Legal/Ethical Dilemma?

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Cheryl, are you talking about Rochester, NH? Our home in Maine is just over the border, in Lebanon, Maine. Hubby grew up in E. Rochester.
--
Ann, Gardening in zone 6a
Just south of Boston, MA
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On 1/13/05 8:29 PM, in article snipped-for-privacy@4ax.com,

Doug K is in Rochester NY - if he's in the NH one, I'm in trouble! LOL
I'm about 10 miles over the NH/MA border on 93.
Cheryl
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expounded:

You're safe. I'm in Rochester NY. :)
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On 1/13/05 10:36 PM, in article N6HFd.3908$ snipped-for-privacy@news01.roc.ny, "Doug

For now! ;) Cheryl
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Urgh! Actually, he didn't accuse you of being an unreasonable person. He suggested that your neighbours might *think* you were. There was no suggestion or even implication that they might be right. Actually, judging by their suggestion that you go into their yard and trim the vine, they sound a little loopy anyway, so maybe they believe 3 or 4 ridiculous things before lunch.
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Since it only takes 5 minutes, just walk over there and trim it. If you think they're really picky, ask one of them to come out and tell you if it's done the way they like it. Of all the neighbor problems you could have, this is like a .25 on a scale of 0 through 10. Don't make it worse. As far as them "drinking your wine", you invited them, right? They probably figured it would be good to broach the subject when everyone was loosened up a bit.
Shall I tell you about my neighbor, who thought it was OK to let their ChemLawn moron hose down my vegetable garden with pesticides, and how I was prepared to get an injunction from our town justice, which would've directed the cops to arrest the neighbor if the spraying actually took place? That's an 8 on the scale. A convicted child molester moving in next door - that's a 10.
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Hi Doug,
These same neighbors have complained about my oaks and elms dropping leaves into their yard each fall, and of shading their pool too much during the summer. Personally, I think they are a pain in the ass, but I want to hear what others think.
You're right though... at the end of the day, this 'problem' is only a minor irritation.

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Michelle: Sounds like if there's rain with a little wind coming from your direction, they'll say it's YOUR rain overwatering their yard. These people need a condo, not a house. Are they the kinds of wankers who case 3 leaves around the yard with a leaf blower for 8 hours straight?

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Actually, Doug, they do have leaf blowers - two of them. They also have two cars, one pickup truck, two ATVs on a trailer, one boat on a trailer, one house trailer, and two snowmobiles... most of which are scattered around their property in what used to be a nice neighborhood.

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does their house have wheels in the middle and a hitch on one end?
Michelle C wrote:

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Michelle, you need to find a local coven and hire a witch. :-)

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wrote:

In this case, yes, they *are* being over-picky. A reasonable person doesn't expect anyone to control where leaves drop or shade falls. In most places, they are legally entitled to trim tree branches that overhang their property, but not require that you regulate the wind and sun.
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I wouldn't risk trespassing on the property of people loony enough to prefer a stark ugly chainlink fenced to vines. I think what you need is a pleasant natural wooden fence of your own. six feet tall, against which you can grow five kinds of vines if you like, PLUS you will never again have to look at that ugly-ass chainlink fence or anything they lean up against it in the future. You also need much better judgement about who you invite into your house.
As for "law" -- ordinances vary from place to place but in general a fence is not supposed to be placed right on a property line UNLESS both property owners cooperate & agree to place the fence right on the property line. Whoever puts up a fence inside their property line is legally required to maintain the fence. A fence is usually a foot or so inside their property line, & the owners of the fence have access to both sides. If nobody ever signed a Fence Compliance Form showing mutual agreement to be directly on a property line, it has to be inside the fence owner's property. If the fence is right on the property line without mutual agreement, you can force them move it to conform to the local ordinance, with fun neighbor-wars resulting.
Many ordinances require a fence to be set back "a reasonable distance" which is defined as enough space to allow the fence owner to access both sides of the fence for its maintenance. If their fence meets this legal requirement, they can even come on your side of the fence & remove anything attached to it, or paint it, or whatever they decidce to do to it. If it is placed right on the property line with mutually signed Fence Compliance Form signed by all parties, then you are responsible both for the mainteance of your side of the fence & for keeping anything from afflicting their side of the fence.
In any case, what grows through a fence or over a fence to the other side they can legally remove. But where a chainlink is involved, where really does a vine tresspass to the other side? If one side of the fence wants to see vines, and the other side of the fence does not want them, there's no possibility of mutually satisfactory use, which is just one more reason why a fence that ugly-ass should never be used to separate properties. Which underscores your need for a privacy-providing & vastly more attractive natural wood fence of your own, placed according to ordinance requirements if they will not enter into a mutual agreement to have a more aesthetic fence placed directly on the property line.
They don't sound like reasonable people but the law is almost certainly on their side. If they ARE reasonable you might be able to convince them to permit you to replace a fence that does not allow for mutually agreeable use (you cannot grow vines on it when there is no way to keep them on your side), & at your expense put up an aesthetic fence that does not allow such free penetration of plant life. Your side cna be rich & green, theirs they can paint purple polka dot if they like. Or just put it inside your property & you maintain both sides of the fence.
Most regulations require a fence to be no higher than six feet (some city or county ordinances allow 8 feet) in a back yard or along an alley; no higher than three feet at the front of a house (sometimes four feet); no closer than a foot from sidewalks, interfering with no easements, blocking no street-corner visibility from vehicles, with a minimum of one four-foot-wide access gate in case of fire or other emergency. Sometimes a fence building permit is needed, that costs very little with the building department, but some areas require a permit only for fences that one wants exceptions to not conform to an ordinance (for instance a seven or eight foot fence might need a permit for the variance, but a six foot or smaller that adheres to all requirements would not require a permit).
Placement of a fence also requires that the rights of adjacent property owners are not allowed to be hindered; if the present fence is directly on the property line, it could be argued that your right to grow vines on a fence has definitely been hindered by their right to not have vines on their side of the fence, forcing the issue of either replacing it witha fence that protects both sides' rights equally, or requiring them to move the fence away from the property line so that they alone maintain both sides of it & which provides you room to have your own fence with access to both sides.
-paghat the ratgirl
--
"Of what are you afraid, my child?" inquired the kindly teacher.
"Oh, sir! The flowers, they are wild," replied the timid creature.
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WOW! You must be a lawyer! Thanks for your reply, paghat!
You're right... I'll probably end up getting a privacy fence. But if I do, I'll pay for the entire thing myself. They aren't the most co-operative of neighbors.
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Some vines still find their way through every crack in those fences.
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Well, my $0.02 would be to plant a natural fence that will block the view...I don't know, something like Golden Bamboo :>)
Before long, they won't be able to see them ATVs either if they aren't willing to put in their yard-work time. Course that's a rude thing to do to your OTHER neighbors....
John snickering in this balmy houston weather

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If you want revenge, bindweed's also an option, but only after you've sold your place and are preparing to leave. :-) According to everyone I've asked, the only way to really kill it is to use chemicals even the military is wary of.

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Perhaps you could move your vine, or take cuttings, to another spot away from them, and plant some less invasive climber like a clematis?
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We have a problem neighbor too. What we did was build three trellis structures separated by evergreen trees about 2 feet inside the fenceline (there is an existing three rail cedar fence). Because there is no height restriction on the trellis, they are eight feet tall and I have rambling and climbing roses growing on them, and I can trim both sides. They block the objectionable view and look lovely in bloom. Your neighbors sound as unreasonable as ours and I wish you luck.
Karen
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we not only have to trim all the crappy brush grows thru our 700 foot long fence along our drive, we gotta cart all the trimmings away rather than tossing them over the fence into their wild trashy brush. Ingrid
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