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Horrible Neighbors, Terrible Kits and a New Dremel


gwolf
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Bear with me, but I wrote this because I figured some of you might relate to it...

When my father passed in 1991 I took over his workshop. He built it by himself and built it like you would a house and it was well insulated and bone dry year round. I had accumulated a pretty large collection of unbuilt model kits over the years and always stored them on metal shelves in the workshop.

Our next door neighbors to the left built their shed so that its roof hangs over our fence and drains rainwater into our yard. Recently they have also raised, cemented and bricked their entire back yard. When it rains now, water cascades from their yard into ours like a waterfall. The neighbor on the other side has done something similar, so when it rains we get a even more water poured into our yard. So for the first time in the 40+ years my parents have owned that house, the yard floods when it rains. If there's a storm, then we're talking 6+ inches of water. Besides the fact that the water has come within inches of entering our house, now I've discovered that my father's workshop has been flooding too. After last weeks rain, the workshop is still damp, there's silt from end to end of the cement floor and mildew is forming on everything.

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So last night I hauled indoors a portion of the older stuff I care about the most (the 1st, 3rd and 4th column), mostly some 1980's issues of AMT and Jo-Han kits, and luckily they were up high enough that the water didn't affect them.

So I guess the funny part of this story is that I was so worked up, pissed, really, about all of this I thought I'd make room and go through a couple kits I had purchased at a recent IPMS event that turned out to be lousy. I present to you the lousiest of the lousy, Monogram '32 Ford Roadster Street Rod.

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I only paid $4 for this kit at the IPMS event, but it's worth about a nickel. The seller omitted that he had clearcoated an entire tree of parts, the body didn't fit over the horrible one piece frame and fenders so I thought I'd keep the engine and tires and pitch the rest in a parts box for trade. Then I remembered I had bought a new Dremel for my birthday a few months ago and out came the cutting bit.

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Burning plastic doesn't smell great, but it does the trick and relieves stress. Nothing like molten styrene spewing onto your bare skin. Wear eye protection.

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I stayed up for about an hour, until midnight, cleaning up the frame with a hobby knife.

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Now the body sits over the frame. If I do build this, I'll have to mod the interior as the kit tub won't fit, but that's ok.

So believe it or not, I actually went to bed feeling a little less stressed.

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On the neighbors. Most communities have laws regulating run-off and also, eaves can overhang a property setback but not property. You may want to take that up with your local government. Also, you could alos check to see if the work done was permitted. In my town, even sheds need a permit as well as any hardscping.

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Guest Johnny

If you go look into it you will find that any changes to property/grade that results in water runoff onto adjoining properties is a major code violation. Any part of a structure that protrudes/overhangs over the property line will also be in violation and most likely the entire structure in in violation of setback rules.

Check into it and if this is correct they (the neighbors) are financially liable for any property damage that is a result of their runoff!

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Guest Johnny

My neighbor who is causing the bulk of this is a county inspector...

That makes it even worse! I would get in contact with a lawyer too about this and let him handle the issue.

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Maybe I'm off but I think the point if this was not to discuss zoning and building code. I think what the OP was getting at was that even though there are some frustrating things going on, he was able to take his stress out on a crappy model kit and end up with the foundation of a neat project.

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Maybe I'm off but I think the point if this was not to discuss zoning and building code. I think what the OP was getting at was that even though there are some frustrating things going on, he was able to take his stress out on a crappy model kit and end up with the foundation of a neat project.

Kyle, you're right, working on that POS Monogram '32 got me calmed down enough to go to bed last night. I just needed to vent and figured you guys, if anyone would understand.

Even though everyone had great ideas and advice, there are special circumstances I'm dealing with; the house, workshop and yard belong to my mother and to make a long story short, she will not go after the neighbors.

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Kyle, you're right, working on that POS Monogram '32 got me calmed down enough to go to bed last night. I just needed to vent and figured you guys, if anyone would understand.

Even though everyone had great ideas and advice, there are special circumstances I'm dealing with; the house, workshop and yard belong to my mother and to make a long story short, she will not go after the neighbors.

I'm thinking some floodlights aimed at their windows or a street light that is on a dusk to dawn timer that shines in their window might irritate them like the floodwater does you!

Glad to hear you found a way to kill two birds with one stone- stress relief and improving a mediocre kit.

Of course if you want to get the ultimate revenge on the neighbors, have your mom sell the house to someone with a bunch of kids or pets!

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You can go on her behalf . This is creating a health problem because of the mold . Call an action News crew up. If she is afraid to face them you can do it,(after all you are looking after your mom) . This will cost her nothing but money in the long run if she does nothing.

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You can go on her behalf . This is creating a health problem because of the mold . Call an action News crew up. If she is afraid to face them you can do it,(after all you are looking after your mom) . This will cost her nothing but money in the long run if she does nothing.

I agree, don't let this go. This will destroy her property. the one thing they don't want is bad publicity.
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I'm not a fan of over zealous zoning laws but when a neighbor's actions causes destruction to your property, they serve a vital function. I believe you need to deal with this in an aggressive way. Your Mother's property is becoming unfit. I don't know the government in your area, but I do believe a lawyer needs to be consulted.

In a really off beat suggestion, call your Mom's insurance agent and ask them how you should handle the damages. They may give you the most direction as to how to care for this problem.

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I'm not a fan of over zealous zoning laws but when a neighbor's actions causes destruction to your property, they serve a vital function. I believe you need to deal with this in an aggressive way. Your Mother's property is becoming unfit. I don't know the government in your area, but I do believe a lawyer needs to be consulted.

In a really off beat suggestion, call your Mom's insurance agent and ask them how you should handle the damages. They may give you the most direction as to how to care for this problem.

They might even help to save themselves some money. :)

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On the neighbors. Most communities have laws regulating run-off and also, eaves can overhang a property setback but not property. You may want to take that up with your local government. Also, you could alos check to see if the work done was permitted. In my town, even sheds need a permit as well as any hardscping.

i would suggest everything you say. this is not only rude but it could present a health hazard.

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You need to act on your Mom's behalf. What the neighbor has done has in fact damage her property that she and your Dad built up. In most states if this continues beyond 7 years (fewer in some states) constitutes acceptance on your (mom's) behalf. You must approach this from an estate protection point of view, at some point hopefully not, this may be the assets that get used for her health care. It is illeagle in all states to damage another's property, don't allow the neighbor to get away with it.

First you need to make the neighbor aware that the runoff from their property is causing damage to your Mom's property, they may not be aware that there is an issue. There are lots of remedies to water runoff, French drain being one to alleviate the runoff. Almost all communities have set back ordinances, they are in place for fire protection in the first place, then runoff and privacy. The fact that the individual in question is an inspector (are they a building inspector or civil construction inspector, big difference) makes this an abuse of power situation. No matter how you approach this do it carefully, you don't want to create any more hostility than absolutely necessary.

If you can't get anywhere face to face with the neighbor then go to the city/county building department for their investigation into possible zoning or setback violation and illeagle discharge of surface water onto your mom's property. If all else fails consult an attorney, if it goes to court it won't look very good for the neighbor causing a water mess on a poor little old widow's property. (Not an attorney, engineer who deals with this type of stuff on a larger scale every day.) My mom is in the same situation, she wouldn't want to make waves with the neighbor either; I wouldn't hesitate to step in to protect mom!

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