Thursday, May 22, 2014

Homeowner Seeks To Curb Inappropriate Nighttime Behaviors

Dear Tazi:

I have an awkward problem that presents no obvious solution. I own my own home, towards the end of a dead end street, and next door to my house is an undersized lot not suitable for building. The owner lost an appeal for a change of zoning to allow him to build and since then has left the land to go fallow. Because of this the already wooded lot has become quite overgrown and unsightly but providing the seclusion the local teens like, if you catch my meaning.

The lot next door has become something of a local "make out" spot as well as a place for other teenage activities. Every Saturday, Sunday, and (sometimes) Monday morning I have to clean up after the visitors from the night before. If I am lucky, it is just empty beer cans and liquor bottles; if I am not lucky, it is used condoms and vomit.

I remember what it was like to be young and looking for a good time, so I am hesitant to call the police to report these activities. On the other hand, I really do not want these activities taking place directly across from my house. I am extremely uncomfortable with the thought of approaching the offenders, but can think of no other way to get them to respect the fact that my neighborhood is a respectful, residential place. Do you have any ideas I can try, Tazi? I am open to all suggestions.

Not In My Backyard

Dear Not In My backyard:

This situation is one type of NIMBYism I am comfortable promoting. The fact that these young - and quite possibly not so young - people are leaving copious evidence of their activities is rude, disrespectful, and downright unacceptable. You say that you are uncomfortable with reporting these night-time activities to the police; would you be comfortable reporting them to the land owner? He may be in a tiff because his land is not suitable for building, but he is still responsible for what occurs on his property and if someone is injured while partying on it he may be legally liable.

If reporting the activities taking place on his property does not phase the land owner enough to bring about action on his part, you may want to consider installing motion-detection floodlights on the edge of your property. If you put them facing outward they will turn on when someone trespasses on the property next door, exposing that which prefers the privacy that the dark offers. Once the word gets out that light is being shone on the matter the problem should solve itself.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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