Thursday, January 20, 2011
Don't make me get all ignorant up in here
The people who own the vacant lot diagonally across the street from us are preparing to build a house there. They've owned the lot since before we moved here 4 years ago, but are just now starting to build. Maybe they're getting ready to retire.
Last week the construction company leveled the lot, then this week they dug the footers for the foundation and cut down a beautiful old tree at the property line. But all is not well.
The lot faces a 'regular' street (ie: 2-way traffic, on-street parking, curbs and sidewalks) and backs to our 'irregular' street (ie: single lane, 1-way traffic, no on-street parking, no curbs or sidewalks), so for the life of me I don't understand why all of the construction traffic uses our little irregular street to access the lot.
Several times this week they delivered and picked up pieces of construction equipment on a flatbead trailer. Each time they did so the truck and trailer completely blocked the street of all traffic. This means that if the mail, UPS, FedEx, propane suppliers or god forbid an ambulance were to come, they'd have to wait for the delivery or pick up to conclude for the street to be passable again. This is completely unnecessary since they could use the 'regular' street!
When they cut down the beautiful old tree they brought it down in the street and in our side yard, blocking the street of all traffic again and without our permission to use our yard to cut the tree into smaller pieces to feed into the chipper. Then a subcontractor parked his pick-up truck and trailer into our driveway for an hour or so, again without permission. Again, this is completely unnecessary since there is sufficient on-street parking on the 'regular' street!
So, I've decided to write a letter to the construction company, asking them to stop using our street to access the lot and instead use the more suitable street. I'm also going to cite the uses of our personal property (yard and driveway) without permission and inform them that future unauthorized uses will result in a call to the police.
I'm really NOT trying to be a jerk about this, but as I'm learning in real estate school, unauthorized use of one's property can result in a liability to me, the property owner. If a construction worker continued to use my property and tripped, fell and cracked his head open, he could sue me! And if he parked a vehicle in my driveway that caught on fire he could sue me. Although seemingly far-fetched, these things have happened. And although seemingly unfair, the law allows for such suits.
I am not willing to be made vulnerable in this way, and I do not believe my neighbors and I should be inconvenienced needlessly when a much more suitable means of accessing the building lot exists. So I'm writing the letter to the construction company and sending a copy to the City building officer. I'll keep you posted.