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sassybutterfly_2008

Code Violation.. for my jugs!!! :(

hmmppff!!! Grrrrrrrrrrr!!! Arrrggghhhhhhhhh!!!!!!

Just came home to a county inspector that was leaving me a code violation for my WS jugs... apparently I have a 'neighbor' that doesn't like them... They are not even in my front yard, but a side portion of my yard, but yea, you can *technically* see them from the street... I *tried* to explain WS'ing... he even admitted that if one person had a toilet in their yard AND it had soil in it and flowers growing, that while it wasn't in his taste.. it wasn't a violation. But since none of mine had sprouts yet, no matter there are seeds that WILL sprout! That it was considered merely 'litter' and I have 10 days to remove them. I am sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

mad right now!!! I'll move them to the backyard I guess.. but I'm NOT getting rid of my babies!!!

Anyone else ever experience this?

~Wendy

Comments (59)

  • liza070831
    13 years ago

    I am not surprised. My daughter lives in a suburb of Atlanta. She has spent thousands of $'s landscaping her property with retaining walls and gardens, but her house itself needs a lot of exterior cosmetic work. She got a letter from an unknown neighbor asking her to paint her house since it is an eyesore and offends her guests. Her plan is to redo the exterior completely but she has not been able to find a contractor willing to do the job. The house was originally a chicken coop converted to a home in the '40,s. Since it is painted yellow, I told her to paint a big smiley face on it.

  • sassybutterfly_2008
    Original Author
    13 years ago

    LOL ty everyone! I was quite umm.. miffed when I posted this thread ! I've calmed down a lil bit .. but I still find it rude of whomever it was!

    There's close to 150 milkjugs/2 liters... and I was going to finish up another 100-150 this wkend. I had bags of potting soil, perlite, etc also on the side of the house and he said that was a code violation too .. 'improper storage'. Soooooooo I guess I'll be moving alot of things around this week and wkend instead of finishing up my WS'ing.

    I had to laugh at the fake flower idea.. I think the guy would know.. he is going to come back in person and physically check to be sure I've moved everything. I'm going to call and see if it's ok to put them in my fenced in backyard... it's chainlink, but I'll put them in a back corner so they're not seen I guess. I like the idea of an easy lattice fence.. that would cover them somewhat.. hmmmm... lots of good ideas to ponder. TY!

    ~Wendy

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  • mmqchdygg
    13 years ago

    If you have a clue who it might be, I would kill them with kindness, and offer to grow them a crop of (whatever of their choosing)...tomato plant, squash, whatever. Maybe they'll think twice next time they consider reporting you.

  • nancy_drew
    13 years ago

    Oh mmg! You're so much kinder than I am.... I'd consider a little chemical warfare! Not sure I could actually be that rotten... but I would consider it!

    You're right though. She could bring over a few flower plants, maybe some maters or cukes. Kill them with kindness during the summer. I'm sure they really don't understand what she's doing... bless their heart... they just don't get it.

  • wren_garden
    13 years ago

    I had my own experience yesterday. We are having a new roof put on and new siding, ( I am very excited about it) The contractor got his crew started about 8am. He called the city inspector an hour later to tell him he was starting the job for which he had a permit. The inspector said he had already received a call from one of my neighbors wanting to know if they knew about the job and was all proper. You would think my neighbor would be thrilled to see us improve our house and there for their environment. This is where the phrase (WHY DON'T YOU)"GET A LIFE" is on the tip of my tongue. Nancy and mmqch I would do the same. The last thing such people want is to have to face you, then to be face to face with a smile and veggies, well that's just the way to humanize and neutralize. Good Luck Elizabeth

  • soonergrandmom
    13 years ago

    Sorry about your "violation".

    There are some advantages to living in "redneck country" where we have no zoning and everyone has one or more of: 4-wheeler, sail boat, fishing boat, jet skiis, motor cycles, riding mower, etc., and not enough inside space to store all of them. Some will end up in the yard. HeeHee

    My WS space is not too neat right now however, and now that I have experienced a few months of growing, I know to put it in a different location for next year.

    Some disadvantages to no zoning though because there are no lease laws for dogs, so they are everywhere. My veggie garden is fenced, but they still make drop-oofs in other parts of my yard. Yuck.

    I guess you can pray for snow so they will all be covered again. Too bad you have nosy neighbors.

  • dorisl
    13 years ago

    I got in trouble once for putting my garbage out too early. You're supposed to put it out at 7pm and I usually do it a 3pm.

    It does sound good to live out int he midle of nowhere with no prying eyes staring down your back every move you make.

  • lblack61
    13 years ago

    How about getting one of those oblong planters, the kind that almost look like a bench but are open on top? you could set the jugs inside them, and if he asks what are these, just tell him they are planters where your flowers will go when they bloom.

    Linda

  • tiffy_z5_6_can
    13 years ago

    Hence the reason I live where I live. At our former home we had a neighbour from hell who would call the city for the slightest thing and then take his binoculars out to stare at us if the blinds were up in the house.

    I'm grateful for where I live. Our city encourages composting so no one can complain about my four piles in the back. The city inspector even came out once to check it out but wanted info on how I make my own so as to educate people in a publication about what they could use for composting. The guys who pick-up our organics told him that I rarely have anything to be picked-up. :O)

    My wsing containers are seen by all who drive by the house. The first year they didn't complain but actually came over to find out what I was doing. Then they saw the gardens evolve and grow and now they will ask "When are the bottles coming out?" as they walk by. One neighbour even said that when he sees the trays of pop bottles coming out in the yard from the deck he knows that spring is here.

    I am blessed with great neighbours. There is no doubt about that.

  • lblack61
    13 years ago

    Sassy,
    If you do manage to keep your containers outside, be sure to either offer some of the excess seedlings to your neighbor (being sure to bring them over in the milk jug), or give him/her a cut flowers bouquet that came from them to your neighbor this summer.
    (It's kind of one of those "nice-nasty" moves, but it does something nice for your neighbor when you could do something bad AND shows him/her the benefit of putting up with whatever offends them about the way it looks in the winter.)

    Linda

  • kqcrna
    13 years ago

    Don't pitch them yet. If you don't have sprouts yet, chances are good that you will within 10 days in Ga. Are there things that should be sprouting soon? Most things should, I think. If you haven't sown any tomatoes, do some now. Are they in sun or shade? You could move them to more sun to encourage germination.

    Or, if you have any volunteer plants emerging in your yard, they could end up in a jug, showing plants growing in oh-so-handy, recyclable, earth friendly milk jug planters. You are growing them to feed your family and beautify your property.

    I'd go that route to pi$$ them off and take my chances.

    Karen

  • mwilk42
    13 years ago

    yet another reason I am glad I don't live in town. you just can't put a price on sitting on the patio in your niteshirt. LOL
    I hate this has happened to you. A problem neighbor can sure take a toll. says more about them than it does about you.

  • anewgarden
    13 years ago

    AMAZING!!!
    People are so annoying sometimes !!
    I vote with those who say that it would be a good idea to be extra extra "kind" with gifts of flowers and herbs to whoever complained.

    I wish I could complain to some authority about the people around me who chop down their nice healthy trees, and never put out any flowers!
    Maybe we need a political party! WSers for Seedling Rights!!
    Flowers not Foes! Herbs against Hate!

  • ajpa
    13 years ago

    Some people are such power freaks!
    (((hugs)))

  • Lloyd
    13 years ago

    Saw the title, just had to read it, not what I thought it was going to be about, going back to compost forum now.

    :-)

    Lloyd

    P.S. Sometimes neighbors just suck!

  • retiredprof
    13 years ago

    Having grown up in a city rowhouse, where there was no privacy, the first thing I did when I bought this single-family ranch house was put up a 6-ft tall privacy fence all around the perimeter of the property. Then inside that, I built a deck with its own privacy fence, an enclosed courtyard and a patio under a heavily-planted arbor. You can walk around nekkid out here but I'm in the middle of suburbia.

    I do have a neighbor who's a total slob--trash out front and back (she forgets to put it out for pick-up), bikes and toys everywhere, old tires, etc. I've called the county on her many times and she's been cited repeatedly. She laughs about it, pays the fines, and continues her MO. In her words: "Nobody's going to tell me how to live. I have plenty of money to pay fines."

    Lovely.

    Whatever happened to my dream of becoming a retired gentleman farmer with a small house, lots of land, and nobody around for miles?

  • highalttransplant
    13 years ago

    Do they recycle where you live? Maybe you could place the jugs inside recycling bins.

    Bonnie

  • nancy_drew
    13 years ago

    I just sowed 16 water bottles, then I put them in one of my window boxes and covered it with plastic. I stuck that up on top of my window a/c unit, and tomorrow I'll do another one just like it. They won't even notice it... besides, window boxes do belong in places like that, don't they?

    Posted by retiredprof: "Nobody's going to tell me how to live. I have plenty of money to pay fines."

    Lucky her! Poor you!!

    We've got one here that's known as Elphaba. She really is a witch... even yelling at the kids in the complex, giving them a hard time at the pool. We got in ... uh... shall we say a uh... disagreement at the pool last year while I was working. I won that one... but seriously I swear... one of these days we are going to end up going to

  • kqcrna
    13 years ago

    Who let Loid in here? I thought we'd barred the doors. I didn't think you strayed much from the soil forum, Lloyd. Are we thinking of trying wintersowing as a break from the farming and composting? I tried to lured you in the past I think.

    Karen

  • Lloyd
    13 years ago

    Hi Karen

    I occasionally look into the far north, tractor and this forum but ya, compost is where I usually live.

    DW has in the past talked about having a smaller garden area she could play with (Fybro and arthritis so big garden not an option). So I popped in to see what was up and saw the thread about a violation for jugs and just had to look.

    This is definitely a great forum, kudos to all.

    Lloyd

  • kqcrna
    13 years ago

    Yeah, I figured you just wanted to check out our jugs.

    You should build your wife an easily accessible raised bed garden. And you could both wintersow plants for it, play in the dirt in winter like we do.

    Karen

  • sassybutterfly_2008
    Original Author
    13 years ago

    Normally I do have a sense of humor.. hence the title.. but after that the 'angry' just set in....lol

    Thanks Lloyd for worryin' about my jug violation. ha!

    Well there's def some good ideas here, ty everyone! The neighbor I thought it was... it wasn't. I only found that out cuz my darling daughter decided to approach him herself when I was inside making dinner, and he came over and knocked on my door to talk. She's got guts.. that's for sure! So now I'm really not sure WHO had the issue so I wouldn't know WHO to offer the goodies to.. Neither here nor there, I'm not going to just dump my jugs, heck no! I'll just move them this wkend, but I will call this code enforcer again before I do and make SURE that won't be an issue either. If it is.. well you just wait n see.. I'll be putting those jugs up on the back porch roof where NOone will see them.. unless ur in an airplane! I know that's ridiculous, but I WILL find a way to make this work! One way or another.. I'll fig out a way to keep my jugs.

    I love my jugs. :P

    Thanks !
    Wendy

  • thenightingale
    13 years ago

    That stinks! Some people...busybodies...

    What about throwing a lattice up around the jugs? It's an "improvement", right?

  • just1morehosta
    13 years ago

    Sassy,means,Sassy,you go girl!
    cAROL

  • irisheyes66
    13 years ago

    So sorry you have to put up with idiot neighbors...as another poster mentioned, you'd think people would have something more important to worry about.

    I moved from an East coast "big city" to a tiny farming town (pop. 1,300) here in the Midwest, and I've never been happier. There aren't many neighbors, and the ones I have are quite friendly and decent. There are empty fields behind my house, so I've never had anyone say a word about my non-stop gardening "projects". We have very informal zoning requirements--my neighbors have llamas and donkeys!

    Hope you can get it sorted out soon...it's too much work to waste!

  • teequiltbarbie
    13 years ago

    My initial reaction was to read the initial post with my mouth hanging open! What the heck! Can't people just mind their own business? I'm SO sorry that happened! Lived in the city/suburbs most of my life and every neighborhood has one...nosey neighbor who always knows best! ICK!

    Used to live in Naperville, IL (IL folks will know what that means) and no laundry lines there, please!!! Even in older neighborhoods, we MUST maintain standards....PUKE !

    Sold and bought beater in the country for little money and WOULD NEVER GO BACK! Hey, ya'll, come join us. No one cares or would dare tell you anything to do out here in the wilds of Indiana.

    I love the plastic flower idea best. You'll find away, good always wins!

  • moonphase
    13 years ago

    I didn't have the city give me a violation but I live in one of those subdivisions that has strict covnents.I seem to break every one and my neighbor complains about every thing I do.I planted 60 green giants so in a few yrs I won't have to see her yard and she won't see mine.My doctor lives 5 houses up and we usually talk flowers on my monthly Dr. visits except for the time she heard how I talked worse than a sailor to the neighbor and nailed up no trespassing signs on the trees along the property line on her side,lol and one section of fence-on her side to make sure she had better not set foot on my property,I was the topic for quite a while,lo but she never complained the first time about all my milk jugs and such.I do keep mine in the back yard though.I pray for the day when the economy will let me move to an area in the country.
    moonphase

  • sister_k
    13 years ago

    Oh Wendy, that's such a pain! I live in a condo, but thank goodness I have a big, second floor deck, with no one overlooking or bordering my place and really no visibility from the street except the very edges. Even so, I kept waiting to get a letter from the HOA about my blanket & rug draped shelves covering my pots over the winter. Luckily I made it through without any incident and I guess no one ever noticed or complained, which is great.

    I wonder if there could really be some exception in your case if it's food that's growing. I googled "code violation georgia seed litter" and found some pretty detailed and specific nuisance ordinances that even detailed WEED violations, and prohibited "Weeds which bear or may bear seeds of a downy or wingy nature." But no exceptions for growing food that I could see! I wonder if this is one of those things that could eventually be an exception to a certain law if someone raised enough of an objection... Well, I wish you the best of luck!

  • barefoot_contessa
    13 years ago

    All I can say is that pi$$es me off. I have a neighbor just like that! What do ya do, you can't live with them, and you can't kill'em, LoL
    Sorry about your nasty neighbor situation Wendy. I just have no advise, or I would be a much happier neighbor myself, LoL.

    Carrie

  • sweetkountry
    13 years ago

    Sassy it sounds like you need to get creative! It sounds like the issue might be that they are visable from the road. So maybe you need to redecorate to cover your jugs. Buy some of the cheapest lattice you can find. Then get some nice paint, maybe some nice colors like day glo pink, neon orange, lime green and vivid purple and have a ball painting your new jug cover.

    Then this summer let it be known in the neighborhood that if the inspector comes out you next spring you will be putting up the 'jug bra' again. They may prefer the jugs.

  • shinyalloy_5
    13 years ago

    Maybe you could call the inspector and see if cloches are legal. I know around here some of the finest summer gardens are covered in the worst looking cold protection. I've seen upturned pots, 5 gallon buckets, plastic contraptions that look like strawberry pints, I have even seen styrofoam covers sold expressly to protect plants from the cold, (at $10 a pop, its cheaper to by the disposable beer cooler), homemade hoophouses, coldframes and of course the always handy and unattractive tarp. Maybe if you call them cloches it will add a ring of legitimacy to what your doing.

    If all that fails ALERT THE MEDIA! You could try writing a letter to the editor of your local paper, I know as a gardener I would rally behind you because I wouldn't want anyone to threaten my own way of gardening.
    I do agree with the others, veggies would help your case

  • MLcom
    13 years ago

    Sigh so feel your pain, got a visit via code guy cause was doing organic gardening here with horse poop.
    I did ask him ok tell me again why they call NJ the garden state?

    ML

  • brandymulvaine
    13 years ago

    Could you get a Dr say it's part of your "therapy"? People seem to be able to get away with lots if a Dr says it's ok.-B

  • karendee
    13 years ago

    Wendy, I like your attitude! I think you have some really great ideas here so I hope something works for you.

    I may make the lattice cover for next year. this way I won't spend all winter worrying about the HOA sending me a nasty note with a fine. they will actually clean up your yard then bill you.

    Could you imagine if I came home and the jugs were gone?
    I would have a complete fit!!!

    I hope you resolve the issue. Make sure you tell us here what happens!

    Karen

  • teequiltbarbie
    13 years ago

    moonphase...belive me I understand about not being able to do things because of economy/jobs,etc. Read "Simple Living Guide" by Janet Luhrs. It might give you an idea how to do something before you're "ready" Rural living is way cheaper than city living. We sold the house in IL and were able to pay our bills and buy a house here with money left over. Granted, this house was a "fixer upper" but we've fixed it up. Follow your dreams, have faith...it's one of the things gardening teaches...at least, that's what I think. Sorry to get off topic. But I love to encourage folks to follow dreams...they really can come true.

  • karendee
    13 years ago

    This post got me looking for screens. I found some inexpensive ones and it comes with 2 when you order. I added a link if anyone is interested.

    Karen

    Here is a link that might be useful: Screens Link

  • sheltieche
    13 years ago

    I can feel your pain- boy I would be mad as well. I like the solution to decorate it somehow, there are lots of those plastic vinil table clothes or posters which could be made as a corral as a fence and stick flowers on top- with enough thinking it could be even made artistic.
    I am sure you will find a way to save your jugs. Since you do not know who complained why don't you print out W/S brochure that people have on this forum and send it to EVERY one of your neighbors who might be marginally involved. Refer them to this website as well. I support the idea of going to the media- send your own complaint- "Who is against my effort to beautify environment", 'My go green movement in danger " "My ecology friendly recycle support program is under siege"- something of that kind.
    As a future reference you might consider switching to professional looking pots made from black plastic which could be neatly stocked into trays to look like small time nursery operation, unless you decide to move out of such restricting place.
    I try to live peacefully with ALL my neighbors, but TRY is the operative word, things are not always easy... there is always one person somewhere who has to make life miserable for everyone on the street/ block etc. Most of the time such people have mental deviations, paranoid ideations, simply lonely, forgotten by family, unable to find their place in the society, etc. which does not absolve them from being a pest... but

  • gardengal05
    13 years ago

    After reading your story Wendy it make me grateful for the neighbors we have, we live in the country and only have one neighbor, but it only takes one neighbor to be a pain in the butt. I'm sure you will come up with the right solution and everything will work out just fine..

  • soonergrandmom
    13 years ago

    Why not post a picture and maybe we can come up with a better idea?

  • albertar
    13 years ago

    I remember the same thing happening to some one on here last year, she posted pictures too, but sorry I don't remember what the out come was. Its truly a damn shame that people just can't mind their own damn business. I would possibly contact the local newspaper, including the website for WinterSown.org and give a full explanation what winter sowing is, etc. Especially pointing out the beauty of gardens and also the value in vegetable gardening.

    Alberta

  • terrene
    13 years ago

    Ugh...so sorry you have to experience this. After living here for nearly six years, I had a couple incidents occur with neighbors last year that were very upsetting. For example, in June I hosted a plant swap, and in the middle of the swap the police arrived. Apparently the elderly neighbor next door called them to complain of the parking cluster. A little later one of the swappers parked too close to the hydrant (she wanted to load plants) and the neighbor came over and vented about 40 years of frustration over parking on me. He was so angry his veins were popping out! The road IS posted "No Parking" because of a nearby pond and recreation area, but the cars weren't parking for that, and I had called the police that morning to inform them of the event. It was just a quiet plant swap for 2 hours on a Saturday morning!

    Hope you find a workable solution...people can get worked up over the most ridiculous things sometimes.

  • drippy
    13 years ago

    It continually boggles my mind that people can't talk to each other. It sounds, from your post, and from others who have had similar experiences, that a lot of you are trying to figure out the "whoever it was" that generated the complaint. Can people not talk to each other directly anymore? When I had a concern about the safety of the neighborhood children - toddlers who were playing in the street unattended - since there were more than a few families involved, I wrote up a letter outlining my concerns, copied it, SIGNED it, and hand-delivered it around the neighborhood. I did NOT call the police. Some people were miffed at me, some people thanked me, but the situation improved - at least the toddlers in the street are better supervised now. And that was all I wanted! I don't get this going to the police/commissioners/zoning board etc. before talking (not yelling) to the person who is offending you. It is a strange world we live in sometimes.

    I have been taught to resolve a complaint by going through the chain of command, and the chain of command begins with the person you have the complaint with.

  • booberry85
    13 years ago

    Wow! Does that suck! I'm a regular lurker and occasional poster over here. People here have given you a lot of good suggestions. I just here to say, "there,there, things worked out somehow," and give you a virtual pat on the back.

  • sassybutterfly_2008
    Original Author
    13 years ago

    Thanks everybody!

    I swear the first thing I thought of after the 'code officer' left was running here to the WS forum cuz I just KNEW you all would 'get it' !!! And you have, and I really appreciate the understanding thoughts & comments too!

    I agree about the fact that whomever this was would have been WELCOMED if they had just come to me directly.. I've only been in this house about 3 mos, but it is the house I grew up in from my teens til my early 20's. So I do know alot of people on my particular street. I really don't think it is one of them, we have alot of walkers from the other roads in the subdivision that pass by our house. My guess is on one of them.

    I have decided I'm going to go w/ the lattice fence idea for a short term solution. I have other bigger, GRANDER ideas further on down the road, but for now I think it'll work. I've just got to fig out a way to anchor the lattice pieces w/out having to go out and purchase rebar.. I'm thinking maybe bamboo stakes or something... I'll post a pic over the wkend if I get it finished up. I've already moved a good bit of them from where they were.

    I am still waiting on the code officer to call me back however, just to make SURE this will be a solution that'll work. I can't imagine they can say what I can or can't do in a fenced in back yard.. but in this day & age.. who knows!? For those that asked too, I don't live in a HOA subdivision, it's a rather old subdivision for the area, but I am within the city limits and it's THEIR codes that I've got to fig out how to abide by :D

    I am almost tempted to do the planted toilet in the front lawn he mentioned.. he did say since it had plants that it was not in violation of codes.. heck maybe I'll do a whole row of toilets w/ plastic covers to WS in.. *chuckling. OK maybe I'm gettin' carried away.. but there is a part of me that wants my smart sASSy revenge! :D

    THANKS so much everyone! I'll let you all know the outcome!

    ~Wendy

  • bakemom_gw
    13 years ago

    Do what the code officer says and also stay away from your peevish neighbors. Read your ordinances and understand them. Have the officer come back and approve of what you have done. I have had pre-existing shrubs complained of and worked with the officer to correct the problem. In the end, I had to remove them. I didn't plant them, but they were a problem for traffic. I had no idea and was astonished that someone would complain rather than come to me. Everyone knows who complained, but I would rather not know.

    Neighbors sometimes perfer to call authorities, a neutral party, rather than engage in a disagreement with a neighbor.

    Then, pound some chay chay and flip your neighbors the bird.

  • kqcrna
    13 years ago

    I like the toilet idea. You'd have literal flower "pots"

    Karen

  • bakemom_gw
    13 years ago

    Neighbor disputes are the worst. Leave it be. Adhere to code and move on. There are other things to worry about. Your ordinances should be available on line.

    I know it hurt your feelings, but just fix it and get your beds ready. Really. I deal with this stuff all day long. You didn't intend to offend anyone and they were probably reluctant to call it to your attention. It happens all the time - normally over fences and stuff like that.

    He!!, it happened to ME with some pre-existing rare shrubs.

  • sassybutterfly_2008
    Original Author
    13 years ago

    Oh I will Bakemom.. but it IS nice to rant my evil thoughts... :D

    ~Wendy

  • bakemom_gw
    13 years ago

    I know the feeling. Rant on.

  • pennymca
    13 years ago

    I ditto calling the newspaper with a "human interest" story on how to inexpensively grow veggies from seeds in recycled containers. Gets the gardening/recycling aspect in.

    We've had two stories on growing food and seed swapping "due to the economy" in our newspaper lately.

    Also, in the Depression they started letting people have chickens in their backyards in town where before it had been outlawed.

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