Code Enforcers

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We got our first “Code Violation Notice” in the mail a few weeks ago because we have a one-lane driveway and have to park the other car alongside of it. We have been asked by the city of St. Pete to voluntarily correct this problem. They say it is a problem because they don’t want erosion washing into the street. The solution? Put down mulch next to our driveway and park on that. Wouldn’t that cause even more problems with things washing into the street, getting into our neighbor’s yard, etc? Our neighbor also got a violation notice. His problem? The front of his trailer was protruding beyond the frontline of his house. His solution? Move it back a couple of feet. Fixed.

I started wondering, who are these people who have nothing better to do than to come by my house and threaten me with punishment if I don’t abide by their definition of how my yard should look? They are going to make up some rules and if I don’t like it I have to pay them money. What would life be like if we could all just make up some rules and people would have to pay us? It would be chaos! Now, I realize that there are some good rules out there and I am glad that they want our neighborhoods to look nice and everything. But it seems to me that the solution is worse than the initial problem.

Have you ever known anyone like that? Have you ever met someone who had their own set of rules and if you didn’t abide by them there would be a penalty? Sounds like St. Pete could use a few pointers on grace. Therefore, the next few posts will be about grace and maybe St. Pete will listen!

0 Responses

  1. Some people need to get a day job. They have too much time to pick on others for no apparant reason.

  2. My only experience with this was in New Mexico. Those people are nuts about zoning requirements. I sat in on city council meetings (usually when asked to pray to open the meeting) where the entire meeting was dedicated to resolving zoning issues and issuing variances.

    Nothing grows in Farmington, NM unless you water it. My front lawn was always quite dry, though a hardy weed would poke up here and there. I received threatening letters a few times from the city, and each time I went out with a hoe and chopped off the weeds. One time they sent a letter saying I had to cut the grass in the alley behind my house. It was city property and on the other side of the wall, but I was expected to take care of it.

    Our neighbors to one side went out in early Spring and hoed their small front lawn completely under. Then they spread small amounts of pesticide. They probably didn’t get any letters from the city.

  3. I know this has to be frustrating for you, but there is a flip side.

    In Pensacola there seems to be no codes. A mansion is next to a shack which is next to a commercial district which is next to an older subdivision which is next to a newer one, etc.

    Maybe Florida just exists on the extremes. Stupid codes in one place, none in the other! 🙂

  4. No wonder our property taxes are so outrageously high. They have to pay these people. I don’t know how it is where you live but we live in a 1300 square foot home and pay over $500/month in tax and inusrance.

    Adam, sounds like a real mess!

    Danny, sounds like a real mess!

    I guess I have the good kind of mess.

  5. And if you figure out who these complainers are, it sure would be tempting to help them redecorate their plants with some Round Up, wouldn’t it? 🙂

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