Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics > Lady Survivors

Dealing with Neighbors

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Greyghost:
Thank you all for your suggestions and advice!

Just for some clarification on some replies: We live in Southern Arizona, we get rain 2x year for the most part. We have what we call in Arizona a small wash. Without getting too technical for those not familiar with the desert, the area surrounding and in our property is known as a bajada. What that means in terms of how water flows across our land is that when we get "a lot" of rain, it sheets across the land instead of percolating down, creating several drainage and wash systems. The largest wash on our property, which is the one in question, has a channel cut of about 3.5ft at its deepest, but tapers down dramatically as it reaches the fence. When it rains, that little wash really flows and picks up all kinds of sticks and debris. We know this and regularly clear the debris from the line because we don't want that hotwire shorting out. So it bugs us that he feels the need to touch our fence.

In addition, our fence is actually backset about 18" from the property line, so technically, he has to cross onto our property to tamper with our property, its NOT a shared fence.

The Sheriff told us that they could not do anything unless they caught him, or we had video. So, up went the trail cams yesterday. If there is another issue, we will have it on tape.

I agree--I HATE barking dogs. I can hear other neighbors dogs throughout the day. And that's what i'm really concerned about since they gave  him a log book, I'm walking on egg shells. I'm totally wiling to exclude the dogs from the back half 90% of the time, or as much as possible. We do have a bark collar, which is currently in use. I will think about how he views liberty as opposed to me, I don't want to be a jerk. I just want him to treat me like a reasonable person. And, yes, maybe we did get off on the wrong foot.

I agree, we should go over there and try to smooth things over. We don't plan on moving and I don't want bad blood between my neighbors and I. I  do believe that your neighbors are important to long term happiness and an extra resource we may be able utilize. Convincing my husband is another matter, so I've already planted that seed in his brain, and hopefully he comes around.

Many people have referenced laws, and going to court. I'd like to make a distinction. This is code enforcement. These are not "laws" these are "rules" and there are laws governing the enforcement of those rules, but these are rules not laws, and that to me is important. The "court" we would go to is one step up from arbitration. Its not a circuit, town or county court. Its somewhere in between. So I'm having a lot of trouble recognizing the authority that this body has over us.

Being left alone, is mostly in regards to overzealous county code enforcement. This is my biggest concern. Pima County is very tyrannical. I have been personally told by a representative of Pima County code enforcement, that "the codes don't tell you what you CAN'T DO, they tell you what you CAN DO." I have seen code enforcement impose leans on people properties because the property owner cleared out packrat nests and someone complained they changed the grade of the land. Pima County forced them to hire a landscape designer to revegetate their property. Even at wholesale costs, the amount of plants those people had to plant was over $2000, not including the labor of actually planting, irrigating and the designer. I witnessed this happen to 3 different individuals. They laid down and took it instead of appealing to our local legislators. So I'm VERY concerned about developing the natural swales on our property. I want to use that large wash and divert some of the water so that it flows through the swales we develop. That could be construed as changing the grade of the land. However, it would benefit this neighbor, as he is downstream. If we divert that water for irrigation on our land, the water won't sheet across their road and erode it, the water will move through the water table underground. If we are able to speak to him face to face, I would explain this permaculture principle. I just feel irked that I have to justify my actions on MY land. Its not deleterious to anyone, its actually beneficial.

Let me make this clear: this is the desert. This is a neighborhood in the desert. There is VERY little vegetation naturally. Most people don't even have fenced property. Everyone has a well and 200 ft or more is common. But for the most part, this is residental. The majority of the people out here that are keeping livestock and gardens are doing it for personal use, IF they do that. However, most people are just living out here in double-wide trailers. Its not fancy. Theres no HOA, most people out here don't know what that is.

I really appreciate all of your replies, as I continue to mull this over. I'm really leaning toward taking the highest road possible, and make a "mea culpa", go over there and talk to them. Maybe we did get off on the wrong foot. I don't want future issues, I just want to raise my family and live my life in the way I see fit. I'll head over to the Front Porch shortly, gotta finish up dinner first  ;)

Thank you all again!

surfivor:

--- Quote --- the water will move through the water table underground. If we are able to speak to him face to face, If we are able to speak to him face to face, I would explain this permaculture principle.
--- End quote ---

I might be tempted to wait on that until you get to know the person fairly well. I feel like most people are not interested in permaculture or it's ideas ..

RitaRose1945:
It may also be an issue of you being city folk and him being there for a very long time.  There's a lot of resentment, especially in the past decade or so, over people moving to the rural areas from the city, driving up prices in places where jobs are scarce, and not having the skills or knowledge to properly care for their property. 


I'm not saying that's you at all, in fact it sounds like quite the opposite.  I'm just saying that he may be thinking that's the case.


His reaction to the fence may be a combination of resentment over his perception of who you are and the belief that you really don't know how to care for your property, so he thinks he's going to have to be the one that clears the buildup from where the wash runs through it.  Again, it sounds like you're willing and capable when it comes to this, but he may not know that, and is annoyed that an issue was created that he believes he has to fix whenever it rains.  I'm in the desert too, and I know that people from other areas often have no clue just how powerful that water can be, especially during the summer when it's monsoon season. He's probably thinking you're like that.


The dogs?  It sounds like all barking is being attributed to your dogs.  In spite of their shared genetics, coyotes don't normally sound like domestic dogs at all.  Maybe kind of close to huskies when they talk or howl, but I've never heard a coyote bark.  Five acres isn't much when it comes to quieter rural areas.  Sound travels, especially when there isn't much as far as vegetation to block it.  At night, I can hear the train (not the train whistle, just the sound of the wheels on the tracks) when I'm indoors, on the far side of my house with the windows and doors all closed, and I'm two miles away in a suburban area.  So what he's attributing to your dogs could be dogs as much as a mile away.  I'm not sure how you fight that other than cameras showing your dogs weren't even outside during the times he complains about.  But it sucks to have surveillance all over your property to prove you're not doing anything wrong.


I would do two things - if there are any other neighbors around that seem friendly and reasonable, get to know them and see what they think.  Also, talk to the man, admit that you might have gotten off on the wrong foot with him, and start talking about subjects that let him know you're not just city folk that got a wild hair about moving to the sticks and being a farmer or something - what your goals are and that you know what you're doing.  And it always helps a relationship to take any advice that is offered.  It gives people a stake in your success, which means they now want things to go right for you too.

CPT Morgan:

--- Quote from: Greyghost on December 21, 2016, 07:41:19 PM ---I really appreciate all of your replies, as I continue to mull this over. I'm really leaning toward taking the highest road possible, and make a "mea culpa", go over there and talk to them. Maybe we did get off on the wrong foot. I don't want future issues, I just want to raise my family and live my life in the way I see fit. I'll head over to the Front Porch shortly, gotta finish up dinner first  ;)
--- End quote ---

This ^^^^

endurance:
I suspect the dogs were a bad step in the wrong direction. I live on 2.5 acres and I have a great relationship I've nurtured over the years with my neighbors, but they've flat out told me that if my dogs bark at night, they're calling the cops. In their case, they don't care if they bark when a jogger goes by on the street during the day, but they like to sleep with their windows open and that's just not possible with barking dogs Nextdoor.

Actively do what you can to mend bridges. Get to know them. Invite them over for a BBQ and break bread with them. This probably should have been done long before now. In the country, the perception is you are new here, therefore, you're an intruder into their open space until you become a neighbor. Be neighborly and most of the time, they'll reciprocate.

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