Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 28

Thread: 1st sticky situation with neighbor

  1. #1
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    VT/NJ
    Posts
    8,232

    1st sticky situation with neighbor

    So, with this whole common land deal, I figured some issues could come up.

    First off, let me say that my next-door neighbor is a really nice guy--from rural VT. He has 3 kids from about 10-17, and they are really good kids. Polite, hard-working etc. He's a nice guy. His uncle owns the house to the left of me and to the right of me, but "Peter" used to spend summers here just like I used to in CT, so he has strong ties to the area although this is his first year actually owning his own place. He bought the house from his uncle this spring.

    He is a true McGiver and incredible worker. He is constantly fixing, jerry-rigging, you name it. So one day I noticed that one of the small trees lining the shore was missing. And yesterday he said to me, "So I just wanted to let you know that Im going to be cutting down all the vegetation and burning it. Is that OK with you?"

    Gulp. DH and I made up our. minds we wouldn't make waves this year. But: a) burning brush is an environmental no-no.
    But b) I am really opposed to him removing the vegetation! For all the environmental reasons that a shoreline needs a good buffer! Erosion, prevention of excess nutrients from run-off, habitat protection. Aesthetics, etc etc.

    So I lamely said, "Well, I'm the new kid on the block, but I wouldn't mind if you kept the vegetation, to prevent erosion." That was all I could muster at the moment. And he countered with, "Yeah, but some of that stuff takes hold and it's impossible to get rid of."

    I have a fantastic pdf that I printed out a couple of months ago designed for people looking to encourage healthy lakes in VT. It has a really nice page on "What is a Buffer and Why Do We Need it?" Then on that last page, there's FAQ, and one question is "If I want to plant a garden can I remove the existing vegetation?" And apparently the answer is no, 250ft from the shore is protected by the Shoreline Protection Act and you have to pull a permit.

    What do I do?? Hand him the information sheet? Tell him about the restrictions? Keep my mouth shut? Or risk being that hoity-toity environmentalist? If it were his land, I would keep my mouth shut, but my taxes give me just as much of a stake in the lakefront as his are.

    Well, what should I do?

    PS. I hate confrontation more than anything.
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  2. #2
    Moderator Float On's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    By a lake in MO
    Posts
    4,447
    Our lake is Corp of engineers owned. No lake house owns to the lake the Corp owns the frontage. You cut or burn there is a huge fine. Dock permits are hard to get. You maybe better check the regulations. Id hate for all the homeowners to be charged a fee based on one guys actions.

  3. #3
    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    12,804
    I am not sure about specifics and have gotta run, but make sure you are ready to provide reliable habnds on help to maintain tjis area neatly and to the standards of this tree cutting guy.

    As newbies to our Herman nabe, we are the burners.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    914
    Educating your neighbor is not a confrontation.

    I would go over there with the PDF. Let him know you were aware that there were lake preservation guidelines and you have now learned it's actually law. So please, do not remove anything from behind our home. I want to be a good steward here in Vermont.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    3,373
    We are also dealing with ALL of our neighbors who seem to be clueless about environmental reasons for doing or not doing certain things. The amount of watering bluegrass lawns drives me nuts. And the amount of pesticide and weed killers. For now, we are keeping our mouths shut as we realize we are the newcomers and they've been doing what they've always done. My take is that some people just don't get it.

  6. #6
    Senior Member razz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    4,870
    Quote Originally Posted by Gardnr View Post
    Educating your neighbor is not a confrontation.

    I would go over there with the PDF. Let him know you were aware that there were lake preservation guidelines and you have now learned it's actually law. So please, do not remove anything from behind our home. I want to be a good steward here in Vermont.
    +1
    Been there , done that and earned my neighbour's respect for holding my ground. He is not being respectful.
    Gandhi: Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony .

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Posts
    2,237
    Catherine, I can't remember if you own any of the land, and if he does, and if the commonly owned land is the shore itself, or do guys own some of the shore? I also can't remember if there is an HOA for the commonly owned land?

  8. #8
    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    VT/NJ
    Posts
    8,232
    Quote Originally Posted by Tybee View Post
    Catherine, I can't remember if you own any of the land, and if he does, and if the commonly owned land is the shore itself, or do guys own some of the shore? I also can't remember if there is an HOA for the commonly owned land?
    The land directly on the shoreline and going back several feet (but well within that 250 ft restricted area) is common land--we all own it all. We own our own little slivers until we get to that point.

    No HOA--the lawyers had assured us that "everyone just works it out."

    Edited to add the picture: This was taken before he removed the tree (see the lower right in the photo). IL, as you can see, it's not a jungle of vegetation. It's a nice neat buffer, and I was hoping at some point to add to it with perennial pollinator plants.

    IMG_0478.jpg
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
    www.silententry.wordpress.com

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2016
    Posts
    2,237
    Quote Originally Posted by catherine View Post
    The land directly on the shoreline and going back several feet (but well within that 250 ft restricted area) is common land--we all own it all. We own our own little slivers until we get to that point.

    No HOA--the lawyers had assured us that "everyone just works it out."

    Edited to add the picture: This was taken before he removed the tree (see the lower right in the photo). IL, as you can see, it's not a jungle of vegetation. It's a nice neat buffer, and I was hoping at some point to add to it with perennial pollinator plants.

    IMG_0478.jpg
    Is that the tree he removed? Oh dear, I can see why you are upset. Did he approach you or your husband? Did he approach the other landowners? It does not sound like this barrier should be removed, for the reasons you say.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Williamsmith's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Penns Woods
    Posts
    2,983
    I scanned the Shoreline Protection Act PDF and Iím not at all sure that the activity you described isnít exempt so if it were me Iíd be careful not to confront him. For instance, could this area be described as existing lawn needing to be maintained? Prior to this act being placed into law, was this common area lawn all the way down to the shoreline. If it was, the way I read it, an exemption exists because thatís the way it was before the law ever came into existence. Are there any noxious weeds, invasive species, nuisance plants, or diseased trees anywhere in his target zone?

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •