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Discussion Starter #1
Why is it that people can't just be normal and nice? Ok..this is likely to be long...

A little background: I grew up in the house I currently own having bought it from my parents when they retired 2.75 yrs ago. It's in an outlying suburb of Minneapolis and I'm on just under an acre. About 4 years ago, a developer came in and built six $500K houses adjoining the back property line of my lot. While this is just progress and it took a little getting used to seeing lights behind the house where there used to be a wetland, this is not the issue.

The drainage of the land was altered in such a way that the back 1/4 of my yard is wet most of the year and LARGE volumes of water flow across it and sit for an extended time now during heavy rains because the natural flow was interrupted by this new construction and landscaping. The city has not exactly been helpful in finding a resolution because on their "priority list", my problem is classified as the lowest, a private nuisance. Basically it comes down to me and my neighbors correcting the problem because the builder is out of business.

Ahhh, the neighbors. Let me tell you about them. While generally "Minnesota nice" on the surface, they seem to have alterior motives for everything. They would like nothing more than to have a little piece of my yard to call their own. I have an area of 160' x 24' of mowed yard behind an old growth tree line that about 20' thick. They seem to think this part of my yard is theirs and even one of them took to mowing part of it because it would become an "eyesore" when I didn't mow it (because of the aforementioned persistant wetness). When I tried to do something about it by planting about 20 Hybrid Willow trees to soak up that wetness, the other neighbor "accidentally" sprayed about 15 of the trees (saplings) with weed killer as they were attending to their lovely rock and flower garden. Another time, the treekillers got a little backyard, stand alone fireplace and subsquently dumped the ashes and unburned wood in my tree line. I discovered that and later in the evening, after a little liquid courage was flowing through me and darkness had decended, scouped up all that crap and neatly and quietly deposited them back into their little fireplace thingy. Nothing ever came back to me on that little escapade...go figure. I can hear it now, "Why did you put all the ashes I dumped in your yard back in my pretty little lawn fireplace?"

Through yet? no. Just yesterday I entertained the idea of putting up a 6' high privacy fence along that property line and had a contractor out to give me a bid/quote. While he was out measuring, the wife of treekiller house, we shall call Mrs. Cravitz, confronted him with a "who are you and what are you doing back here?". To which he replied, "I'm measuring"...to which she replied "for what? a survey?" to which he replied (because he was busy),"Ma'm, I'll be happy to answer any of your questions when I'm through measuring". She then said, "that's ok" and stormed back into her mini-mansion.

About 2 hours later, Mrs Cravitz calls me wondering what the guy was doing back there and if they had done something that has prompted me to have a fence put up. I basically told her that no, they hadn't done anything wrong <snicker> and that I was just entertaining all my options to handle the water problem. If the city doesn't do anything about it, I want to limit my liability of standing water and small kids falling in and getting hurt, or worse, drowning. She didn't like that answer apparently because she replied that it's not a liability because her kids are good swimmers and yadda yadda yadda.

Don't get me wrong, she's ALWAYS been pleasant to me, but she's as see-through as Anna Kornakova in a tissue-paper bra, wet. Ugh..neighbors.
 

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Yep.. a neighbor just moved in behind me.. he has a pet rabbit in the back yard.. so he tells me I need to keep my dog (tea-cup chihuahua) away from MY fence because it's stressing out his rabbit!!! Mind you, this is my yard and my fence.. I told him he should build his own fence on his property line that way he can be 100% positive that my 3 pound chihuahua doesn't stress out is 10 pound rabbit...
 

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this blows. The only good thing I see from this is that the property value most likelly went up ,now that those expensive houses were built next to yours.

The privacy fence sounds good to me. It's your property and you want to seclude yourself from other people. What's up with sharing your backyard with other people?
 

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you should tell her the reason you're building the fence is because the month-long naked drinking festival is about to begin, and your attendees are a bit shy.
 

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Coming from the land of fences (CA), I can't imagine NOT having a fenced yard. Seems to me that a fence isn't a bad idea unless your fence would be the only one around. In any case, establishing your property line now is a good idea so that the neighbors can't lay a claim to part of it by a legal loophole of having used it all these years without your objection.

I would try to convince the city (county?) that the water is a health hazard (breeding ground for disease-carrying insects?) to try to motivate them to take a closer look soon. Sounds like some re-direction of water flow is in order.

Be pleasant to the neighbors, but make sure that your interests are upheld.
 

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See, I would have fun with neighbors like that. I live out in the woods. When we were younger, my brother and I would ride out quad up and down the side of the road (didn't want to disturb the gravel and upset the neighbors). One of them got pissed off and drove stakes in the middle of the tracks to deter us. I proptly ran them down with my Jeep and tossed them over the fence into their pasture.

Is there a proper drainage easement on your neighbor's property that isn't being used? If so, piss them off by telling them that you're going to hire someone to dig a drainage ditch on their property if they don't take care of it first.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
tiepilot1138 said:
you should tell her the reason you're building the fence is because the month-long naked drinking festival is about to begin, and your attendees are a bit shy.

ROFL! My co-worker suggested I tell her that I have recently decided to become a nudist..not far from your suggestion!

There are other things they have done..like shortly after they moved in, I was still in the process of cleaning out 30 years of accumulated "valuables" (junk, really) that my dad had collected over the years and was out of sight behind the garage. Now they could see this stuff and they said that "if I wanted any help in cleaning up my yard, they'd be happy to"

It's as bad as people who move next to an airport or rail yard and then raise holy hell because of the noise. Come on people!!
 

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Why not bring in some dirt and build/seed a burm all the way across your property line to deflect the moisture?

Constructed 18" onto your property line there's not a dang thing they can do about whatever moisture USE to creep into your yard and now puddles in theirs :dunno



You could build one all the way around the back half and have your own mini New Orleans :alky


(Nawlins is like 8ft below the water line of the mississippi ;))
 

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Course 3 said:
There are other things they have done..like shortly after they moved in, I was still in the process of cleaning out 30 years of accumulated "valuables" (junk, really) that my dad had collected over the years and was out of site behind the garage. Now they could see this stuff and they said that "if I wanted any help in cleaning up my yard, they'd be happy to"

Buy a $50 car from a junkyard and place it in the woods...THEY'LL put up the fence then
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Ray,

Definately tried the health hazard route (#1 on the city priority list) to no avail since the water eventually drains after a few days...but it still stays long enough for the Minnesota state bird to hatch (mosquitoes). The city's stand is still that the area has always been designated a wetland. Funny how shocked the new neighbors were when I told them their houses were basically built on a swamp. (one of them had $20K in damage after their sump pump failed during a particularly heavy thunderstorm)

And I definately stay pleasant with all my neighbors and try to be non-confrontational as that usually leads to big pissing contests. If there is a legal issue (annexing my property), then there's gonna be a different side they see of me.

Of course that crosses into WCT's comments about just going ahead and doing something about the drainage myself...not gonna go there. It definately will have to be a neighborhood group effort to change the landscaping to allow the flow again. Not to mention the fact that it would then be ME that has to pay for all the proper permits and crap. I'd certainly rather work with all of them to get the land right and THEN put up a fence to shut them out! hahaha

Oh, did I mention that this issue affects my neighbors to the north and south of me as well since thier yards flood now too? Yup...we're all in this together...stupid city, etc...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
CasterTroy said:
Buy a $50 car from a junkyard and place it in the woods...THEY'LL put up the fence then

Stupid city again....I'd get fined for having an unlicensed, non-running vehicle laying around. (surprised they have't hit me with that one yet) lol


Maybe I should just build a moat..
 

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or just get that kid on your Avatar to spaz out on the lawn everyday! That would drive me to put up a fence
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
BrownRob said:
or just get that kid on your Avatar to spaz out on the lawn everyday! That would drive me to put up a fence

Hmmm...especially if I put a drum set in front of him (or her)!
 

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Another fan of fences. I get along much better with my neighbours after building a fence. There's truth in the saying that good fences make good neighbours
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Man, that would suck! Now if the cat was in YOUR yard, then you can yell at your neighbors for not having a fence! Otherwise, uh oh, that sux!
 

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Course 3 said:
Man, that would suck! Now if the cat was in YOUR yard, then you can yell at your neighbors for not having a fence! Otherwise, uh oh, that sux!

OH i do have a fenced in yard.....that dumb cat somehow got in my yard. i have 3 big dogs. what kinda cat would want to come over and play. :dunno
but yeah im not going to say anything....or should i :dunno
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Hmmm...That's a loaded question. If it's an outside cat, they disappear all the time and you can play ignorant about it. Of course it IS someone's pet and they should know about it. I would think a can or worms will be opened if you tell them how the cat died regardless if it came into your yard or not over/through the fence. Tough spot to be in for sure!....
 

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Two things to try:
1. Add some pink flamingos and a plastic walmart style gazing ball to the middle of your swamp.

If that doesn't get their attention.......
2. Let me bring my Jeep over and 'accidently' get stuck while driving through your yard.

 

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Discussion Starter #20 (Edited)
wct097 said:
Two things to try:
1. Add some pink flamingos and a plastic walmart style gazing ball to the middle of your swamp.

If that doesn't get their attention.......
2. Let me bring my Jeep over and 'accidently' get stuck while driving through your yard.
QUOTE]

Hmm...I like those ideas. Especially the second one! But I think I have that covered....
 

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