do neighbours have the right to dictate your décor?

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do neighbours have the right to dictate your décor?

Postby threenorns » 15 Jul 2012, 17:17

on a forum i hang out on, someone is pissed off at their neighbour. she (the poster) lives on a house that is flanked on either side but not closely, as it is in big cities like the GTA (spit out the dining room window and it lands in your neighbour's corn flakes). there's about 20 feet betw the houses. behind the house is a park bordered by thick-growing trees and brush that totally block the view to the jogging paths directly behind the house and the playground that is about a 5min walk up the jogging path.

the back yards are fenced on the sides but not at the back because there has to be access for city crews. at each end, the accessway is gated off and a sign says "authorized personnel only" and cites a bylaw. the side fences stop short about 15ft and then there's a chain-link fence that closes off the parkette. basically, you could start at the first house on the street and walk right along the back and see all the backyards as you pass through to the house at the other end.

anyway, the poster is pissed off bec her neighbour is causing a stink about the poster having no bedroom curtains or blinds. she didn't have them at first because she didn't have the money, then it was just bec it wasn't much of a priority, and now she won't do it because she doesn't think her neighbour should be dictating. the neighbour is saying that "anybody" can see right into the bedroom and naturally you're not always fully dressed when you're in your own bedroom. apparently, it's for the sake of all the little children who will be traumatized by a backlit view of someone in the nuddy.

the poster feels that a) nobody has a right to tell her how to decorate and b) since really the only way to get a view into the bedroom is to actually walk to the back of the house and look at the window, then anybody getting an eyefull is clearly trespassing. the neighbour says it's not trespassing when there's an accessway available to all the houses, regardless if it's closed to the public.

what do you think?
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Re: do neighbours have the right to dictate your décor?

Postby Ice.Maiden » 15 Jul 2012, 18:47

It's not trespassing if a neighbour has to park up, for instance, and then walk past the backs of other houses to get to their own.

My friend lives in a similar place - in a row of terraced houses which share a communal path at the rear, but which each having a small, fenced-off garden immediately adjacent their properties. Anyone walking down one of 2 entries (top and bottom of each row of 8 or 10 houses) and then down the back path, can look into the rooms at the back of each house as they're passing, although these are houses, not bungalows, so if someone didn't have curtains in their back bedroom, with the path being approximately 12 ft. from the entrance yards into each home, the angle makes it impossible to see anything untoward unless someone was standing in the nude right up against their window.

If it's easy to see right into someone's room, then out of common decency, the person with the bare window either makes sure that they aren't in a position to offend anyone - or maybe they put a blind up. They're cheap enough, and it'd stop wagging tongues. On the other hand, if they own their property, then if they want to walk around naked it's up to them, providing they aren't purposely causing offence.

Really, I think the complaining neighbour ought to stop gawping in, and tell their children that it's rude to stare into other peoples' houses. : )
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Re: do neighbours have the right to dictate your décor?

Postby threenorns » 15 Jul 2012, 19:46

that's what i mean: the only reason to go along the back fence is to go from one house to another - it's gated off at both ends.
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Re: do neighbours have the right to dictate your décor?

Postby Kellemora » 16 Jul 2012, 13:08

I take it the jogging paths are A) City or County Owned and Maintained, making them public; or B) Common Ground belonging to the subdivision, making them semi-public, or C) Privately Owned, not open to non-members?

Besides the City/County laws regarding indecent exposure, most subdivisions have their own Rules and CFR's.
For example: Where I hail from; one cannot park a vehicle with commercial advertising or lettering overnight. All windows MUST have curtains/shades designed for windows, not a sheet tacked up on the inside. Even the color of your home cannot be changed without approval of the subdivision trustees, unless it's a color already listed on their approved list. This keeps your neighbor from painting their house in purple and orange stripes, or day-glo pink and blue.

Regarding bedrooms, bathrooms or technically any room in the house, a glass window is not considered a barricade, screen or filter. As far as the law goes, you might as well be standing in your front yard stark naked as be behind a glass window view-able from a public or semi-public location.

If the neighbor is not breaking any laws, ordinances or subdivision rules; then a neighbor has no right to be complaining to or about them!

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Re: do neighbours have the right to dictate your décor?

Postby threenorns » 16 Jul 2012, 16:27

the jogging path is not visible from the houses, nor can the houses be seen from the jogging path: there's a thick growth of trees and shrubbery bordered by a chainlink fence. basically, you'd have to leave the path, cross the grass, go into the trees, and push through the bushes to reach the fence before you can see the houses.

the accessway the runs along the back of the houses is city property - there's some kind of drain thingie or other so the fences dividing the back yards cannot go all the way to the chain fence closing off the park because then if the drain needs work or flushing, city crews wouldn't be able to get to it.

this is what i mean:

[ img ]

the circle is the drain, the blue lines are the city access gates (closed to the public) the green bit are the trees , the black lines are the ones dividing the back yards, and the red boxes are the houses.
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Re: do neighbours have the right to dictate your décor?

Postby Ice.Maiden » 16 Jul 2012, 18:10

That seems a similar set-up to where my friend lives.

Over here, if a person wishes to stand naked in their garden, they can do, providing, as Gary said, it doesn't become a case of indecent exposure, so if you live in a property which's overlooked by others, then obviously you'd take care not to offend, and, as in the case of rooms viewable by passers-by, you'd surely put up a blind or a pair of curtains which'd have the desired effect even if they were cheap ones, but, as Gary said again, if no laws or rules are actually being broken, then the complaining neighbour either has to prove that they have a valid point, or stop being so nosey!
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Re: do neighbours have the right to dictate your décor?

Postby pilvikki » 08 Sep 2012, 15:31


my first impulse to this is simply :lmao4:

i've spent my summer with people, some of whom get quite offended if you don't join them in the sauna and do not understand my reluctance to cause them nightmares - for ever...

friends and i were playing golf at their house when the neighbour's kids came tearing over, ripped their clothes off and jumped into the lake. jumping into the lakeis a big pass time in finland especially, but most scandinavians indulge in it as well.

the swedes will sunbathe on the rocks within stockholm city totally naked. they sometimes decide to go and buy some snacks at the store and forget to get dressed....

what IS the big deal about shielding the poor wee innocent children? would it not be better to shield them from real horrors - like the 6 o'clock news?

as for the nosy neighbour... tell her to set up lawn chairs and invite her redneck cousins to join her in watching the neighbour's show. that would end something real fast....
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Re: do neighbours have the right to dictate your décor?

Postby Ice.Maiden » 08 Sep 2012, 18:50

:lol: Ohh ... can you imagine the fun - or punch-ups it might cause?!!

I agree about nudity being nothing to be ashamed of. I was only talking to Tonyted on Chats about it recently. When I went to Gran Canaria, I went on the nudist beach a few times. Whole families were there - of all ages, shapes and sizes, including children who ran around freely, as nature intended.

It only becomes obscene when someone makes a big thing out of it, or goes to lech. This is where the beach police come in. They patrol up and down, leaving folk to enjoy their swimming and sunbathing, but quickly remove anyone who hassles or upsets the rest. I see nothing wrong with it, providing people aren't giving private shows!
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Re: do neighbours have the right to dictate your décor?

Postby kg » 13 Sep 2012, 14:11


pilvikki wrote:i've spent my summer with people, some of whom get quite offended if you don't join them in the sauna and do not understand my reluctance to cause them nightmares - for ever...


Exactly my reasoning! People realize it soon enough when I threaten to don my speedos and dance suggestively on the bar. They take one look at my body, and my drinks come quite expeditiously! :P

It all boils down to the fact that, if people would pay attention to their own business, and less to what other people do, it would be a much easier world to live in, and those people's affairs would be in better order. That includes houses and looking into people's windows.

As long as the person isn't being absolutely blatant about said exposure, then don't look in other people's windows...it's that simple! There are laws concerning that...it's called voyeurism...and anyone engaging in the practice comes close to violating those laws.

I hate matters of decor being dictated to me. That's why I detest so-called "Homeowners Associations," who oft times become so dictatorial that you can't spit in your own backyard without them trying to punish you. Everyone knows I'm a Ham, and more than one Ham has run afoul of a Homeowners Association who has dictated what kind of antennas you can erect.

Unless one can "mow his lawn and find two or more cars," others should leave a homeowner alone. It's yet another reason I hate living in town; no matter how I try, there's always someone who takes exception to what I do, no matter how innocuous.

Oh, and as far as I'm concerned, anyone who peaked into my window to catch me in the nudy doesn't need arresting. He or she needs institutionalization! Seriously! :lol:
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Re: do neighbours have the right to dictate your décor?

Postby pilvikki » 13 Sep 2012, 15:16


:lmao1: :lmao1: :lmao1:

so... silja, what happened with the dueling banjos? has the issue been resolved or are they still arguing over it?
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