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."
"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."
"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.