Friday, June 12, 2009


Some people are just relentless.

Take, for instance, Ornery Retired Guy.

Ornery Retired Guy, or ORG, as I'll continue to refer to him, has a seemingly wonderful life. He lives in the cutest little association on the lake. One of the originals, with houses close together, a tree lined old fashioned street, gorgeous lake views. They have their own private beach, regular cook-outs and get-togethers... a little bubbling creek winding its way through the property complete with wooden bridge... Life must be so good here. I assume it is because the majority of the families that live here (albeit, part-time) are happy and smiley and warm and friendly. Except for ORG.

ORG's house backs up to British Lady's house. They're new. They own the estate that borders the entire length of this cute & cozy association. British Lady is also always happy and smiley and warm and friendly. And she married a doctor. That doesn't have much to do with the story, but it's always cool to say you're married to a doctor. Especially if you're British.

Since British Lady moved in two years ago, ORG has been flooding our office with complaints. He doesn't like their carport. He doesn't like how they did their patio. He doesn't like that they removed some plantings that ORG had planted clearly on their property line, which, when pointed out to him he replied with: "There wasn't anyone living here - I can plant anything I want through eminant domain."

ORG waits on his back porch until British Lady comes home and then pounces. Has no problem stomping over to her property to complain about this or that... their lights (inside their house) were on too late making it difficult for him to sleep. He doesn't think their pier is legal and wants them to provide proof to him that the DNR has approved it. The list goes on and on.

Now, anyone who knows me knows that I would handle ORG a tad bit differently than British Lady. She tries to humor him, placate him, listens to him, produces whatever documentation he requests because she doesn't like conflict. I would've filed harassment charges a year ago. But the annoyances have been stepping up and British Lady finally decided the only answer was to put up a fence.

But now the fence isn't good enough. ORG has called and/or stopped in every day since it went up. It's all been legally applied for, built, approved... to us it's "End of Story." Not so much for ORG.

His current list of complaints are as follows:

He does not like the material. Although the code specifies that electric and barbed wire fences are NOT allowed, it doesn't go through and specify the multitude of acceptable materials. Therefore, ORG feels that these "cheap plastic" fences are illegal.

He does not agree with the height. The fence can be no taller than six feet as measured from grade. See, on the British Lady's side it's 6'... but on ORG's side it's almost 6'-3" (and I guess we're supposed to ignore the areas he "dug out"... at least throw some grass clippings on it to make it look like it wasn't intentionally done out of spite.)

Our little village recommends a 40% open / 60% opaque fence for those fences over 4' tall. Like we're going to calculate this on every single fence that comes in. Make it close. ORG seems to think it's more like 35%/65% which is - again - illegal.

Although fences can be constructed right on the lot line... ORG wants them to abide by a one foot offset. We're really not sure why. (British Lady actually built the fence 6" from the property line because she knew ORG would raise a stink.)

And, rounding out the complaints, ORG feels that the construction of this fence has damaged his lilac tree. And that's illegal to damage someone's tree. And if it isn't damaged quite yet, he's sure it will be soon. He definately knows it's been affected - and not in a positive way.

I really, really, really want to yell at Ornery Retired Guy. I want to ask him what he actually expects when he treats his neighbors like crap. I want to tell him he's lucky a restraining order hasn't been filed against him. Instead, in the spirit of job security, I will lift myself out of this chair and head on down to view the offending fence, practicing good pictorial documentation skills and data gathering skills, and produce a legal findings of fact... that, yes, the fence the Building Inspector already inspected and says is legal is actually legal. Then I will advice ORG this is purely a civil dispute, to which he could feel free to contact his attorney.

Really, this is what you choose to do when you retire?


*** Thought I'd share a pic of the fence from my site visit, that way you can judge for yourself how horrible it truly is.

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