Friday, July 13, 2007

Getting Dumped

I just have to vent a little or I may explode, and what else is a blog for but to keep a finger on the pulse of my emotions?

A little background information:

We have been blessed enough to live in a nice neighborhood; well-kept homes, quiet streets, close to church and school, no homeowners association. All very important qualities. The neighborhood is divided into two parts by a main road, and we live on the smaller side, which is basically just a large horseshoe. Our home is bordered on one side by very quiet neighbors and on the other by the last vacant lot in the neighborhood. It is technically for sale, but it hasn't been sold due to its odd shape and small size, as well some problems with variances and easements and all that other real estate/construction mumbo jumbo that makes my eyes glaze over. Plus, they are charging about 87 trillion dollars just for the lot, so there's that obstacle, as well. We've lived here for four years and only one person has ever looked at the property. Rob and I would love to annex it to The HomeFront Corp headquarters, but did I mention the 87 trillion dollars? So there it sits.

We also live in a neighborhood that has apparently decided that 2007 is the Year of the Inground Pool. We missed that memo, as we are not getting a pool any time time soon, much to the chagrin of my children (and my brother). There are no less than four new pools going in around the corner from us, and I have noticed a disturbing trend. I don't pretend to know what getting a pool entails, but I am assuming that you are responsible for the disposal of the approximately forty tons of earth that are removed when they start the digging. I'm assuming this, because my neighbors have been dumping about 65% of their backyards in the lot next to my house.

There is a very steep drop-off at the rear of the empty lot (we fondly call it the Plummet of Death), and my neighbors like to throw all their extra dirt back there. The only problem is that forty tons of dirt times four houses equals LOTS of dirt. It is just piling up over there, taunting me.

I guess I shouldn't have been too surprised that all the dirt in the neighborhood would end up next to my house, since my neighbors have been dumping their yard waste there for years. In our township, our garbage company does not accept yard debris, leaves, or branches. You are responsible for taking your yard waste to the township building so that they can turn it into free mulch for anyone who lives here. A great idea in theory, but I can see where it can get pretty inconvenient. The solution? The empty lot! It will all turn into compost eventually, and there is no pesky drive over to the township building. A win-win situation, except for the people who get to stare at your grass and leaves and branches and old sand from your sandboxes and big rocks from your gardens and the forty tons of dirt from your pool. Hmph.

There is nothing stopping them from dumping since the lot is owned by the land company who started this development, and they don't live here, so they don't care. The township has no responsibilities over the land, so they can't help either. It's not even that people are dumping trash, which would definitely be worse, but it is an eyesore and it makes me sad to think that my neighbors don't think that the people who live over here get sick of looking at the stuff they don't want on their manicured properties. I know this is trivial on so many levels, but sometimes an annoyance disappears as soon as you name it and let it go. At least that's what I'm hoping.

I can usually just complain to Rob, and let it blow over me, but all morning I have been watching dump truck after dump truck drive onto the empty lot. I can feel my blood pressure rise with each load of dirt. I'm thinking that I should be considered part owner of at least four homes in this neighborhood since more than half of their land is sitting right next to my house. That should at least get me pool privileges, right?!
We're up to ten truckloads so far, with no end in sight, because our neighbors have apparently decided to dig a moat as well as a pool. Probably to stop people like me from storming their yards with torches, pitchforks, buckets of dirt.


  1. At least the dirt is now covering the yard waste, right?

    That would drive me nuts!! Have you tried contacting the land owners? Or having the police contact the land owners about potential trespassing or illegal dumping? There's a good chance that if you explain what an eye sore that lot is turning into, and how it is likely to make it more difficult to sell... I think you get the idea.

  2. This is one of the times when an HOA may actually be helpful. I would be very frustrated too. Especially by the constant dump trucks rumbling by and being noisy and stuff.

  3. Is the owner just completely unaware?

    Cause I would be sending a letter signed:

    Concerned for your property, Anonymous

  4. Anonymous5:01 PM

    It is a pain in the butt situation; good luck with a resolution. I will offer this piece of advice, if the dirt starts to be removed by massive dump trucks instead of deposited- MAKE SURE ALL OF YOUR WINDOWS ARE CLOSED! When the pile behind our house started to take shape as phase 3 of the development, I didn't think much of it until at the end of the week the layer of dust in the house was about an inch thick and I had just cleaned on Monday.
    Also, the homewoners assoc. may be your best bet.
    good luck!
    - Mirabella Mom

  5. Anonymous6:53 PM

    all I'm sayin' 69 News and "The Morning Call"...get on it...GeeGee

  6. Thanks for letting me vent - I feel fine about it now, and it really IS small potatoes :)

    T: Yes the dirt is mounded so high that it has almost filled in the Ravine of Peril, which I guess could be counted as a plus.

    4: I thought of that, as well, but I've had bad experiences with HOA before, so I am still glad that we don't have one.

    Jenn: The owner does not give a rat's arse, since the owner is a faceless corporation who bought up a huge farm to make a subdivision. (Yes, I have land preservation issues) They have been called, as well as the real estate agent, but no one cares because they don't have to see it. They don't even mow it in the summer - we do half and the neighbors on the other side do half. And the township says "there's nothing we can do about it" meaning: it would take up too much donut time.

    Mira Mom: Ongoing construction is one of the reasons I hate living in developments. I thought they were finished here . . . oh, well.

    GeeGee: Thanks, Mom :) I can always count on you to be as fired up about this as I am. ALthough I seriously don't think that 69 news and the paper would really care. Plus, I don't want the "cliques" in the neighborhood to have it in for me :)

  7. I can't believe that the owner/land developer doesn't care about the dirt and waste. This would drive me bonkers!

  8. shrubbery!

    our neighbors (and they actually live in the house) are particularly negligent of everything one might notice from the outside... grass, windows, doors, etc. At times the city has intervened to force them to cut the grass under city health ordinances. We have lovely shrubbery that provide a lovely barrier and prevent constant infurioration!

  9. It's too bad people feel the need to inconvience others for their own needs.
    They are also altering the terrain by doing that and it could cause problems for the home owners in your section.
    I'd contact the landowner. Anonymous letter or something. We have a lot like that in our neighborhood too. Luckily for me it's at the other end of the street. I would have never dreamed to start dumping on it though:O


Go ahead and say it. You know you want to.