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Old 06-26-2011, 10:40 AM
 
Location: West New York, NJ
69 posts, read 135,301 times
Reputation: 51

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So I bought a great house and the neighbors along the street are overall very nice.

We have a small patch of land between our driveway and a neighbor's. We removed the old shrubbery which was on our side and which had overgrown onto theirs. They didn't like the shrubs anyway. Neither did we.

So with the patch of land completely dirt we planted hedges on our side, and in front of the hedges, on our side as well, Birds of Paradise. (They had never planted anything there. They only used the space for their three large garbage cans.)

So now the neighbors are complaining! "I'm surprised you didn't consult with us before planting." WHY should I??? This is not a communal space. Half is ours, half is theirs. They don't like the hedges because they will grow over the property line. They don't like Birds of Paradise because they too will grow big.

They're also complaining about our putting in sprinkler heads there. Well, hello, it's southern California. I'm not going out with a watering can every day. I told them we'd ensure the sprinkler heads were flooding type and not spraying, so their garbage cans and driveway won't get wet. Sigh.

I don't want to start a war and I don't want bad blood. I'm thinking of removing the hedges and planting them about six inches closer to me to allot for growth onto their property. And I may even remove the Birds of Paradise and plant some smaller flower. All just to make nice and make peace. But I'm annoyed by their arrogance.

They never cared about this space before. And if anyone has a reason to complain it would be us. We have to look at their three huge trash barrels.

I'm looking forward to those hedges growing high. I may expedite the process with Miracle Grow.
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Old 06-26-2011, 10:57 AM
 
Location: Below the fray
422 posts, read 1,651,397 times
Reputation: 334
It certainly sounds as if your neighbors are being unreasonable. But I think it's beautiful that you're actually thinking of scaling back your planting to appease them and would predict it would earn you some really good karma (though not necessarily with these neighbors ... but then again, maybe so!).

If you decide to go that route, I would certainly let them know diplomatically that you're doing all the extra work just because they complained. If they have a shred of humanity they'll at least recognize all the trouble they're putting you through, and might feel a little bad (even change their minds). If they don't, well then at least you'll know what you're dealing with. Good luck.
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Old 06-26-2011, 11:10 AM
 
Location: West New York, NJ
69 posts, read 135,301 times
Reputation: 51
Default Thank You!

You sound like a wonderful mitigator. Thanks for the sensible advice.

The area is not all that important that I'd fight about it. Maybe when I was younger, I would have fought about it. But middle age has mellowed me, ahaha.

Sometimes it's just really nice to take the high road. It dumbfounds your critics and in the process models some good behavior for people who obviously need to learn from it.

Thanks again!
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Old 06-26-2011, 11:23 AM
 
Location: Columbia, California
6,663 posts, read 27,022,157 times
Reputation: 5105
A home i had years ago we settled this difference by pouring concrete on this common area. Ours was only 40 inches wide but 50 foot long. This made it easier for all on trash days to drag the cans between the cars.
It is likely a city law of no visible trash cans except on trash day, most cities have this law.
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Old 06-26-2011, 11:46 AM
 
157 posts, read 455,391 times
Reputation: 128
Obviously they think their trash cans are more esthetically pleasing than anything you plant in the area. I agree with you about the Miracle Grow.
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Old 06-26-2011, 11:50 AM
 
32,525 posts, read 31,738,481 times
Reputation: 32393
Did you put in giant bird of paradise? The ones that grow 20 plus feet? That may be one reason the neighbors are complaining. They are a LOT of work. (I've had them.) The leaves and the blooms die off and you have to prune them. I've cut a lot of bird of paradise blooms with one of those saws on a pole-thingies and it is a real workout. They also drip and make a horrible mess on the ground.

The plus side is they are pretty, they are a nice barrier, and when the birds drink the nectar from the blooms they get totally drunk. Free entertainment.
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Old 06-26-2011, 03:13 PM
 
Location: West New York, NJ
69 posts, read 135,301 times
Reputation: 51
I don't think they're that type which grows to 20 feet, but I think I'm going to plant something else there. The hedges will stay, although I'm going to move them towards our property about 6 inches or a foot. I want them to grow to be 8 feet.
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Old 06-26-2011, 03:58 PM
 
32,525 posts, read 31,738,481 times
Reputation: 32393
Is this neighbor Beret Guy?
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Old 06-26-2011, 04:04 PM
 
5,113 posts, read 5,104,678 times
Reputation: 1740
Never buy a house with a shared driveway ... don't ask how I know

If it was me I would put a wall or fence ... will make life much better
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Old 06-26-2011, 06:25 PM
 
Location: West New York, NJ
69 posts, read 135,301 times
Reputation: 51
Don, Thanks for the info. It kind of validates this peculiar situation I find myself in. I'd rather fight with a neighbor over something major. I'm not going to fight them over such a small area. I'll just pull the hedges in about a foot, replant and plant some small flowers. Keeping the peace is better and less exhausting than fighting over something so stupid. I think they're being incredibly petty. I don't want to be petty back by making a big thing over this.

OMG, DewDropInn, your comment truly made me laugh out loud!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Earlier today I was going to post about him but I didn't think anybody would remember, since this whole thread is months old. I'm dying laughing that you remember. The intimate details of my neighborhood are well known online it seems, ahahah.

Well, no, in answer to your hilarious question, it's not the same neighbor. Beret dude is across the street from the two driveways in question. And, funny enough, I saw him for the first time without his beret the other day. He's completely bald. So maybe that's why he's obsessed with the beret.

I grew up on a very similar looking street in New Jersey. I knew all the neighbors and they were very friendly. I have to make the adjustment here. People seem inordinately interested in minding their own business and keeping to themselves. I've met a few very nice neighbors, though, so i won't trash everybody.

Also, my misperceptions about LA are happily being squashed. While not everybody is totally friendly (and where would that happen anyway?), I'm finding a lot of pleasant people. Particularly when I go to Ralph's for groceries. I've gone to the same grocery store for 15 years in New Jersey and nobody says hi there. They say hi every time I go here.

I've always been used to traffic due to living in New Jersey/New York City area. So LA is not too bad for me.

I Love LA!
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