Interesting story just developed over the past two months that I figured
I'd let you know about in case it happens to you.
For about five years, I've been in an unfriendly situation with my
nearest neighbor (over past events with the kids getting into trouble and
barking loose dogs).
Then, the past two months, no less than 5 inspectors came to my property
to check for hazardous conditions due to 'anonymous' complaints.
The first was the fire marshall who was told I had 'large gasoline tanks'
on the property. Turns out, fuel containers of fewer than 60 gallons each
are exempt from fire marshall permit needs (a permit application alone,
he told me, is over $750).
That didn't strike me as too weird until the zoning guys dropped by. They
said someone complained about an improper 'accessory structure' used to
house gasoline. Turns out any accessory structure that is six feet from
the property line meets zoning requirements, so he left me alone.
It started to get weirder when the building inspector showed up for the
same reason (don't these guys talk to each other?). He too left empty
handed. Apparently an accessory structure only needs a permit if it's
greater than 120 square feet and if its highest point is greater than 14
I knew someone had it in for me when, a month later, my wife called me at
work to say there was a guy snooping around the property without even
knocking on the door! She called the police and then called me!
Turns out, it was a hazmat inspector who had received a complaint about a
'primary container' leaking with no 'secondary containment' in place. He
left before I arrived but told my wife that there was nothing he could or
would do unless it was actually leaking as there are no storage
regulations for private property other than you can't actually leak
gasoline into the ground.
He did suggest a 'secondary containment' of an oblong horse trough though.
I rushed home early from work to find both the police and yet another
inspector talking to my wife in the back yard. This inspector was from
the air quality management district. He said that organic fuel gas tanks
less than 260 gallons were exempt from vapor recovery & pressure venting
requirements, so he left before the cop finished asking questions.
The cop seemed amused by the whole story - but he asked a LOT of
questions about the gas cans lying around.
Turns out that you can't transport anything heavier (yes, heavier) than
500 pounds of "fuel" in a vehicle (not counting the vehicle's gasoline
tank itself) which he said was 62 gallons of gasoline (#11160 title 13
California Code of Regulations & 32000.5a California Vehicle Code). He
also mentioned that 172.504c Title 49 of the code of Federal Regulations
requires a placard if you carry more than 1,000 pounds of gasoline.
Since I'm only carrying about 50 gallons, I'm exempt from that too!
All in all, an interesting story. Now, I do have a sense of humor so I
have to figure out how I can get my neighbor back.
Have you ever engaged in these type of neighborly wars? Any good ideas?