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Neighbor issue - wisdom appreciated!
Old 08-04-2007, 01:03 PM   #1
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Neighbor issue - wisdom appreciated!

Hi all,

As background, I live in a subdivision with an HOA. We have a limited allocation of irrigation water for the entire year that is shared among everyone. We also have a watering schedule because if too many people water at once the irrigation pump shuts down.

This morning I go out to my mailbox and find a typed, unsigned note from a neighbor complaining of my lawn watering practices, asserting that I am wasting water, and accusing me of not watering during my appointed time.

I was unknowingly watering too much, so I corrected that. I think I was watering during my appointed times, but I'm checking with the HOA officers to verify my understanding of the rules.

But I now have an anonymous neighbor who is both manifestly upset with me but also not willing or able to open a two-way dialog. There are probably 60 homes in my subdivision and now I am in an awkward position of wondering which of them it is who is upset with me.

Advice?

2Cor521
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Old 08-04-2007, 01:09 PM   #2
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write an letter of appology and slip it in everyone's mailbox; add the HOA rules for watering in case others don't know
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Old 08-04-2007, 02:07 PM   #3
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Was the tone of the note a rant or just reminding you of the rule?

Nevertheless... I would just make adjustments and forget it. It was an honest mistake.

You can bet the person that wrote the note is watching... they will know you made adjustments.

If you are in social situations with neighbors, you can describe what occurred with the comment explaining you were unaware. The word will get around.

I would not worry myself further about the issue. If the person that wrote the note is not satisfied with your action of making the adjustment to abide by the rule... Scr3w them. They are unreasonable.
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Old 08-04-2007, 04:35 PM   #4
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dex,

Good idea.

chinaco,

A combo of a rant and reminding me of the rule. Excessively angry in tone, I would say, but I know people get bent out of shape about all sorts of things.

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Old 08-04-2007, 06:14 PM   #5
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2Cor, I think I'd just let it go if I were you. They pointed out a problem, you're fixing it to the good of all your neighbors. You can't let people who leave anonymous notes get to you -- way too much power for them with no recourse for you.

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Old 08-04-2007, 07:14 PM   #6
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Hmm, I'd put up a 3'x3' photo on the lawn of my right hand, middle finger extended and stop caring about it.

But thats me.
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Old 08-04-2007, 10:40 PM   #7
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A close friend of mine, who used to be mayor of our city, told me one day years ago how he handled the anonymous notes and letters he received complaining about stuff. He said "See this letter? There's no return address, and it's not signed. So I take it....Wad it up......And toss it in the round file! Problem resolved! If a person doesn't have time to sign their letter, I refuse to take the time to read it."

I used that formula for years. When I was still w*rking, when we'd get an unsigned note or letter complaining about something, I just dropped it in the trash. If there was a message on the answering without the persons name or contact info...I just hit the 'delete' button.

So if they don't have the guts or courtesy to sign their name.....Screw 'em! Don't let their BS cause you concern. They'll get over it....and if they don't....Who Cares!!! It's their problem!!!
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Old 08-05-2007, 12:10 AM   #8
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Let it go... move on with life .... you addressed it as a good neighbor should. No further angst or action is necessary. Life is too short to live it for the pleasure and benefit of others. I am getting very selfish in my old age and retirement years. If I were a more vocal aggressive person that took these types of things personally, I would also add 'sc*ew em'... but I have actually got to the point that I don't care what others think.
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Old 08-05-2007, 11:18 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goonie View Post
...I used that formula for years. When I was still w*rking, when we'd get an unsigned note or letter complaining about something, I just dropped it in the trash. If there was a message on the answering without the persons name or contact info...I just hit the 'delete' button.
I also used a similar approach with letters and emails when I was CEO. If they were not addressed to me, I did not even read them. It would be like overhearing the neighbors conversation in their backyard. Total waste of time.

If they were addressed to me I always took the time to read them but I only responded if it was an issue relevant to my domain. Eventually the originator might come and talk to me about it and I would ask what they had done about it. If the answer was Nothing, I would comment that they must not have considered it urgent.

It did wonders to reduce the low priority busy work.

I agree that the picture of the finger might work best for the self-appointed lawn-watering police.
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Old 08-05-2007, 12:23 PM   #10
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Yeah, I'm now thinking about letting it go. I did hear back from the HOA and discovered that they had changed the watering schedule (third one this year) but I had not received noticed of the change. The second schedule had my time as 7-8:30 a.m, new schedule is noon-2pm Tues,Th, Sat, so quite a difference. So I'm just going to change my schedule to the new schedule and set my sprinklers for the recommended times by the HOA guy and a local landscaping company.

I'm going to skip any sort of response to the unnamed neighbor. The replies to this thread between my last reply and this one pretty much sum up why. Plus I'm too busy to make a sign.

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Old 08-06-2007, 10:10 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by cute fuzzy bunny View Post
Hmm, I'd put up a 3'x3' photo on the lawn of my right hand, middle finger extended and stop caring about it.
But thats me.
And how many of those do you currently have up in your tony neighborhood??
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Old 08-06-2007, 10:19 AM   #12
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Nobody's bothered me here yet.

The way i'm figuring this is the complainer is either not interested in me as a neighbor, but thats not stopping them from anonymously complaining, or they've written me off as an unreasonable person. Either way, their action deserves that response

Now, the last time I did have a big problem with a neighbor I approached them directly and unfortunately, they were in fact unreasonable. It seems they decided that their dog barking 24 hours a day and digging holes under the fence and chasing people was an acceptable behavior.

So I called the police at 2am and told them that I heard gun shots and screams from next door.

That made for a couple of hours of good entertainment.

But I've mellowed. Now its just "heres your sign".
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Old 08-06-2007, 04:04 PM   #13
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The second schedule had my time as 7-8:30 a.m, new schedule is noon-2pm Tues,Th, Sat, so quite a difference.
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Watering in the heat of the day... :confused:
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Old 08-06-2007, 05:28 PM   #14
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Watering in the heat of the day... :confused:
Yeah, I know, but with the water schedule Nazis around I'll just do as the All Powerful HOA declares. I just hope they tell me next time the schedule changes.

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Old 08-06-2007, 07:24 PM   #15
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If you have an HOA that's trying to control how you water your lawn, methinks there are much bigger problems than the concerns of an anonymous Nosy Nellie.

Dear God. My HOA has some silly rule about dogs over 25 lbs. My dog is 57 lbs. They made a stink. I told them that there was no way my dog could lose 30+ lbs, and that I'd sooner give up my left arm than my dog. If they wanted to make an issue of it, I'd stir up the nastiest, most expensive legal fight they'd ever seen. Haven't heard a word since about my pooch

Life is too short to let neighborhood Nazis try to tell you when to water your lawn, what color the wall can be, or what kind of a dog you can have. Sometimes, the best way to deal with that nonsense is to pack up and move, and let them keep on bossing each other around.
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Old 08-07-2007, 08:02 AM   #16
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If you have an HOA that's trying to control how you water your lawn, methinks there are much bigger problems than the concerns of an anonymous Nosy Nellie.

Dear God. My HOA has some silly rule about dogs over 25 lbs. My dog is 57 lbs. They made a stink. I told them that there was no way my dog could lose 30+ lbs, and that I'd sooner give up my left arm than my dog. If they wanted to make an issue of it, I'd stir up the nastiest, most expensive legal fight they'd ever seen. Haven't heard a word since about my pooch

Life is too short to let neighborhood Nazis try to tell you when to water your lawn, what color the wall can be, or what kind of a dog you can have. Sometimes, the best way to deal with that nonsense is to pack up and move, and let them keep on bossing each other around.
From the original post:
"As background, I live in a subdivision with an HOA. We have a limited allocation of irrigation water for the entire year that is shared among everyone. We also have a watering schedule because if too many people water at once the irrigation pump shuts down."

It doesn't seem like an unreasonable rule to me, but they should've communicated better. And because some people get so bent out of shape when someone confronts them about rules, I can understand why people do it anonymously.
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Old 08-07-2007, 08:41 AM   #17
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I would be interested in hearing about the legal basis for these HOA rules. I suspect it is all voluntary.

The Black Republican: Some rules are made to be broken
Some rules are made to be broken!
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Old 08-07-2007, 08:51 AM   #18
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HOA rules in the US are binding contracts that include allowances for the HOA to fine the homeowner and put liens on their property.

Unless you can get a copy of the HOA rules and/or cc&r's in advance of purchase of a home, but I'm imagining 98% of people dont even see them until they sit down to sign the paperwork for the home well after the purchase is done and days before moving in.
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Old 08-08-2007, 01:50 PM   #19
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HOA rules in the US are binding contracts that include allowances for the HOA to fine the homeowner and put liens on their property.

Unless you can get a copy of the HOA rules and/or cc&r's in advance of purchase of a home, but I'm imagining 98% of people dont even see them until they sit down to sign the paperwork for the home well after the purchase is done and days before moving in.
In my part of the country, they are provided by the listing realtor somewhere along in the process. I think it's on their checklist. I would be one of those weird people who would ask to see them ahead of time anyway.

My HOA is actually the best one I've been in so far. There aren't any Nazi's on the HOA staff as best I can tell, so they handle things in a reasonable way.

As far as the watering goes, my subdivision was most likely farmland which came with a certain amount of water rights. Water rights subordinate to other claims based on the date of claim; from the sounds of it we're on the lower rungs of the totem pole, to use a mixed metaphor. The subdivision developer installed the pressurized irrigation system which consists of one pump for the entire sub which sucks up the irrigation water from an irrigation box somewhere and delivers it to each lot, where it is typically plugged into a sprinkler system.

To kcowan's point, I doubt the watering schedule is part of the HOA rules, but given the current setup, I doubt I would get very far trying to subdivide my "lot 6 block 12" water rights out of everyone else's.

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Old 08-08-2007, 02:09 PM   #20
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This thread has provided me with an insight. You see, I was one of those anonymous note writers. We have a neighbor who has done many weird things. Kept a dog on a leash chained to a ladder in the middle of the back yard, barking 24 hours a day. For that we confronted directly and he got rid of the dog. He never took care of his lawn to the extent that it had mustard plants growing out of it ( closer neighbor took care of that one). But he also had an old car he parked out front that would quite often have it's car alarm go off....and never stop. At the point the alarm at 2 a.m. was sounding slo-mo because the battery was dying I marched out and shoved a note under the wiper blade saying, "Get rid of the car alarm! It's driving everyone crazy!". He got rid of the car.

I wasn't trying to be cowardly about it, I just didn't feel like dealing with him again and figured all he needed to know was on the note. I harbor no ill will towards the guy, I suspect the lawn nazi doesn't either.
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