Thursday, May 23, 2013

Once Crossed

I’m a nice person. Friendly, helpful, caring – I have those attributes. Once crossed, however, the personality my mother nicknamed “Pepper Pot” takes over and all bets are off.

We are making plans to enhance our outdoor space at home with an expanded patio, a fire feature, and a spa. Talking Rock has certain design restrictions having to do with square footage and height of any improvements, to which we are adhering. Having a spa on our lot on the golf course is subject to approval by Harvard Investments, the developer of our community. At their request it’s been designed so that the portable spa will be in a sunken area with added landscaping to obscure it from view from the golf course. It will have a locking cover that meets industry safety standards.
Spa will be obscured by landscaping on the east (left) edge
of the back of the house, away from the "bad " neighbors.
To bolster our case for developer sign off, we were encouraged to obtain written approval of our plan from our two neighbors. Our good neighbors and friends to the east have already provided a letter. Heck, they may spend as much time on our patio and in our hot tub as we will – and they are welcome. The neighbors to the west; well, that’s another story.

Our bad neighbors (who come here rarely for brief visits) are objecting to our patio expansion on the grounds that it will impinge on their privacy.  To my amazement, they are also objecting to our spa, which they won’t even be able to see from their back patio. They think it’s “inappropriate”. It has been made clear that they feel there is no room for compromise.

Although neighbor approval wasn’t a requirement, now that we’ve asked and gotten a negative response we have an issue with Harvard. OK, neighbors.

Now I am challenged to make a case that overrides our neighbors concerns. The time has come to dust off my corporate executive hat, gather data, apply irrefutable logic, and go toe-to-toe to fight for what we want.

Here’s the plan:
> Complete the detailed design that shows property lines and distance from the neighbors’ homes.
> Take photos showing the sight lines from and to the neighbors, showing that their view is unaffected.
> Provide documentation on the decibel levels of the spa when the jets are in operation, and when it is in standby mode.
> Measure the distance from the neighbors patio to the spa area and calculate the decibel levels of the spa dissipated over that distance.
> Use a sound meter to measure current ambient noise levels in our backyards.
> Compare converted decibel levels to measured common ambient noise. Here that includes birds chirping, wind blowing, casual conversation, and golf carts driving by.
> Put together a presentation with all the data and obtain approval.

Game on.

Pepper Pot

1 comment:

  1. Good plan. Doesn't cover dB when it is in use as part of a party.

    Might want to check party rules for the development, in terms of dB and numbers.

    And if that doesn't work, they are probably in violation themselves on something (Chicago Rules).