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  1. #1
    nmpeter is offline Junior Member
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    Default How to break the news to the "neighbors"

    Hi everybody, being my first post here I'd like to say thanks to everybody who has posted anything here on any topic, it's really given me lots of help in taking the plunge into adding storage units to my existing business.

    It's also going to help me avoid many of the pitfalls of the storage business, for this I say _thanks!_

    Now to my current issue...

    On one side of my lot there are some homes which have been using my property to access their backyards for several years, illegally I should mention since there is no recorded easements for this purpose on my deed or town platt maps. Over the years these folks have expanded their homes and blocking off access to their rear yards from the existing driveways in the front of the homes.

    So in short, my storage yard has now become their driveway.

    My new storage units are going to totally block their access to their rear yards from my property, just happens to turn out that way I have to grant the town access to a drainage ditchon the other side of my property, so I can't block that with 22 units.

    Once the units go up, any cars they have back there are going to be 'trapped".

    I'm planning on sending the property owners registered letters indicating the last day they can move their cars out of there before the construction starts. Once that happens they aren't getting the cars out without some major heartache.

    I've tried to be a good neighbor, but constantly reporting me to the town inspectors on bogus issues has worn thin enough that I'm going to give then just 30 days notice to cease using my property as a driveway. The property was vacant for the last few years ( I purchased it as an investment property in 2005), and I just opened a business there last year ( since I wasn't able to find anybody with real money to buy/rent it) and noticed what was going on. My no trespassing and no parking signs are constantly being torn down.

    So fellow members..what say you?

    thanks again for the good advice and great stories of life in the storage biz.

    Peter

  2. #2
    Autodoc's Avatar
    Autodoc is offline Mod eMeritus
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    I really hate it when you try to be a good neighbor and they constantly dump on you.

    I say you are doing the best you can do - send the letter - wait the 30 days and put up a block wall backed up to their properly!

    I would also make sure you have security as you will probably have some "issues"

    Good luck with your project and let us know if there is anything else we can help you with.
    Wayne
    Jamestown, ND


    All arguments can be resolved ... with high explosives and Humor!!!

  3. #3
    MisterJim444 is offline Moderator
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    Peter:

    I would make sure that you get some local business media attention to your project. At a time when all the business news is negative reaching out to the local print media with a positive press release might get printed. What I am trying to set up is the situation where you are being recognized for making an investment in the future of the community and then if the problem with the abutting homeowners comes up you will already have been labeled a good guy because you are investing in the neighbor.

    No question that you could face ongoing problems from the “land locked” neighbors who really don’t care about your property rights. You may have to put up some temporary security cameras on that property line to record what could happen. Short term may be rocky, but in the end once you have those units rented to other local residents, you will be able to bring a great deal of leverage within the municipality to the situation should any problems persist.

    Best of luck with your development.

    MisterJim444
    Learning Never Ends, But Will Time?

  4. #4
    nmpeter is offline Junior Member
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    It's hard not to get media coverage around here on anything that involves any local business activity. Case in point, I asked the Mayor last week if there were any city ordinances prohibiting the sale of firearms or ammunition within city limits (I want to get a federal firearms license so I can make a couple of bucks buying and selling guns over the internet, but I'd hate to file the application ( which is pretty complex) and then find out I can't legally run a gun shop), so guess what turns up in the local paper's coverage of the last town monthly meeting..yup. So no doubt the moment I file for a building permit, it's going to make the paper.

    besides the registered letters, I'll be posting signs on the property in plain view of the "driveways" that construction is beginning on xx/xx/09 and of course I'll be adding video coverage so I can keep an eye on the lot when I'm not on site. ( I've already got a system on my house that works quite well to tell me when the UPS truck is coming up the driveway). I'll pop fora public notice ad in the paper also, might as well cover all bases before I pour 10k worth of concrete. I've got an "on site" watchmen" lined up for the week of the pour. He'll also water the slab a couple of times a day after the concrete guys leave ( having the area around the slab somewhat muddy will deter any midnight visitors) and keep an eye on materials stored on site.

    I'm pretty uncomfortable with landlocking any cars, even when It's my right to build what I want where I want on my property. I'm hoping the construction of the site fence will wake these folks up to the fact that the party is over and it's time to make a move. In anticipation of funny business, I'm using a combination lock for the gates are first. I intend making some visits to the homes to if I happen to see that anybody is home. They keep some pretty mean dogs in thier yards so I haven't been able too get their attention (yet).

    I'm trying to avoid incurring any legal fees, so I'm hoping somebody with a similar situation can tell their story here.

    thanks for the advice however, it's my plan to document the entire construction project for sst, it'll make interesting reading no doubt.

    regards,
    peter

  5. #5
    Autodoc's Avatar
    Autodoc is offline Mod eMeritus
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    That will be an interesting read -- I for one will be looking forward to it.


    Best of luck, and we are all behind you.
    Wayne
    Jamestown, ND


    All arguments can be resolved ... with high explosives and Humor!!!

  6. #6
    alexlekas Guest

    Default

    all discomfort aside, Peter, this is your land and private property rights do still matter in the US. It is interesting that you are concerned about your neighbors' reactions, given that they have cared not a whit about you, your land, or your business. It speaks to your character that are bending over backwards to accomodate people who do not appear to be willing to afford you the same courtesy.

    MisterJim makes a good point regarding the press release. Now, any media outlet worth its salt will use a release as a jumping off point for doing its own story rather than simply re-printing what you give them, but by reaching out, you are ahead of the curve. Much better to be on the front end of the story than to have the media come knocking, asking for reaction to claims that you are mistreating neighbors. Reacting puts you on the defensive and whoever is on that side rarely looks good.

    Given what seems an anti-business climate these days, you may struggle a bit with public opinion regardless, but as a rule, one is better of being pro-active rather than reactive. Have a list of talking points, which sometimes get a bad name but also serve a useful purpose for keeping you on track. First and foremost, it is YOUR property; you are in the right as to zoning laws and land use guidelines; and, you are taking appropriate steps in giving neighbors fair warning about the change that is coming so they can prepare for it. Stick to those, regardless of the questions you are asked. You are a businessman making a business decision while trying to accomodate your neighbors as they break bad habits they have developed. Good luck.

  7. #7
    geraldine1051 is offline Senior Member
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    Default guns? over the internet?

    "I asked the Mayor last week if there were any city ordinances prohibiting the sale of firearms or ammunition within city limits (I want to get a federal firearms license so I can make a couple of bucks buying and selling guns over the internet"

    Hello nmpeter...
    Here's my two cents: no offense, but buying and selling guns over the internet sounds really bizarre. Especially in light of all you have described about your neighbors, it seems very threatening and not at all neighborly.

    geraldine

  8. #8
    nmpeter is offline Junior Member
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    no offense taken, since you don't know I live in New Mexico. Gun country. Our local walmart stocks shotgun ammo by the skidful. Hunting is a huge part of the local economy during the winter months

    But I don't see how having a legitimate, federally licensed business is not neighborly or even threatening. Gun sales are very common on the internet, check out "gunbrokers.com" We're not talking Saturday night specials, we're talking collector items that can sell for upwards of $5000

    If I wanted to be threatening to the neighbors, I'd just apply for a permit to install a 2000 gallon propane tank on the property and go intot he business f selling propane, there's no propane distributor at our end of town and I'm sure that business would get approval (my lot is commercial zoned multi use, I could put 100 head of cattle on it if I was inclined). That would cause all sorts of problems for the "neighbors"

    Given a choice, what business would you like to see in addition to the storage?

    I was considering a go-cart track by the way, but I didn't think _that_ would be very neighborly at all. I joked about putting a XXX bookstore on the lot also.

    The mayor wants to see any business that is legal on the property, since the town needs money badly.

    When you own land adjacent to a commercial activity strip, you have to be ready for anything.

    A buddy of mine owns a vacant lot right behind a local restaurant. He hasn't gotten a bite on it since he purchased it, he's hoping the restaurant will eventually get popular enough that he can sell it for additional parking, you would _not_ want to build a home on it.

    So to get back on topic, how would you handle a situation where your neighbor started using your property as a driveway after building a new pool that blocks access to their rear yard from their main driveway?
    Last edited by nmpeter; 16th March 2009 at 07:44 PM.

 

 
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