her about another 1 1/2 hours and she hung up.- No good bye. OK
2. On Mon, I had the girls (6 and 4)outside on their swing. The neighbors have 2 boys, so we went over and asked if they would like to come and play with us. Neighbor answers, "You're not ALLOWED to have a swing here. You could get fined by the Home Owner's Assoc." I explained that our house was not part of their development and we didn't have any rules like that for our property. (I thought I explained it nicely because maybe she didn't understand) She got very angry and said if she had known that she never would have moved here (?) OK
3. Tues. night, there is an anonymous letter in our mailbox. It's a list of the HOA rules. The ones we are "breaking" are highlighted No swing set. No kids' bikes left in drive way. No grazing animals on property (our goat I guess?). Cars must be kept in garage and garage doors must be closed. (DH leaves his car in the drive way.) Specific space (so many sq. feet) alloted for veg. gardens and so many feet for flower gardens (I have LOTS of flower gardens- practically the entire border of our yard is flowers.) DH and I ignored it, because I thought I had explained to her that we are not part of the development.
4. Wed night we get a call from the president of the HOA asking to set a date for a hearing to discuss some concerns about our property. DH was polite and explained that we don't belong to the HOA. The president asked where we lived and apologized for bothering us.
5. Last night, we had the kids outside playing while DH and I cleaned up a bit. Our neighbor and her husband stood on their porch and watched us- for about an hour and a half.
We have a line of pine trees that run along the property line, as a wind break. (They were planted yrs. before we moved in and are huge) They drop alot of pine cones. We gather them up, let the girls play with them and then use them as fire starters. So we took boxes and were gathering the pine cones from our own side (we never used to gather them from the neighbor's property anyway, because it was a pasture and it didn't bother them) The neighbors both came and stood 5 feet from us, talking loudly about having to keep an eye on neighbors around here.
6. DH volunteers for the local ambulance crew. When he gets a call, he goes to the ambulance garage and drives to the accident. He usually doen't bother to find out where he is headed until he gets to the garage. Well last night around 10 PM, he gets a call and heads out. At the garage, he sees that the address is OUR HOUSE. So he calls here and I answer that there's a policeman here and that there's been a noise complaint. The police say that someone called 911 complaining about hearing screaming and a fight at our house. DH and I had been watching CSI; the kids were all asleep. I was dumb founded, as were the police. They said that they had expected to find a domestic disturbance. They couldn't tell us who called, but said that they would have a word with them about false complaints. When they left, they went next door.
OK, so what's going on with these people? I
Hi everyone! I'm the one who has the new housing development and home owner's association built next door.
OK, after speaking with the pres. of the HOA (which got us nowhere- he basically said that he couldn't do anything unless we wanted to join his HOA- then we could lodge a formal complaint.)
Anyway, yesterday we got a large envelope in the mail (they actually paid for the postage this time- instead of just sticking it in the box.) Inside the envelope, there was no letter- just digital photos of our home, our yard, our car, our garage and our mailbox. On the pictures, someone (whoever could it be?) has written which HOA rule we are breaking. They were nice enough to include another copy of the HOA rules. Need I remind everyone that we are NOT members of the HOA? The envelope also didn't have a return address.
1. Picture of our garage door (Their comments are in the parenthesis- Garage door should NOT be left OPEN)
2. Picture of swingset (This is NOT allowed)
3. Pictures of our flower gardens (These exceed the allowed limits)
4. Pic of our now- tilled veggie garden. (This also exceeds the alloted limit)
5. Pic of our porch-front door (All houses must be marked with house number. All porches must be kept free of debris) On this pic, they drew X's over our flower pots and welcome mat
6. Pic of our mailbox (NOT the correct color and no flower gardens around mailbox)
7. Pic of our car (All vehicles must be kept in garage AT ALL TIMES)
This is the one that really annoys me-
8. Pic of my 3 kids playing in the sandbox I am not in the picture. It appears that they are alone. I know they aren't because I always sit with them and I am not in the picture. It's as if I have been deleted. I know nothing about digital photos, so is this possible? Can you just delete people and things? There is a blurry section and I swear that's right where I sit. Anyway, they wrote "All children must be supervised."
Ok, so now what? You can tell by the angles of the pics that they must have been in our yard taking them. DH is going to talk to his lawyer-friend tonight and ask him what to do. I am really concerned and annoyed with the kids' picture. That one could have been taken from their porch, with a zoom lens. I guess I'm worried that they might try to say I never supervise the kids or something, which is total Bull. DH and I were debating calling the state police again or possibly child social services (about the last pic). What do you think?
Hi everyone! DH and I had a very busy afernoon. He went and visited his lawyer friend, who set up an appt. for us to meet with someone higher up at his office tomorrow at 4. He (the lawyer friend) told us to make color copies of the pictures and take the whole thing to the state police (that's the only police force around here), so that's what I did this afternoon.
The police kept the copies and also asked me to drop off any other weird mail we receive. They did say, though, that there's no proof that our neighbors sent this, what he actually said was, "Well, you and I both know where this letter came from, but proving it would be difficult." He told me to go to the courthouse tomorrow and file a restraining order when it opens tomorrow.
Then I met DH at our local "big giant hardware building store" and we bought 10 ft. high privacy fence to between our home and the neighbor's. DH is taking tomorrow off from work and we're putting it up.
We were out there about an hour ago. First, as Dh's lawyer friend directed, we set up our videocamera in our bedroom window. The camera would be filming the part of the yard where we would be working.
I was digging up and moving my flower bulbs to another section of the yard and DH was marking where we are going to put the fence with string. This drove our lovely neighbors crazy.
They were in their yard, commenting to eachother loudly, about what we were doing and why we were doing it ("What are they doing?!? Is she finally getting rid of the flowers? What's with the string? Isn't that our property?). They were standing less than 2 ft apart and were shouting at each other. DH and I ignored them, didn't say a word. Then they started taking pictures of us, which I ignored, but DH stood up, smiled and waved at each and every picture. What can I say? My husband is a smart yoohoo! Moderators! Ban me now!. It could have been worse, he could have offered them obscene hand gestures and his bare butt, I guess.
Then we unloaded the fencing from the truck and set it on the ground where we're going to put it up tomorrow. They then started with "You can't put up fences!" "Fences are illegal!" "You could get fined for that!" "We bought this land on the condition that it remained fence-free" "We could report you, you know!" Honestly, I felt like I was back in high school.
After we measured and checked to make sure the fence would fit, we locked the pieces in the garage until tomorrow. We don't want anything to happen to it before we get to put it up and I don't trust those people. That fence was expensive.
So tomorrow, visit with different lawyer, put up fence, check on cost of surveilance video camera, burglar alarms.
Thank you everyone for your help and for letting me vent.