Definitely NOT neighborly

May 29, 2015

Old-school back fence.

Our neighborhood has an online “back fence” on which neighbors chat about neighborly things.  (I know. Hey, it’s Silicon Valley, right?)  Once in a while, situations that are not neighborly are posted. (They’re always the most interesting.) When I saw this posted, I knew I had to share it:

Does this look quiet?

Help! I live next to the XYZ. Every Monday their gardeners come at 6:45 with leaf blowers and I was finally able to convince them to start at 7:15. BUT, this morning at 6:30 the owners decided that Sunday morning was the perfect day to repave the entire parking lot. Loud machinery and workers started at 6:45 am. So frustrated and fed up. I have tried calling the management office in the past and they never return calls but this is outrageous. Any ideas of who I should contact?

If I were this neighbor, I’d be frustrated and fed up, too.  But then, the guy who owns the property posted a response:

The parking lot is being re paved and re- striped. It had to be done on Sunday since its the least intrusive day for our tenants and their customers. Were hoping it will be ready for business on Monday. Its a one time job and I m sure they started very early to make sure it was ready for the beginning of the week. Sorry for the inconvenience.

“SORRY FOR THE INCONVENIENCE.”  SERIOUSLY?  The least intrusive day for TENANTS? You wake the neighbors with heavy paving equipment at 6:30am on a Sunday, give them no notice or number to call, and you think it’s simply an “inconvenience”?  So not neighborly.

NoiseUnfortunately, this kind of discourteous, tone deaf behavior among businesses is often the rule, rather than the exception.  I find it hard to believe that no one figured neighbors would be distressed by this noise. I find it easy to believe they said “Let’s just go ahead; it’s just one day, it’ll be over so fast they won’t have time to do much complaining. ”

Here’s what should have happened. All neighbors should have received a note at least a week ahead of time explaining what work would be done during what time period and with a phone number. The owner should have apologized in advance and bent over backward to be nice. This sense of entitlement so evident in his post was infuriating.

Of course, many pissed-off neighbors piped in with their own thoughts and I don’t blame them for being outraged at this guy’s callous attitude. But this was the best response of all:

I understand why you feel that this was necessary to do on the weekend for the sake of your tenants. However, doing construction on the weekend or before 7:00am on a weekday within 500 ft of a residence is illegal per San Jose city code 20.100.450, “Hours of construction within 500 feet of a residential unit”, unless you have city permit explicitly authorizing the work at those hours. Did you have a permit? Even if it was properly permitted, good sense would have at least suggested that the surrounding neighbors should have been given advance notice. There are residents right on the other side of the fence that seem to be treated as if they do not exist. I think you owe a massive apology to these folks. “Sorry for the inconvenience” doesn’t quite cut it.

I can only hope the guy got cited. But for sure he got a piece of many minds.

So–do you have a similar story and how was it handled?

25 comments on “Definitely NOT neighborly
  1. Mary says:

    In todays world it seems many people have the attitude of “I need to take care of me and not concern myself with the respect of others”. I was taught to always put others first, I don’t think that is right either, there must be a fine line somewhere in the middle.

  2. Tam Minton says:

    We have a neighborhood online chat thingie too. I think the biggest thing was a huge protest about a Walmart looking at land a few miles away.

  3. It’s funny you mentioned this on this particular week. When we lived in KY we had no neighbors since we lived on a small farm. We never had to deal with loud or obtrusive neighbors. Now since moving to SC we live on a dead end street with approximately 20 other houses. This past Sunday we were awakened with a chainsaw cutting down trees at 6:30 in the morning. Not a happy neighborhood.

  4. harriet says:

    I am pretty sure that my city has ordinance concerning when people can do these things. I’ve had weird stuff like that in my neighborhood. Putting up a huge fence (my fortress) has really helped.

  5. Sometimes the old saying, ‘It’s easier to ask forgiveness than to ask permission’, just doesn’t cut it!

  6. Michelle R says:

    That attitude is inexcusable, and if I were the neighbor, I would have called the City immediately. If the neighbor isn’t neighborly, and is deaf to legitimate complaints, then you have to build a record of code violations with the city/county. Every time work starts early, call. We recently moved next to a church, which is not the best neighbor. Church officials are receptive to our requests — they met with us and are very open. But controlling the congregation is another story. There’s always “creep” right back to the same old inconsiderate stuff. We ended up meeting with each council member on an annexation issue, but brought our complaints up as well. These complaints ended up on the record at the hearing. It’s wasn’t an official complaint, but more of a warning shot that the neighborhood had had enough. Recent requests regarding noise have been addressed, and the church is holding a “neighborhood appreciation day” in a few weeks. So…I’m hopeful we can all get along. And as I pointed out to the church, being a good neighbor really is about doing unto others.

  7. The business should have sent a notice around. Our ordinance is no noise between 11pm and 7am so I can’t complain as much as I would love to when my neighbors cut their grass on Sunday at 7am.

  8. Something similar to this is happening to us, 250 homes are going in one block from my home, so our very quiet rural area is now inundated with homes. They start at 6….city ordinances says they can start at daybreak….thank you. they have been as kind as they are able since I am a planning commissioner and can make their lives miserable if I want to. They dropped some debris on the lot behind me which I was sited for, when I called them to fix it and then report that fix to my local constabulary, the constabulary called the DA and claimed I was using my position (what position? I am paid in diet coke and pens) for my advantage. The DA contacted me immediately and accepted my explanation. But if it shows up anywhere it will say, “Tagliaferri investigated for wrongdoing, but nothing was found. ” Talk about giving a mouse a cookie (reference to a children’s book)

  9. Jeanine says:

    I would be fuming. We live in a semi detached house and our landlord have had people renovating next door (not professionals btw) for the past TWO years. They are here everyday from 7a until sometimes 9p. Today I had words with one of them regarding my driveway and them parking in it for weeks. I wish our neighborhood had one of these. Guaranteed it would be full of complaints regarding next door!

  10. Britney says:

    Wow, this is pretty interesting. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Carol Graham says:

    Have not had to deal with this. Surprised at how many people commented that it was a problem for them as well. Maybe I just don’t notice because I am up before the birds

  12. Liz Mays says:

    These big projects always seem to happen in the early morning don’t they? Such a great sound to wake up to.

  13. Layne says:

    We can only hope to teach our own children, so that they do not grow up to be so inconsiderate! One Family at a time.

  14. Heather says:

    I think it’s incredibly rude, can you imagine that on a Sunday morning that might have been someone’s only day off and they were woken so early… Clearly the owner did not follow proper protocols and definitely owes an apology to the community.

  15. Kimba says:

    Yeah, this kind of thing can get very ugly very quickly for all involved. His Mama did not raise him right. It’s shameful to behave this way, but, short of getting law enforcement involved to issue the citation, there’s not a whole lot you can do, right? Well, except keep your own behavior in check.

  16. Christina says:

    I don’t know, maybe I’m just easy going, but I don’t get too ticked about these types of things. Especially if it was just one day. People are too quick to anger these days. And an internet group probably gets real catty. Live and let live. I’m not a fan of HOA’s and the like. Don’t tell me how to keep my yard, etc. But maybe I’m a weirdo and need to move to a farm or something.

  17. Paula Schuck says:

    I haven’t had to deal with this, thank goodness! I’m so glad that person commented and pretty much put him in his place! That was much more than an inconvenience.

  18. Honestly I think people either do not stop and think about their neighbors not realizing that they are causing any harm OR they just do not care. I have had neighbors that can be clueless at times myself.

  19. Carolann says:

    We’ve had to deal with stuff like that from time to time and I’ve learned it’s not worth getting aggravated over…so we just deal and move on. I can totally see why folks get pissed though.

  20. Tammy says:

    Ahhh, neighborhood disput3esl… gotta love them. Rudeness is never acceptable. In this case it was more a case of bad judgment, ill management, and a completely misunderstanding of their constituents. Shame on them!

  21. Luckily, I haven’t had the experience. But I would call the city to let them know about the situation.

  22. That is definitely not neighborly and, unfortunately, I’m reading it on a Saturday morning after being woken up by similar noise. What is with these people?!

  23. Online communications, particularly Facebook, have me wishing everyone took a course in nonviolent communication, aka compassionate communication.

  24. M from The Stay-at-Home Life says:

    We have neighbors that like to do loud woodworking. At 11 p.m. Right under my kids’ windows. since it’s dark, they also have lights blazing so they can try to see. The noise echos up and down the street.

  25. Amy says:

    Hi Carol…We used to live next door to a business. And the owner lived on the other side of the business, so he was our neighbor. He knew my husband’s work schedule–working nights, but he still went out and made noise at 6 AM or thereabouts many mornings. Nice guy in many ways, but he kept up his noise even after my husband reminded him of his schedule. Oh, it was infuriating!

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