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Old 10-15-2015, 08:23 PM   #21
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Sorry to hear that Sean. Looks like Austin has as many busybodies that love to mess with other people as San Antonio has. My best advice is to build a screening fence that is in 100% compliance with the city code - to the letter. Make it a nice one, nothing ratty, everything up to snuff. Then, let the neighbor know, very kindly, that you are in total compliance with the city code. Mention your Attorney, and that you will treat any future raising of the issue as harassment, and sue aggressively. Carl's right - these kind of folks are about power and control. Once she knows you won't be pushed around, she'll move on to an easier target.
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Old 10-15-2015, 08:26 PM   #22
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Maybe she is a Ranger fan, and is upset with the Jay's butt kicking.
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Old 10-15-2015, 08:47 PM   #23
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Wait....I lost it at...the sun was reflecting off the window..could you move your truck!

Your neighbor seriously needs a hobby....one that doesn't include you or anything in your backyard.

I'd zip the guidelines back as a reply. As for relocating the trailer....no way...as soon as you start complying with the requests......you're a pawn!
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Old 10-15-2015, 09:14 PM   #24
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Another gambit would be to inform the neighbor you plan on building a 6 ft code-compliant fence that will not cover up the whole trailer. Have a quote in hand for a code-compliant carport with solid walls, and offer to build that if the neighbor will pay the difference.

If they go for it, get the difference in $ up front even if you need to put together a legal contract.

That's a win-win!
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Old 10-15-2015, 09:36 PM   #25
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Would bamboo be considered "wood"? If so, perhaps one of those rolls could be put up with stakes at each end for easy ingress/egress.
(I know it's a grass.)
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Old 10-15-2015, 09:42 PM   #26
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Daubsy,
The operative language in the quoted code is "screened from public view".
If a person standing on the sidewalk or street can see the Escape over a six foot fence, you would have to go higher---as high as necessary to screen from public view.
I'd get something cheap from Lowes or Home Depot and put in on wheels or stabilize it with ratcheting tie-downs like we do with awnings.
Just an old lawyer's opinion.
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Old 10-15-2015, 09:51 PM   #27
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The fence has to be only 6ft tall? A 19ft Escape is 8 1/2 ft or so. Even when you're in compliance the top of the trailer will be visible.
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Another gambit would be to inform the neighbor you plan on building a 6 ft code-compliant fence that will not cover up the whole trailer.
I don't think it says that at all. What is says is the fence must be tall enough to hide the RV from public view (about 8 1/2 feet in this case) and at least 6 feet tall - note the part which I highlighted with bold text:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daubsy;114809"
Up to two vehicles that are either antique or recreational vehicles may be stored on the premises, if the storage area is not a health hazard and is either in an enclosed building or screened from public view with a solid wood or masonry fence at least six feet high."
So if you storing car that's only four feet tall, your fence still needs to be at least six feet high. If you're storing something taller than six feet (such as an Escape), the fence needs to be high enough to hide the vehicle... 12 feet for many RVs.

Another issue to consider is what "public view" means. If it means anyone other than you, the fence would need to go around all sides; if it means anyone standing on public property (not, for instance, your neighbor's private property) it would not need to be as extensive. If it means anyone in a public space, that would include those flying over your property, which would be impossible to block with a fence, and (in my legally worthless opinion) a wildly unreasonable interpretation.

Laws are always a challenge to read properly. Poorly written laws - which are very common at the municipal level - are worse.

I would build the fence... or a garage, if that is allowed and if it were worth the extra expense to me.
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Old 10-15-2015, 10:05 PM   #28
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The "screened from public view" is the troublesome part of that language because as others have said that would mean a 10 ft min fence all four sides. An rv garage would be a better solution if code allows, because that would increase resale value of the property. A big fence, not much help on resale, maybe even negative.
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Old 10-15-2015, 10:43 PM   #29
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The language is troublesome, but Austin city ordinances read pretty much like San Antonio's do, and much of it has to do with how the code is normally interpreted. 'Screened from Public View", at least in SA, means not visible from the public right of way - a sidewalk or a street. The city code compliance department has better things to do than splitting hairs, as they are busy dealing with gross violations of the code most of the time.
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Old 10-16-2015, 01:18 AM   #30
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'Screened from Public View", at least in SA, means not visible from the public right of way - a sidewalk or a street.

This is pretty much exactly what the code officer I spoke to earlier said. I described several scenarios, but he refused to offer any interpretation of the code language. The most troublesome part of the verbiage is that the fence has to be "at least" 6ft tall. I can't also make the assumption that "screened" means completely concealed from public view, even if the RV is a few feet taller than the fence. There are also rules about constructing a fence over 8ft tall, but since the RV is far behind the property setback it shouldn't be a problem. I have some more reading to do.

Even if I construct a fence that is compliant, by any interpretation, my neighbor will still see the top of the RV from her backyard, since her fence is only 6ft. The end does not justify the means. She is clearly a blockwart with a personal agenda.
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Old 10-16-2015, 01:50 AM   #31
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What an interesting thread .... thanks for bringing this up. Here is how I deal with people like this:
I'd put together a photo album of your travels and go over to her house with it and a plate of cookies ... build the fence first and above all take your lovely wife. Show your album and talk to her about how much your trailer means to you and how much fun you have had on your trips. Maybe killing her with kindness will do the trick and stop the silly harassment.


If that doesn't work .... well retaliate by giving Escape brochures to all your neighbors and offer a $200.00 discount if any buy from Escape!
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Old 10-16-2015, 01:51 AM   #32
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She is clearly a blockwart with a personal agenda.
Learned a new word today and it certainly is appropriate for your neighbor.

You have a choice; attempt to satisfy your neighbor, by all accounts that looks like a losing proposition or put up a screening fence around your trailer.

My experience has been that if you make an effort to comply with by-laws that don't have any effect on health or safety, on average, the enforcement folks will recognize your effort and not nit-pick.

I mean, what kind of person wouldn't enjoy looking at an Escape? These situations are annoying but hang in there, keep the trailer where it's convenient for you and this'll blow over.

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Old 10-16-2015, 02:02 AM   #33
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I don't think putting up a fence is a biggie.
Around here I think the max fence height is 8ft.

Good fences make good neighbours is a very, very true old saying.
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Old 10-16-2015, 03:11 AM   #34
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What I have to say is of no value whatsoever.
But, it is entirely possible that those who administer bylaws are so familiar with this neighbour that it might take them decades to get to the file.
You can only hope.
My trailer sits out front in the driveway. Any neighbour within 300 meters could complain and I'd have to find a storage yard. So, I just do my best to get along with my neighbours.
Trailer has been there for six winters ( which is also to my advantage in a dispute ).
Neighbour on one side brought over a bottle of wine and a box of chocolates after he completed a nine-month home renovation, apologizing for the noise.
I've opened a jar of pickles for the neighbour on the other side, and told her she had a chimney fire.
We just get along.
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Old 10-16-2015, 10:17 AM   #35
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I've been thinking about this thread a lot. Getting along with neighbors is important, but sometimes it seems impossible. We've given in on tree cutting when we didn't think it was necessary and put up with leaf blowers even though I can't stand the noise and wish people would use rakes. In return our neighbors have put up with our trailer even though it really is too close to their house. But once we actually moved because the people next door had a "guard dog" that barked endlessly. The pen (where the dog spent her whole life) was as close to our property as they could put it.In the middle of the night it was like she was in the room with us barking that piteous sound. We tried talking to them to no avail. They wanted her to bark to "protect" them. We sold our house privately and I'll never forget this. The wife buying the house pointed to the left corner of our yard -- right next to the neighbor's dog -- and said, "I guess we'll put our dog house over there."

Must have been karma for all of us. I've often sent that poor mistreated dog a blessing and thanked her because it was the best move we ever made -- except for buying an Escape, of course.
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Old 10-16-2015, 11:02 AM   #36
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My trailer sits out front in the driveway. Any neighbour within 300 meters could complain and I'd have to find a storage yard. So, I just do my best to get along with my neighbours.
Trailer has been there for six winters ( which is also to my advantage in a dispute ).
Neighbour on one side brought over a bottle of wine and a box of chocolates after he completed a nine-month home renovation, apologizing for the noise.
I've opened a jar of pickles for the neighbour on the other side, and told her she had a chimney fire.
We just get along.
Same,

My neighbors have a semi, backhoe, and an Airstream, respectively in their yards. It's hard to keep up with my little Escape. We're all likely breaking some law; but no one complains.
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Old 10-16-2015, 12:52 PM   #37
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Daubsy,
Regarding the fence: contact the Building Dept. to verify whether a permit is necessary. Typically, a wood fence up to 6 feet tall does not require one. A 6 ft. masonry wall may require one. Certain neighborhood restrictions may dictate a permit.
You also may be able to get a permit for a fence over 6 ft. high.
And, bldg. dept. personnel may be able to give you that elusive 'informal' definition of "hidden from public view'.


I also liked the suggestion of giving your neighbor cookies.
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Old 10-16-2015, 01:06 PM   #38
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I've often sent that poor mistreated dog a blessing....
Thank you for this Ruthe. Why some people insist on penning up a dog - a social animal - and neglecting them, is something that always burns me up. But, that's another topic, for another thread.
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Old 10-16-2015, 01:32 PM   #39
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Thank you for this Ruthe. Why some people insist on penning up a dog - a social animal - and neglecting them, is something that always burns me up. But, that's another topic, for another thread.
Ditto. Breaks my heart... and makes me very angry. Hopefully karma gets them.
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Old 10-16-2015, 02:26 PM   #40
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Ditto. Breaks my heart... and makes me very angry. Hopefully karma gets them.
Hi: sallemann... This is the result if my Karma runs over your dogma!!! Alf
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