16 May 2014

code enforcement follies v.ii

I've been keeping this on the down low,
but last October we had a couple code enforcement complaints.
Seems that car repair and junk storage were bugging our neighbors.
This involved inspections from our management,
and also a San Diego Code Enforcement Officer - TT
TT had a long list of possible violations from supposed multiple complainers -
a sailboat, used oil containers, rusty car parts, old cars...
Someone had been snooping.
His main guideline was "incidental to the residential use of the property."
What the heck does that mean?
Basically if it's a hobby we should be ok,
and between the kids and I,
we have a lot of hobbies!
It was obvious the complaints were exaggerated.
Many photos were taken,
so his supervisor could double check for any hidden problems.
The worst case scenario would have been a notice for reinspection,
however only an administrative warning was given,
keeping our case on file to maintain a history.
TT noted that 90% of his calls were from neighbors that have issues.
The best course was to limit interaction and be mellow.
Fast forward 5 or 6 months.
Only a couple police visits for skateboarding...
We thought they had toned down.
Seems someone had complained directly to our property owner,
about issues that the Code Enforcement had absolved us on months earlier.
It gave me a chance to write a lengthy reply,
and a couple neighbors pitched in with their own letters.

This gave me a chance to clarify that I do work on my own stuff at our home,
my kids like to be outside and not cooped up,
friends and family do come over occasionally and hang out,
and we've been living here for 6 years way under the radar!
It is obvious to any reader what I like to do,
we're not trying to hide anything.
A simple name search reveals most of the fun stuff that we get ourselves into,
and also some of these sticky situations as well!

Last month during a somewhat minor altercation with our neighbor,
he admitted that he had sicced CE on us,
and would do so again,
called the police multiple times,
spoken to neighbors to get them as character witnesses,
and had recently written that letter to the owner.
Like anyone is the perfect neighbor.

Funny thing is this was while cutting grass that was over our property line,
technically our responsibility,
technically trespassing.
See that dark spot the sidewalk?
That is the property button or pin.
I was as civil as possible asking him to stay off our property,
mainly due to liability in potential injuries.
Sounds petty,
but if someone can trip over a planter while walking in a Lowe's,
why would I want them anywhere near our property?
$10K is more than I have in all our hot rods!
Even after a couple minute conversation,
he continued mowing like nothing happened,
right down our little strip.
After I took this photo he or a family member called the police.
This was the first time I had actually heard the complaints firsthand,
and most of them were over 6 months old!
Even though he's been using his cellphone to video me, the kids and our friends for weeks,
he thought it was illegal for me to video him actually doing something wrong.

Fortunately I have a mountain of paperwork,
including a copy of the trip and fall suit,
and an old domestic violence restraining order justifying my concerns for safety and liability.
Who bangs their head against a locker and punches walls?
So what do you think happened?
Less than 3 weeks later the grass is cut again.
Holey chit this guy!
After some consultation I wrote up a little letter...
So you'd think that was it right?
By the first lawn incident CE had already been contacted.
Fortunately TT remembered the property,
and instead of requesting a $500 2nd inspection,
he only asked for current pictures of the property by the management,
basically what you see above,
way cleaner then in October.

The kicker is T, our property manager,
received a call from another CE officer about us right before showing up.
They must have these guys on speed dial!

All in all the police have shown up maybe 8 times,
for kids skating, noise and me taking a video of him trespassing.
At least 4 complaints have been received by Code Enforcement,
enough that an email is all they want now!
You may be wondering,
why would I write about this?
Is it safe?
Well it is so unbelievable to read,
that we are trying to make sense of it.
The reason why I write this blog!

What if they somehow find this and read it?
I'm not too concerned with liable or slander,
as all their cases are public, free and easy to find locally.
No need to make anything up!
The personal interactions are from my point of view.
Names are withheld for privacy.
Now our management and TT also have their legal information on file,
which helps understand the nature of who we're dealing with.

Sadly the kids now realize that adults can act this way.
My family - wife, two boys and a little 7 year old girl,
aren't accustomed to being the targets of this craziness.
If we wanted conformity we'd live in an HOA,
where people like this thrive.

Why don't we move?
Well the kids are stable in their schools,
and my 98 year old grandmother lives alone two houses up.
We consider ourselves lucky to be where we are.
This is our home!

Anyway excuse the rant.
Hopefully the future will lighten up a bit.
I'll make sure to get back to more fun stuff next time!


1 comment:

  1. I feel kind of bad for the guy. He obviously has some type of social/mental damage from the past influencing his day to day behavior. It's like the pound puppy, who was beat by it's old owners, and is vicious and attacks out of fear. Dude needs a hug!