Monday, January 28, 2008


So you may remember my post about my sketchy neighbor with the criminal history? The one who has, at last count, between 5-8 cars/vans/truck cluttering up their garage, driveway, and curb? Real beater, junky cars - unsightly to say the least. Well, Mr. Chick researched our city's ordinances and found the applicable municipal code pertaining to parked cars. Apparently people within the city limits can't park cars (storage on the street) for more than 72 hours. If convicted it's a $500 fine, per citation. These people park at least one car, pretty much permanently, on the city street.

As do the people directly across from me. You might remember them, too. They're the ones who called the school bus company to complain when Nicholas' kindergarten bus driver would occasionally beep the horn as they stopped at our house. You know, as a courtesy to let me know they were there. A friendly little "beep beep" from time to time as they arrived. And yet, she complained. She also complained about the smoke coming from our chimney when we burned a fire in our fireplace literally smoking them out of their house. Anyway, I'm not a huge fan of hers, but her husband? He's a nice enough guy. However, there are 4 cars and one boat between just the two of them. They keep them in meticulous condition, but the cars they rarely use (a minivan and a pickup truck) are parked permanently in front of their house, directly opposite my driveway. Which means it can be tricky for me to back out of my own driveway for fear that I might hit one of their cars. They keep her car in the garage, so nothing usually gets parked in their driveway so she can have full access to the garage as she comes and goes each day. All they need to do is park their "daily use" cars on the street and the cars they rarely use in the garage/driveway and it's no problem. Less convenient, yes, but not in violation of the city municipal code.

So I blew the whistle and called to complain about all the permanently parked cars on my street. It's a hazard! If/when the kids go out to play, other cars can't always see them because of the parked cars obstructing their view. It makes me very nervous, especially since Nicholas likes to ride his bike. And the sketchy people 2 doors down? Sometimes they have so many cars stacked in their driveway that they extend out into the sidewalk as it crosses their driveway, making it hard for people to walk or kids to ride bikes without going into the street.

The city responded immediately! Like, within an hour the lady I spoke with on the phone was there, issuing warnings on the parked cars. Amazing! And, even better, she told me she checked the tags on the cars stacked in sketchy neighbors driveway and they're all expired. That means they're now "junk" and there is a code violation there as well. The lady is all over it! She's going to hit them with the parked car on the street violation first (and really, where can they put it? Their driveway and garage are already full of cars, and if they don't drive the car regularly it's still a violation. Just moving it to a new parking spot isn't good enough, apparently. She checks mileage. I love this lady.). After the parking issue she's going to warn them about the "junk/debris" violation. Hopefully they'll clean up their act and put the cars into storage somewhere or get rid of them.

But for everything good there has to be a downside, right? In this case it's the neighbors across the street from me. As I said, I like these people. I don't like their cars cluttering the street, true, but I like them. However, when I call to complain about sketchy neighbor, their cars get tagged, too. I can't simply cherry-pick which neighbors to complain about if the violation applies elsewhere.

Nor could I remain anonymous - someone who receives a warning could call and find out who complained. The lady across the street is just the sort to call.

So on Mr. Chick's advice I went over - before the city arrived with their warning notices - to give them a heads-up and let them know that I'd called to complain about sketchy neighbors, not them, but that their cars might get tagged, too - just a heads-up. I didn't want them to think that I'd called to complain about them specifically.

I think I pissed him off.

He let me know that having to rotate the cars and keep the overflow vehicles parked on their driveway instead of the street is a real inconvenience. Blah blah blah. I feel bad, but not bad enough to put up with sketchy neighbor and his car junkyard (aka driveway), and really, he IS in violation. His problem, not mine. But still - I feel bad about him getting warned, too.

I've already let the other neighbors who have expressed concern and dismay about sketchy neighbor and the car situation (and, if I'm being honest, they usually include across the street neighbor when they're discussing all the parked cars on the street and how it sucks.) know who to contact at the city to register a complaint. The more people who call, the more the city will stay on top of it.

I hope they do and we get several other households to be whistleblowers, not just me. I don't like feeling like the resident bitch of the street when I'm not the only one who doesn't like it.

Please don't let any disgruntled neighbor retaliate!

Personally, if there are laws on the books then the neighbors now they are not above the law.

I think you did the right thing.
Post a Comment

<< Home
Free Counters
Hit Counters

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?