Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Tale of the Swale

Another entry in the ongoing saga of The New Neighbors, who shall henceforth be called The Hillbillies.

After three days of meetings and phone calls with county code enforcement, the water engineer, the lawn guys, my BFF (a land-use lawyer), and a developer-friend, I now have all the information needed to tell The Hillbillies to go screw themselves. Long story short: instead of siting and marking the property line before they graded and landscaped, The Hillbillies did it after the fact. Now the property line reveals that they installed their sprinklers and sodded on my side, nor did they provide for drainage on their own lot.

"No, no, no," said the County. "That's not allowed. You must drain your own water."

Strike One.

"No, no, no," said the Water Engineer. "That's not allowed. Your water must drain to the rear of your lot, not to the front, and not on someone else's lot."

Strike Two.

"No, no, no," agreed the lawyers (me and BFF). "They can't install sprinklers on your property. That interferes with your property rights and clouds your title."

Strike Three, Hillbillies. You're O-U-T!!

To cap it all off, Ms. Developer -- a Jersey girl through and through -- exclaimed this morning, "They #$%^-ed up, and they know it. You tell them to fix your lot and grade theirs properly or you'll see them in court." A girl after my own heart. The lawn guys agreed. They took one look at the messed up swale between the two houses and said, "Fix it or your yard will be a swamp."

Newsflash: As I was sitting here typing this post, Mr. Hillbilly came sauntering up my driveway with his son, Tim or Tom or Tad, from his first marriage. He brought my garbage can up to me and rang my doorbell. If I hadn't been sitting here facing the front of my house where he could see me, I would not have answered the door.

Mr. Hillbilly: "Do you have an answer for me?"

Me: "No, sorry, not yet. I just finished speaking with everyone this morning. I'll have to call you tomorrow."

Mr. Hillbilly: "Gee, we'd really like to get going. You know, call the county off."

Me: "I understand your concern, but I need to talk to WineGuy. I won't speak with him until later tonight. I'll call you tomorrow."

Mr. Hillbilly: "OK. Do you have my cell phone number? Here it is."

I wrote down the cell phone number and thought to myself, "Yeah, sucker, I'll call you. When I'm good and ready." Actually, there were a few expletives in there, but I deleted them.



paige said...

Oh how I feel your pain. About six years ago, we bought our (first) dream house. (We're about to move on to our third dream house, but that's another story. Hey, dreams can change.) Anyway, it sat on the top of a hill, on a big (for LA) lot, with a very steep and undeveloped lot below. Oh, thought we. No one will ever build on that lot. It's too steep. Ha. Turns out, if you just carve the hill away, you can build..something. They nearly made our house fall down, broke every code, even tried to cut down two of our trees and build their retaining wall (to hold up the hill that had been carved away) eight feet back into our property. Good Lord. But the city helped us out, and at the end, there was an ugly ass house below us, but thanks to saving our trees from them, we couldn't see it. It was a nightmare...good luck with the 'billies. I'm with you in spirit!

Sock Girl said...

Geeze. Mr. Hillbilly is kind of pushy for someone who #$%^-ed up! Sorry you have to deal with all that.

MLL said...

Are you sure the son's name wasn't "Billy Bob"?? or at least "Tommy Bob"?

Robin said...

Oh my. I feel for you. We have two sets of neighbors we've had to deal with in terms of where the property lines begin and end. I was beginning to think my husband and I were the only people in the universe who 1) had their property surveyed when they bought it and 2) actually walked those property lines so we'd know where they are in order to keep from intruding on others.

"a Jersey girl through and through" Hehehe. You can always count on a Jersey girl, that's for sure. I should know. I'm a Jersey girl. :)

Re your question: I've been experiencing severe sciatica and hip pain. It's been going on for about 2 months now. The x-ray diagnosis was spinal degenerative disease (which I believe is medical speak for "you're getting old"). Physical therapy made matters worse so it's onward and upward to the MRI and probably a specialist but that depends on what the MRI shows.

Rambling Mom said...

Okay -- I get that the Billies should have gotten the property line mapped out before having the work done, but on the other hand, shouldn't the landscaper or the GC have INSISTED on using a plat survey to do the work??

GOOD LUCK!!! I'll be interested in following the continuing "billie" saga.