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Thread: Neighbor troubles

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    Neighbor troubles

    Hello TFP, My name is Jonathan and I am fairly new to this pool game.

    My father has been in the pool industry for over 20 years and has recently asked me for some help regarding a situation with the neighbors.

    Now this neighbor situation was completely new to me because I had moved away for college and my parents had bought a new house at the same time and had moved in. My father owns his own pool business and part of his business is swimming pool maintenance. He has two make-shift sheds he purchased from Home Depot where he stores his swimming pool chemicals & DE powder/sand and etc. There are also a number of stuff he stores in the backyard such as brand new heaters or pool cleaners that he will be installing that week.

    Now most of this stuff is in the backyard behind walls and invisible to the public eye unless you quite literally look over the wall. But over the years of living in the new house my parents apparently have had issues with the neighbor. Apparently this is a common issue as the neighborhood has experience with him nosing around and often refer to him as the neighborhood police.

    The most recent thing that occurred was that my father was contacted by the city about the on-going business at my fathers place of residence. (Which requires a business permit) The city had received multiple pictures of our backyard with the pool supplies and complaints from the neighbor. I contacted the city about this and they explained to me that it appears that we will need a business license and an inspection at the house.

    Has anyone experienced a similar problem as this? Are there any ordinances/regulations that my father is breaking that need to be fixed? Do most pool businesses (that are small) store their chemicals & supplies elsewhere?

    Thank you.

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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Neighbor troubles

    Checking out your city code is your best option. I'm not sure if this is all you need but start here: Burbank Municipal Code... that is if he lives in Burbank as well.

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    Re: Neighbor troubles

    Is there a homeowners association....they can be a nightmare!
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    Re: Neighbor troubles

    if, "....most of this stuff is in the backyard behind walls and invisible to the public eye......" a few security cameras (aimed solely at your father's property) and some charges of trespassing may be in order..... if not criminal trespass, since this seems to be reaching the point of a "peeping Tom." Taking pictures, specifically of private areas of a neighbors property, is an invasion of privacy.

    On a more practical note, your father is, most likely, at a minimum, going to be forced to store his business related stuff in a storage lot.

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    Re: Neighbor troubles

    I'd say storage of business inventory could cause him to fall under such regulations. But the regs should be at least moderately clear on the subject or there will be room to argue your point.

    Many people get emotional on the subject of what they can and can't do on their property. I take a more practical approach of, 'is what I'm doing in fact against regulations' before trying to fight it tooth and nail. Many people don't, different strokes...
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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
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    Re: Neighbor troubles

    It's clear from your description that he is running a business from the house. As such it would appear the city is correct unless you move the business offsite. JMHO
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    Re: Neighbor troubles

    It really depends entirely on your zoning regulations. I have two business locations (different business mind you) and under my semi-rural zoning am able to maintain a studio on my property which is leased back to our C-corp. But if I had traditional residential zoning, I would not be allowed this facility. (Our other location is in a business district.)

    Some residential zoning ordinances allow a home-based business with area percentage regulations, eg more than 25% cannot be devoted to business, etc.

    A second issue is chemical storage at higher volumes, and that may be the regulatory fly in the ointment here. I suspect volume storage of MA and chlorine, for example, would only be allowed in commercial, industrial or retail zones. Fire departments need to know chemical storage capability -- for good reason. If there was ever a residential fire, no one would suspect the ensuing explosion that could occur.

    I also suspect your father's business insurer might have a dog in this race too. The solution to my mind would be to warehouse the CHEMS and equipment, and to run the business-end of the business from the home office.
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    Re: Neighbor troubles

    [QUOTE=ewkearns;946956] Taking pictures, specifically of private areas of a neighbors property, is an invasion of privacy.

    Taking pictures of anything that can be seen, from a place one has a legal right to be, is protected first amendment activity.
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    Mod Squad JVTrain's Avatar
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    Re: Neighbor troubles

    Quote Originally Posted by kombiguy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by ewkearns View Post
    Taking pictures, specifically of private areas of a neighbors property, is an invasion of privacy.
    Taking pictures of anything that can be seen, from a place one has a legal right to be, is protected first amendment activity.
    Hence the adjective "private areas" in their comment. Private areas means areas that cannot be seen from outside the property. I know there's a lot of "BUT MY FIRST AMENDMENTS!" talk these days and it's an important right, but being a decent person and respecting the privacy of others is also a lost art these days.

    There are city codes and ordinances for a reason. The concerns should be brought before the city council and discussed by them based on what's actually taking place. Conjecture and speculation by us here just isn't productive outside of recommending it be taken up through the proper channels.
    Last edited by JVTrain; 11-18-2015 at 11:48 AM. Reason: Clarify quotes.
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    Re: Neighbor troubles

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    Re: Neighbor troubles

    I am not sure this thread is the best subject for a swimming pool forum. Over the years, I have watched threads like this one take on a tone that is not conducive to who we are.

    Just a reminder to everyone to keep things civil, or possibly even better, OP should get a lawyer.
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    Re: Neighbor troubles

    Quote Originally Posted by duraleigh View Post
    I am not sure this thread is the best subject for a swimming pool forum. Over the years, I have watched threads like this one take on a tone that is not conducive to who we are.

    Just a reminder to everyone to keep things civil, or possibly even better, OP should get a lawyer.
    I agree with Dave. The problem is when the two issues get lumped together in conversation.

    I don't like nosey neighbors either, but one issue is privacy, the other is business regulations. I think the OP should deal with each separately. Good Luck
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    Mod Squad zea3's Avatar
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    Re: Neighbor troubles

    The take away from this conversation is check the ordinances for whatever governing body has jurisdiction over the area where the home is located and comply with them, and consult a lawyer over possible invasion of privacy issues if you choose to pursue that route.

    I'm going to close the thread to further comments at this time, since we are not the place to go for legal advice.
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