I have just spent and exciting time reading Stu from Japans long rennovation thread. Now I am up to date I plan to follow it with great interest.
It dawned on me that I derieved a great deal of "comfort" from the knowledge that I was not the only one to have neighbor difficulties.
Given I feel quiet agreeved about the whole neighbor thing i have had with my shop I thought it would do me some good to put my case out here and rant. No I am not seeing a shrink
Well here goes......
When I first moved into this house from South Africa, I promised myself that I was going to do everything in my power to have the most cordial relationship possible with my neighbors. I wanted to leave the past of South Africa and its social issues behind and start afresh. I also had a father who never got on with the neighbors only as a result of how they introduced themselves. He was old school very old school and boy that is another story.
So with a new house and no fences (in South Africa it is not uncommon to have the highest fence possible and then add barbed wire to the top ala staglag hoven 5) it some getting used to living on top of each other. My Northern Neighbor as Stu refers to them, came to Canada 20 years ago from Vitenam. I thought this was really cool and an opportunity to get to know another people from a different part of the planet. Try as I did to get them to mix in at the street functions and social gatherings but nothing doing. The best he would offer was a comment on the weather either good bad or a shrug. Their daughter went to the same Catholic school as out older son so when Xmas time came we took them a few gifts and they reciprocated. All was bliss. We cut the lawn between us and he even played with my younger son when flying kites in the backyard.
Then they approached me about building a fence between us. I said fine I would go along with them but just wanted them to know that the fence had to be done properly and by properly I wanted to see posts go down below the frost line. This is after all Canada and I had seen a number of fences the were heaving as a result of poor building.
Against my own desires I decided in the interests of peace I would allow them to choose the contractor and would go along with paying half of whatever the quote came to if it was half reasonable.
All was fine and we agreed on a guy to build the fence.
The big day came when the fence had to be marked out and boy did they change. They then discovered much to their disappointment exactly where the property line was. I had no hand in this I just left it to the fence guy to be the conveyor of bad news. We had both been given the same survey plans to the property by the builders. The pegs were still in the ground and unfortunately the line was a a lot closer to their home than i think they had thought.
Now to top it all they had ended up planting conifers all along the front border with out property but these were now way over in our property. They had not consulted us as to whether we wanted a hedge of conifers but when my wife realized they were about a foot over in our property she said to the neighbor they would have to move them over since they now have an idea of where the property line was. Bomb no 1.
Then the guy starts to put the post holes in the ground with a tractor and a auger. Out comes all the garbage that the builders use to fill a lot before they skim over with top soil to hide it. Boy did we have building rubble come out of every hole.
Well the evening after this little lot I get home and the neighbor approaches me and says " Rob we dont need the skid anymore, we can save $90 dollars each." I said we need to have the skid to take away the garbage. No he says we just throw it over the fence. Now for those of you that have not seen my shop picture posting, I live on a ravine. Whats more it has been declared a nature conservation area and is part of the famous Oak Ridges Moraine in Ontario Canada. Well I could not control myself and I saw red. Trying to keep cool I told the neighbor (who has been living here 20 years longer than me) the law did not permit this and I would not permit this just to save $90. Yeh...lets all dump our garbage where ever we like and end up living in an even more polluted world.
Well I think Bomb No.2 was me not going along on this and boy you think I was forcing him into bankruptcy.
Then I decided to go ahead with my shop http://familywoodworking.org/forums/...ad.php?t=10987
and the second Vietnam War errupted along with Hanoi Hanna for those who know who she was.
I have had the town building inspectors come down and read me the riot act over starting an industrial area after they approved my plans, I have had the Electrical Safety Authority inspector come out (nice guy I get on well with him) after I put conduits in between the house and the shop to run the electrical cable. I have had the by laws officer come out and check on me (more than once, each time I take something out to the shop) and I have been photographed and had abuse shouted at me when I have visitors sitting on my deck. (deck is at the rear of the house in front of the shop. They have written letters to all my neighbors (which the neighbors gladly called me and gave me) doing a real character assasination.
In the end they have dulled what was a very exciting project and a dream workshop. Now I find myself feeling like a criminal when I go out into my backyard and enter my shop. I get watched as if I was a spy on the North Korean border.
As we understood from them before the drama started they were going to sell up and move to Toronto as soon as the daughter finishes high school. As my calculations go that is by June 09. I hope those plans are still on.
Yes my shop is large but the town approved the plans and I am well within the lot coverage and have all the neccessary setbacks etc.
As far as view is concerned at the back of us there are large numbers of confiers that were replanted after all the moraine was regraded at the end of building. There is a stream in the middle and the conifers have already grown to the point where they are blocking the view. So neither of us has a view that we can complain is being obstructed by my shed.
I am open to any suggestions from all the good folks out there as to how to fix this relationship as it really bugs me.
Thanks for listening ( oops) reading my rant. Go ahead and post yours here or ideas you may have on fixing my problem. I will review all.