Author Topic: A friend's Jerk neighbor induced dilemma  (Read 4414 times)

Offline SYCABO

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A friend's Jerk neighbor induced dilemma
« on: July 15, 2014, 08:23:25 PM »
Hello, I hope this is an acceptable use of my 1st non-introduction post...  I have a coworker and friend that is a gardener, loves growing things.  She grows a few of her own vegetables and just about all of her own herbs like parsley, rosemary, etc., but she sticks to a very traditional style for the most part with the things she grows, with a lot of ornamental flowers.  She's a very non-confrontational person and just wants to mind her own business and let others mind their's.  Unfortunately, she lives in a nice, fairly typical suburban lot, and has one neighbor with no intentions to do the same.

The dilemma is as such... This neighbor is to her East and is either absolutely unwilling to fix his errors in anyway, or did it on purpose...  After planting a new type of grass in his back and front yards, he installed a new sprinkler system.  Two of the sprayers are shooting pretty much directly over the privacy fence and are drenching her 4x8 raised bed, multiple times a day.  There is so much water going in such a small amount of time that much of the damage was done very rapidly, and by the time she figured out what was causing it, the plants were already in really bad shape. This is also with the summer temps here, which've been in the 90s, and hitting 100 a couple times in the last week, and with a pretty high and intense sun.  The spray is hitting the plants in full sun for extended periods of time.  It's just a bad situation, and picking up and moving a 4x8 raised bed that's been going for almost a decade is pretty much out of the question.

She talked to the guy, and he was not only unwilling to see her point of view, he smarted off and threatened to shift things around in ways to make it worse if she came around harassing him again.  When she tried to explain how important the plants were to her, he added insult and told her to get a new life, basically.  Made me want to go dump a bag of salt in his beautiful little lawn at 3 am right before a good rainstorm...

I'm going to try to attach a diagram I threw together and am curious what ideas the experts here can come up with that might help her out.  I'm hoping to use this situation as a means of persuading her to try some form of companion planting, or more permaculture based ideas, just get her thinking outside of the box overall. 

Basically, my thought is she could set up a canopy/arbor over the bed, with a slight backwards slope, redirecting the water back toward the fence, and running rain chains out from multiple angles to spread the extra water across the area between the bed and the fence, about a 5-6 foot walking space.

Her priority, next to saving the plants is to keep her backyard beautiful.  I'd like to see her find a new type of fruit or berry vine to incorporate into the arbor and find a way to really take advantage of the free water and turn it into an asset.

Offline cheryl1

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Re: A friend's Jerk neighbor induced dilemma
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2014, 10:41:43 PM »
Set up the canopy to drain into a rain barrel and then send him a thank you card for all the free water

Offline Cedar

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Re: A friend's Jerk neighbor induced dilemma
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2014, 10:55:52 PM »
Quick fix besides the tent..
Scarlet runner beans planted really thick.
I like the water barrel idea of Cheryls

Cedar

Offline MIZZOU_RAH

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Re: A friend's Jerk neighbor induced dilemma
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2014, 08:09:56 AM »
This neighbor sounds like a really see-you-next-Tuesday. My first thought was to plant a row of Jerusalem Artichokes or sunflowers along the fence to "block" the water. I know my artichokes have grown like crazy with zero maintenance and regardless of how much or little water they get. If the neighbor is to the east, this might block some of her sun though. Does the neighbor have anyone else living with him or who comes around like a wife or a grown son or daughter your friend could appeal to? Maybe try killing him with kindness? A few homemade dishes with fresh garden produce might make him see the light.

Offline busymomx3

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Re: A friend's Jerk neighbor induced dilemma
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2014, 08:17:36 AM »
Wow all great ideas.  I love the rain barrel idea and since she is a more natural gardener that might appeal to her as well.  I'm sorry your friend has a crappy neighbor.  Hope she finds something that works to keep her garden going strong.  Welcome to the board :)

Online Morning Sunshine

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Offline ericksonrs

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Re: A friend's Jerk neighbor induced dilemma
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2014, 10:07:45 AM »
I'm pretty sure its illegal for water to 'runoff' or spray off in this case to your neighbor and cause damage.  Maybe after civil discussion leads to nowhere a discussion with local authorities?

Offline The Professor

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Re: A friend's Jerk neighbor induced dilemma
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2014, 10:50:21 AM »
Two things, here:

1.  Cheryl1's idea is both brilliant and witchy.  Me likey. Definitely a +1.

2.  Dude's attitude needs re-adjusted.  If you don't do it now over this thing, it's going to get worse.  So, start documenting.  Take pictures and video. Write down the times he was spoken with.  If your friend has actual damages, tally those into cost for replacement (include basic labor costs, even if she's going to do it herself). First, speak with local authorities.  See if there are any other violations that Studmuffin is making.  Second, get a lawyer with the intention of taking this guy to court, even if it's only small claims.

Expect to win, but he won't pay.  That's fine, she's in no different position than she was at the beginning.

Have the lawyer file a lien against his prettiest truck/car.  NOT THE HOUSE.  Some states won't let you do this, but try, anyway.  Chances are he'll try to sell/trade his car in before his house.  He'll have to clear the title of the car before he can do so, which means he'll have to pay your friend.

Now, this may be a bit confrontational for many people. But this guy's being a *ick.  Treat him like you would a bully.  Remember, that if she doesn't stand up to him early on, it's going to get worse.

The Professor

Offline cheryl1

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Re: A friend's Jerk neighbor induced dilemma
« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2014, 10:05:22 PM »
Haha! Thanks.

Offline NWBowhunter

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Re: A friend's Jerk neighbor induced dilemma
« Reply #9 on: July 23, 2014, 06:42:56 AM »
Gotta love the neighbors. :P I agree with a tarp to redirect the water. 2x2's nailed to the fence and high enough to catch all that free water.

Offline Fixit

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Re: A friend's Jerk neighbor induced dilemma
« Reply #10 on: July 23, 2014, 08:15:59 AM »
Now my first thought  was i really  need some dandelions in a raised bed that i can let go to seed. those Jerusalem artichokes are fairly invasive also. All of that iis just my mean side.what i would probale want to do is send the water back in a concentrated form . So i would erect a catch canopy as large as i needed and pipe it to a single line with the end at the property line a few feet of the ground. Its on my side of the line and he better not touch it as there will be video set up but when he waters it is going to put the water all in one spot killing grass and cutting a ditch in his lawn.
 All he has to do is not spray water on me and he has no problem.

Offline SYCABO

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Re: A friend's Jerk neighbor induced dilemma
« Reply #11 on: July 23, 2014, 07:31:44 PM »
Hey Guys, I'm sorry for taking so long to get back on.  There are a lot of great ideas here!

I have to say, I don't believe she will go for the more... witchy... recommendations. lol.  It's almost too bad, because I'm pretty sure the small claims court thing would do the job quick, and the Thank You letter would be icing on the cake.

I've had a VERY busy week, and haven't had a chance to get the recommendations to her, and I haven't even had the presence of mind to get an update on the situation.

I'll come back on with an update of the situation.  I won't get a chance to speak to her again til Friday when I'm back at the desk.

Thanks all!

Offline never_retreat

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Re: A friend's Jerk neighbor induced dilemma
« Reply #12 on: July 23, 2014, 08:20:26 PM »
Sprinkler heads are usually easy to adjust. Or just unscrew to remove them.
The neighbors sprinklers can not spray onto someone else's yard period. Just call the building department. Won't be that hard.
I had to call the town on a house missing gutters. Water was pouring off the roof onto the side of the garage. I spoke with the owner, who turned out to only be a tenant. She claimed to be telling the landlord. One call to the town and it was fixed the next week.
And what was funny I offered to fix it, being that the person living there was in her 80's. She would not let me do it.

Offline bcksknr

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Re: A friend's Jerk neighbor induced dilemma
« Reply #13 on: July 24, 2014, 08:34:04 PM »
     My neighbors driveway was pitched in such a way as to drain into my backyard. Being a gravel drive, my yard filled with stone after a heavy rain. In a nice way I informed her that the law prohibited damaging another's property by changing the flow of a water course. She replied that she believed in the law of gravity and since her driveway was higher than my backyard, I should go F___ myself. A letter from my lawyer explaining the legalities of the situation and that not only did she have to redirect the runoff (basically regrade the driveway), but she would also be billed for cleaning up the gravel in my yard (if she didn't want to shovel it herself) did the job. Note that this cast me $150.00 for the lawyer's time, but it was worth every penny. I never had any trouble from her again.

Offline SYCABO

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Re: A friend's Jerk neighbor induced dilemma
« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2014, 09:01:48 PM »
I will have to look into the water-flow laws and Sprinkler (building department) recommendation some more.

The neighbor has made more comments since, and apparently, there are 2 more issues running parallel with this one.  As for the water situation, the guy adjusted the timing so that the sprinklers go off when she's asleep or working so that she doesn't see it happening anymore, but it still is.  He followed through on that little "threat."  I've seen the pictures, and her tomato plants are TOAST.  Nothing but brown, in just a few weeks, and now that they're dead, all the herbs and annuals are probably going to be taking the hit.

As for the other issues... There is a willow tree that the guy put right against his fence, planted under 2 ft from the property line, that is expanding onto her property and shading out a magnolia, and killed off the stuff she had growing in that corner, because there's no sunlight hitting that area now.  He claimed he would "solve" that issue, and trim the tree, but just isn't.  She's stuck between picking plants that thrive on the shade or hiring someone to do the trimming.

Also, when he built his fence, he put it directly against the property line so that powerwashing and staining his fence on both sides requires he hop the fence into her yard.  After all this junk, he came to her trying to pester her into letting him do it, spraying all that junk all over her yard, while she's still growing food.  It's practically poisoning the food, so she told him to wait til October when she won't be planting anything.

The truly ridiculous thing about it all, she lives in an HOA that uses the membership dues to redecorate the entrance to their area of town and not much else.  I think she needs to just get out of there.

Offline SYCABO

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Re: A friend's Jerk neighbor induced dilemma
« Reply #15 on: July 30, 2014, 09:23:18 PM »
Looks like going through the city will be the way to go.  Her city has their city's codes and ordinances posted and online and it didn't take but about 10-15 minutes for me to find 2 codes that could be used.  One of them is a threat of $750/day in fines.   ;D  Thanks guys!  Even though some of these won't be enacted by her, I may be borrowing a few for my own yard...

If I had anticipated the conversation going in this direction, I would have probably put it in a different forum!