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New noisy neighbors constantly running ATV’s

 
gardener
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Hello all and thanks for listening,

Grrrrrr!

I recently had new neighbors move in next to me.  I had nothing against them personally, but shortly after moving in, their kids started running 4 wheelers up and down their (actually our) driveway and doing doughnuts at both ends.

The noise is annoying and disturbs the peace and rural character.  I have no problem with someone mowing their lawn, running some equipment.  Generally I am of the opinion that a person can do what they want on their own land.  But I feel like their noise is intruding on my land—a LOT!

Making matters more confusing, half of their driveway is actually on an easement on my property.   I need to check the legal specs on this, but I am pretty sure this easement is for “egress and ingress” purposes only.  If that is the case then they may be trespassing, and I don’t want to be responsible for any accident they may have on my property.

Again, this is mostly a frustrated rant and I need to vent.  I am not opposed to 4 wheelers and I don’t want to regulate what a person does on their property, but I do want my neighbors to respect my property as well.

Thanks for listening,

Eric
 
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You're taking it well. We had some kids mudding on our road and even though it's not just our road my hubs was furiously planning ways to pop their tires. lol

I'd bring it up nicely to them that driving like that on your shared? driveway makes a mess of it and causes a lot of upkeep concerns for you. Then ask them nicely to make a nice 4 wheeler track on their property somewhere. People around these parts actually make hills and jumps and all sorts of things for such purposes. If you really want to sweeten that deal and have a tractor you could offer to help them make the track.
 
Eric Hanson
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Thanks Elle,

I guess I should have been more clear.  The driveway is not a shared driveway.  The neighbors house is on a landlocked parcel of land.  They have a driveway that runs along northern edge of my property.  The easement was grandfathered into our land when we brought it about 15 years ago.  Initially I wanted to tie my driveway into the existing one, but that would have meant cutting into the dam of a small pond and guaranteed water problems.  As such,  my driveway does not intersect my neighbor’s even though half of his is on my property.

For years this was of no consequence.  They used their driveway and I used mine.  I even plowed their driveway (it’s about 1000’ long) in snow.  Things were amicable.  But today it is new neighbors and obnoxious.

We will see how things go,

Eric
 
Eric Hanson
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Ok, now I am going to have to do something!

I just got back from walking the dog.  Yesterday evening, the kid on the 4 wheeler was out and busy.  I thought he was doing doughnuts at the end of his driveway, but it turns out he was riding his 4 wheeler through my tall grasses!  This really irritates me as firstly, he was blatantly trespassing, but more importantly, I grow tall grasses for a reason.  I deliberately let wildflowers (especially milkeed for monarch butterflies) and wildlife grow all summer long.  I deliberately bought acreage to keep the property as wild as possible.  They trashed part of my grassland just to run their 4 wheeler as if on a racetrack.

I am going to have to check with the specifics of my easement and exact legality about trespassing, but this cannot continue.

Eric
 
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Eric,
I feel your pain. While I understand the utility of 4-wheelers and ATV's, I am honestly not a fan. Numerous times over the years we have had neighbors and unknown trespassers ride up and down the creek on our land and at times really tear it up. There are places I can still see the ruts where they went through, and that was nearly 20 years ago.
Most recently we had a group come down the road on quads and I could tell by the sound they went into the creek and were running up and down it. Since my dad is technically the landowner I called him and he said that was enough and call the sheriff. When they showed up I told them I would be satisfied with a warning if they ever caught them and was mostly calling to make a formal statement in case things got worse as they have in the past. One of the deputies saw them on a road and tried to stop them to talk, but they ran. That was their biggest mistake. About an hour later the deputy called back and said he had gotten 3 other deputies in the area to coordinate and they boxed them in and caught them. They each got several tickets including one for trespassing. Moral of that story is don't run from the cops.

In talking to my dad about it he was telling me that he has had conversations with others over the years that people in this area, possibly your part of Illinois as well, have this very strange mentality about property rights. A neighbor could walk into your shop to borrow a chainsaw and see it sitting out in the open, but wouldn't dare take or move it without talking to you and getting permission first. But that same neighbor wouldn't even think to ask before running all over your land on foot, 4-wheeler, or truck even though they have as much if not more land than you.

I hope you are able to come to peaceable terms with the new neighbors.
 
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Feeling your pain, Eric. Took a few years to help folks around here understand property rights especially related to hunting and 4wheeling. The farm is posted per state law, and I always take a camera when I address folks trespassing. Pictures are worth a thousand words in a court of law. Just sayin'...
 
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Man do I feel your pain and frustration for the noise. While not four wheelers or on my land, it was next door. For years the neighborhood was peaceful, then my neighbors daughter got pregnant and married and had a child, and the whole family moved in because they had nowhere to go. My neighbors new son-in-law was charming. He loved V8 pickup trucks, with the catalytic converter and mufflers removed, running straight pipes (there were no emissions testing in our county. Just pay the annual fee to register a vehicle or renew the tags, nothing else). His trucks were loud, like really loud. His favorite thing, every time he started it or came home, was to take 10 or 15 seconds and rev the engine to high RPM's. Vroom vroom!! VROOM!!! Every day. Run out for cigarettes in the evening, he made sure everyone knew he was departing or arriving. Sometimes, he would go outside, start his truck, and rev the engine for 1-3 minutes, sitting in the driveway. VROOM VROOM!!! Sometimes he would do this at 10pm, or 11pm. Sometimes midnight, and even 1am a few times. Then turn it off and go back in the house. For the first year and a half or so, he was unemployed, so this happened at random all day long. Then he got a job, so there was peace between 8am and 5pm, but the evenings and some late nights were wrought with sporadic noise making. 3 and a half years we lived next door to this.
 
Eric Hanson
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Caleb,

I, too can see the utility of an atv, but not as an off road racing machine.  At times I have even contemplated buying either a 4 wheeler or a side by side for general utility work (but as I already have a nice tractor, this is superfluous), but this would be to haul tools or help pull out logs (fallen ones, live ones continue to live).  But again, these would be tools and not toys.

Also, running from the police is a really dumb idea!

Thanks for the support,

Eric
 
Eric Hanson
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James,

I can share with that situation as well.  Whoever is leaving the house (presumably for work) likes to really rev their vehicle and like you say, it sounds like it just has straight pipes.  The good part is that only happens twice a day whereas the 4 wheeler (which also might have straight pipes) happens randomly.  There are a few other 4 wheelers on our road, but they make nowhere near the noise of the one right beside us.

Eric
 
elle sagenev
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Hate to say it but....good fences make good neighbors. You may have to fence.


OR you can be like one of our new neighbors and spread the word that you've put snap traps all over your field. We never trespassed before but I sure as hell wouldn't trespass with the possibility of losing a leg to a snap trap! No idea if they were really there but yeah.
 
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I have a shared drive as well.  When I purchased, I required in the description of the easements that there was to be no ATV recreational use.  I don't know how I would enforce it, but haven't had the need thus far.  At least the intention was explicit.  
 
Eric Hanson
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The plot thickens!

Turns out it was not a kid riding the 4 wheeler but his father/ostensibly adult in the room!  And he not only trespassed on my property, but on another neighbor’s as well!  And my other neighbor (a great guy really) is not happy either.

I am going to talk with my older neighbor later this afternoon and strategize.

Eric
 
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Eric, it may be that you and the other neighbor going over together and talking to him and letting him know that doing that isn't acceptable is enough.  It may not be, but it's a reasonable first step.  If that doesn't work, I would send a registered letter telling him the same.  After that your only options may be the fence as Elle said, which does nothing for the noise or the driveway of course, or, calling the police.    That may initially escalate the issue.  Many people respond to police visits with anger and more acting out, but you can establish a pattern of behavior then.  Game cams on property line and the driveway may help as well, when it comes to proving it was the adult, not the children as he may claim.
 
Eric Hanson
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Trace,

I suspect that we will have to do much as you suggest.  My other neighbor is also upset about this and we will likely end up working on this in a coordinated fashion.

Thanks for the input, I will keep you all updated as thing progress.  Also I am shouting out a great big thanks to all for offering sound advice and generally for taking the time to listen.  Thanks much.

Eric
 
James Freyr
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I gotta ditto what Trace said about you and the other neighbor going to talk with the new guy together. It seems clear this behavior bothers the two of you, and I think a nice, friendly chat with the new guy letting him know he's being rude and disrespectful and it's not nice move in and try to own the entire neighborhood and drive on whomever's land as he pleases. I believe if nothing is said, this new guy will have set the bar, thinking he can be the boss and do as he pleases with no regard for others.
 
pollinator
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Certainly a quiet word from a couple of long-time residents beats having to put tank traps on your property and gates across the driveway.
 
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Nothing will happen till.you talk with the new neighbor. It doesn't need to be rude, but it needs to happen. If you have chickens, give them a dozen eggs.
 
master steward
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Or duck eggs! I've given almost all of my neighbors duck eggs when they move in. My ducks need to lay faster so I can give a dozen to our newest neighbor!
 
Eric Hanson
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So more Grrrrrr!

So the atv still races up and down the driveway, but the trespassing has stopped.  It was, after all, a 10 year old kid on the atv.  

But now the problem is gunfire.  I am not talking about a .22, but some very high-powered rifle.  On occasion I am hearing fully automatic gunfire.  The noise from the gunfire is ear splitting and makes it difficult to have a conversation in my own house.  Worse still, they are detonating explosives powerful enough to rattle windows and shake pictures hanging on the walls of my house.  I broke down and called the sheriff as I really thought this was disturbing behavior.

I hope this tamps down the noise over there, but I am wondering what comes next.

Thanks for listening,

Eric
 
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I do not know that laws in Illinois, but in Maine there really no such thing as a piece of landlocked land. They can actually force adjoining neighbors to give them a right of way. If there is access, and they have traditionally used that access, they automatically have a right of way to their land. The reason is simple, they pay property taxes and must have a way to access their land.

I have this issue on me. I have a right of way across my neighbor to a corner of my land. But a third neighbor beyond who owns 6 aces, ends up using my right of way to get to his land. I could not stop him legally from using my right of way if I wanted too, and it sounds like you are in the situation.

Having crappy neighbors sucks, but there is not much you can do about them.
 
Trace Oswald
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Eric Hanson wrote:So more Grrrrrr!

So the atv still races up and down the driveway, but the trespassing has stopped.  It was, after all, a 10 year old kid on the atv.  

But now the problem is gunfire.  I am not talking about a .22, but some very high-powered rifle.  On occasion I am hearing fully automatic gunfire.  The noise from the gunfire is ear splitting and makes it difficult to have a conversation in my own house.  Worse still, they are detonating explosives powerful enough to rattle windows and shake pictures hanging on the walls of my house.  I broke down and called the sheriff as I really thought this was disturbing behavior.

I hope this tamps down the noise over there, but I am wondering what comes next.

Thanks for listening,

Eric



It's that time of year when everyone gets out the hunting rifles to sight them in for deer season, so you may hear a lot of it for awhile.  What you think is fully automatic gunfire is almost certainly not.  If it is, the people a) either have all the appropriate licensing requirements met, which means huge fees and FBI/ATF visits to their home, or b) will be in prison very soon for a very long time.  My guess is, it's someone that can pull a trigger pretty fast on a semi-auto rifle.  In that case, there probably won't be anything you or the sheriff can do about it.  The explosive thing is almost as bad.  Tannerite is the most like explosive they are using, and it is legal as well.  You may be able to do something about it if it is late at night or disturbing livestock or something.  Otherwise, I don't know that there is anything you can do.  I feel bad for you, you're in a bad position.
 
Eric Hanson
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Travis,

At this point I have kind of accepted the atv racing up and down the driveway easement.  It is the explosions that are so unsettling.

Eric
 
Caleb Mayfield
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Eric Hanson wrote:So more Grrrrrr!

Worse still, they are detonating explosives powerful enough to rattle windows and shake pictures hanging on the walls of my house.  I broke down and called the sheriff as I really thought this was disturbing behavior.



This is most likely Tannerite or a derivative of it, and completely legal in the US. I fear the sheriff may not be able to do much. Any chance you could have a peaceful discussion about it with them and ask them to just give you a heads up on when they plan to do it? At least you would know it coming and could either be away or a little more ready for it.

I have played with Tannerite in the past and it can be entertaining to use, but yes. It will rattle the windows for quite a ways. On the upside, it's not particularly cheap so hopefully it will be a seasonal use item once or twice a year.
 
pollinator
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Can't you make more noise than them? Jack hammering when their children are sleeping or when they're ill? Get the biggest and baddest speakers and play Electronic Dance Music when you know he is totally hung over. Make a crossbow target practice lane next to their driveway and practice it every time the kids are there with the ATV's, tell them you've got Parkinsons first. Time to start playing djembe, trumpet and violin, like you've always wanted
Just kidding of course, it's good to keep the humor in if you can hardly change a situation.

noisy neighbor revenge page

And worse then what is actually happening i find, is the constant thinking about it, can easily become obsessive..

Good luck Eric
.
 
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First, I will agree with the above plans to work with your friendly neighbor and attempt a reasonable discussion with the noisy neighbors. I'd recommend that you have a cell phone on record or similar just in case this escalates. Where I live there are noise bylaws which restrict the times and I admit, Canadian firearm laws are *much* stricter, and prohibits firing near roads or buildings. It wouldn't hurt to investigate your local bylaws.

That said, the other thing that's not been mentioned is techniques for redirecting the noise. Would a nice long tall hugelkulture with trees on the top be appropriate for the side of the driveway? Sound is absorbed by mass - hence the hugel, and redirected and dispersed by trees and shrubs. A friend of mine rented by a busy road. There was a row of mature trees between her and the road. She didn't notice much difference in the noise level when the trees died (they were identical and one of those diseases went through). When they were declared dangerous and removed, she noticed a *big* increase in the noise and how much it bothered her. I suspect the trees were both absorbing and deflecting the traffic noise.

You wouldn't necessarily have to get the whole thing built at once either - choose the most important locations based on your home and lifestyle. You can always add to it as time and materials allow. Sound is a "wave" - it reflects off solid objects (like your window panes!) - so if you slope your hugel right, the noise should reflect up towards the sky, or if it's fairly vertical, reflect it back at the perpetrators. Just make sure your friendly neighbors won't be in the re-flexion path!
 
Eric Hanson
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Jay,

Would if I could.

My house sits atop a knoll/hill and my neighbors’ house sits atop a somewhat smaller hill with a gully in between and lots of trees.  A hugle mound sounds like a great idea but it would have to be HUGE!

Thanks for the idea and feedback though.

Eric
 
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many years ago my cousin and I were frustrated bu dirt bike riders, we took boards, pounded lots of nail through them and put them just inside our property line where trespassers were invading, put up no trespassing signs a t property line and those bikers only made mistake of trespassing one more time
 
Travis Johnson
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I am kind of appalled at the "retribution" types of ideas. In my experience that seldom works. This is especially troublesome because these people are traveling up their own roadway, and shooting on their own land...they have a right to do that.

Crossbow practice with children present? And if a stray bolt hits one of the kids not only would a person feel bad, they could go to prison for the rest of their life. Not really practical.

And nails in boards? Around here those nails get the trespassers once, and the landowners once as well. Those same boards get placed out in a field somewhere, and then the landowner is buying four tractor tires for his tractor. Again, not really practical.

The best approach is often positive encouragement. Permies works, so mimic what happens here, be nice and give pie. No...as in literally give pie. Bake a nice pie and go give it to your neighbors. Maybe a couple of times, and then once you have a sense of friendship with them, discuss the issue, they will be more receptive then. It will be a bit tough because you have already called the police on them, but it is ever too late to try the "be nice" approach.

Right now, I see no alternative. retribution wars are like any other war; a waste of money, time and recourses in my opinion.

A case in point is my father who did 2 tours of duty in Vietnam. He was a medic and saw the result of war...the really bad result of war. When LL Bean sent him a shirt made in Vietnam, he absolutely lost it, but when he told me he gave LL Bean a piece of his mind, I said it was too bad. Nothing good came from being at war with them...it is much better to be friends. It is the same way in this situation. As much as possible, live in peace...

 
Eric Hanson
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Travis,

I agree, I really am not into retribution and generally believe that a person has the right to do on his/her own land whatever he/she wants so long as it does not affect others.

Also I do believe in the good neighbor policy.

You nicely summed up my basic thoughts on landowners rights.

Thanks,

Eric
 
Hugo Morvan
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Travis, i was just kidding, pretty sick humor indeed, sorry to have upset you and others, not my intention.
Good idea to go and give pie, show them you're a nice neighbor they should care for or they lose they pie and niceness.
Didn't think of it.


 
Eric Hanson
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Hugo,

I recognized your statement for exactly what it was, a joke.  I kinda got a kick out of it.

Eric
 
Travis Johnson
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Hugo Morvan wrote:Travis, i was just kidding, pretty sick humor indeed, sorry to have upset you and others, not my intention.
Good idea to go and give pie, show them you're a nice neighbor they should care for or they lose they pie and niceness.
Didn't think of it.



I realized that, it was just that you added the link...
 
Eric Hanson
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Uuuuuuggghhh!!!

And the noise continues!!

Lately the new neighbor seems to take great pride in riding his motorcycle to work when it is 35 degrees outside.  His motorcycle seems to either have no muffler or straight pipes.  Every morning when he gets on the motorcycle at 6:30 a.m. he likes it to sit for a while, presumably to warm up?  At idle, one can almost count the firing cylinders as they come with a loud, low pitched POUND, POUND, POUND!  The sound absolutely penetrates my house.  As he heads down the driveway (half of which is actually my driveway as it is on an easement on my property, but that’s another issue) the motor revs up and the pounding becomes a BANG BANG BANG!  Once at the end of the driveway he just sits and revs his engine.  He might sit for 1-2 minutes or so.  I have no idea why he would just sit there instead of going to (presumably) work.  Naturally he has to travel in front of my house to head to his destination so his extremely loud motorcycle gets even louder.  By now I am so conditioned to hearing this motorcycle that I can hear it as he travels well into the distance.  I swear that I can hear him for a couple of minutes after he passes my house and drives off down a winding road that goes up and down across hills and trees that buffer every other sound made in the area.

Probably this is just something I need to get used to happening.  The upswing is that his obnoxious heading out to work only lasts a total of about 5 minutes.  Somehow his return is never so noisy.  I mean I can hear it but it does not dominate the sounds like his leaving in the morning.

Uuuuugghhh!!!

Eric
 
bruce Fine
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hate to say it but do you have an exit plan, sounds like you want to be living where neighbors are few and far between,
and just an observation on your last posting, people who have jobs that they don't truly love are slow to go to work and quick to get back home
 
Eric Hanson
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No, Bruce, I am firmly attached to my land and I suspect that my neighbor is not near as attached to his.

Technically I do live in a subdivision, but it is a subdivision with 5 and 10 acre lots.  Some people even own two lots.  I have a great neighbor right across the road who bought my old tractor and eagerly helps me out with numerous projects.

I love my 9 acres of rolling partially wooded, partially clear countryside.  I custom built the house.  I can’t imagine moving.

Eric
 
bruce Fine
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I remember at my last house I came home one day to find a very large shade tree on the side of my house was cut in half, right on the property line, well the trunk was just inside my line but the canopy went over the line, I was more than very upset, my wife and I planted everything from seeds or clippings 30 years ago, this was the last straw. I made myself exit plan and got out of there as quick as I could. now I'm in a fairly to very rural place and got a new neighbor and they spent a whole bunch of time and effort putting up no trespassing signs all along our shared property line, which has very strong and well installed goat fencing all along it, seems like a sign every 100 feet along about 3000 feet, and they spent zero time or effort coming over to say hello and they have gate at end of drive way with big chain and lock on it so its not like I could go over there and bring them a house warming gift or welcome wagon could stop by and see if they qualify for a good housekeeping g seal of approval. In general the neighbors here are very close and we all help one another with whatever, until now, in fact the previous owner of the no trespassing property gave me dry seasoned firewood for two winters because he knew what it was like not to have heat and knew we did not know what we were doing when it comes to heating with wood. just  thought I'd share
 
James Freyr
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Eric Hanson wrote:
Probably this is just something I need to get used to happening.  



One option is to plan an exit and move. Moving doesn't mean he wins and you caved. I've had shitty neighbors before, one was next to me in a duplex in a quad when I was in my early twenties, and me and the other two neighbors complained to the landlord too many times and they didn't allow them to renew their lease. Me and the other two neighbors celebrated our victory with a beer fueled shindig. The other was as a homeowner, and complaining to the law and codes didn't get results in my case so I bided my time and planned a move and left. For me, I had a choice in the matter, and my sanity and happiness were worth more than staying, and I realized I can make a life living anywhere really.

Aside from feeling safe inside my home and having privacy, I also believe I should feel at peace, and noise disturbs my peace. A little noise here or a car go by there, that to me is normal, but when I had incessant, obnoxious and repeating aggravating noise of a neighbors loud trucks on a daily basis, I soon knew after he moved in this was his modus operandi and he wouldn't be changing his vehicles or driving habits. I also soon became aware he and his wife wouldn't be changing their lifestyle habits of littering. Their lawn was their dumping ground. I called codes on them 3 times, and I wasn't the only one calling the county officials. The picture below is not of my old neighbors house, but is a picture I found on the internet and it is a fairly accurate representation of what I used to live next door to. For it to be more accurate, remove two pieces of furniture and replace them in your mind with a washer & dryer, and also add two boats, a dead car and four dead riding lawnmowers in various states of disrepair, all on a slightly larger plot. Some people absolutely don't care about others. Some people have zero regard for the planet. Some people don't possess empathy, and are bankrupt of any self-awareness of how their actions may affect others. So, I moved.
trash-house-jpg_516175_ver1.0_1280_720.jpg
trash house
trash house
 
Eric Hanson
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Ok,

I should probably just make clear that I was venting and I have used this thread to vent a couple of times.  It is true that my new neighbors are seemingly oblivious to the noise they make, but fortunately the noise levels have come down.  A few weeks ago they were shooting some very high powered rifles.  Occasionally (every 10 shots?) I would hear a very loud explosion.  I called the sheriff and said there were explosions happening around my house.  The sheriff showed up pretty quickly, had some type of discussion, they even fired off a few rounds, and the sheriff left.  I haven’t heard any explosions (I guess they were shooting at Tanerite, a perfectly legal binary explosive.  So I am satisfied there.

The kid on the 4 wheeler seems to have better things to do and I am sort of getting somewhat used to his noise.  If they were using the 4 wheeler for almost anything practical, this would be of no concern to me.  But using the driveway as a race track is annoying.  At least his enthusiasm has tempered a bit.  The motorcycle is really only an issue for about 5 minutes on days he uses it to go to work.  

I am extremely attached to my land.  I intend to die in this house—some time in the far future of course.  I am very lucky to live where I do.  Just stepping outside it feels very remote.  But I work just 5 minutes away on a good day—10 minutes on a bad day.  And I absolutely love every other neighbor.  It really is a nice little place to live. I built my house to fit this specific site.  Also I have kids in school and would not want to move them.  I have grown a tap root.

Thanks everyone for taking the time to listen.  That is really what I needed this morning as my noisy neighbor got on his motorcycle again.  The world is not perfect and we all just have to deal with it.

Eric
 
Jay Angler
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Hi Eric - yes, I had been thinking about how to write a post empathizing with your struggles, rather than giving advice that might just frustrate you more. You would not be the first permie who I observed venting here on permies, rather than keeping those feelings bottled up, or doing anything rash like sneaking over in the night and rearranging a few wires on the motor cycle. (that's a joke - I'm not suggesting bad behavior for real!) I had hoped with the original ATV problem that the young people would get bored or discover girls and it would reduce in frequency or length and it sounds as if that's happened.
Please hang in there! As you say, the noisy neighbors may move, or just change their lifestyle. You've got deep roots and hopefully those roots will produce sufficient patience the way some plants produce oil to spread on the water or protein to produce strength to endure!
 
Trace Oswald
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bruce Fine wrote:got a new neighbor and they spent a whole bunch of time and effort putting up no trespassing signs all along our shared property line, which has very strong and well installed goat fencing all along it, seems like a sign every 100 feet along about 3000 feet, and they spent zero time or effort coming over to say hello and they have gate at end of drive way with big chain and lock on it



That sounds like the perfect neighbor to me.  I would love to be surrounded by people like that.
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