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Vandalism, some form being legal?


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This is our first year with an animated display everything has been going along pretty well, I havent posted very much but I frequent the forums often, I have read about displays getting vandalized wich is beyond me why anybody would do such a thing. This past weekend we got hit with a big snow storm the snow plows were out plowing our streets, then yesterday almost all of the snow had already melted off the streets a snow plow came by to get the rest right by the curb to push it up into the yards this is fine but I line the perimeter of my yard with candy canes,I have learned from past years to pull them back from the street some but that didnt work as the plow came up the street he took out the whole row then he decided to come back down the street back on my side again to finish the job. I had not known this until I went out to get the mail, my neighbor saw the whole thing. I had to spend the next hour putting everything back together for the night show.

Rick.

http://www.lightsforchrist.net

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I had put a postup the other day remarking how the plowman didn't bury my curb side lights. I guess I spoke to soon. Same thing as you they came back a couple days later to do a final clean up and buried me. The next storm we haveafter they do the plowing and before they do clean up 48hrs later I'm going to park my truck in front of my house so they have to go around my lights.

What gets me is it is unnecessary for them to do it.

All they have to do is straighten the plow when they get to your lights and thenangle it back when the pass them. Next time I see the plow man I'm going to find out if it is the same person each time that plows my street. If it is I'm going to get him a gift card toDunkin Donuts and mention the problem and possible solution.

What really tears me is I have a fire plug on my lawn. You would think they would do their best not to bury it,but they always do. Maybe I should stop clearing it and call the fire dept to have them do it. I have scene them do others. Maybe that would get some results?

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You don't "own" the land by the curb, it's part of the public right-of-way. It varies depending on where you are, but it most cities, it's about 10-15' back from the curb where 'your' lot begins.

One of the uses of this land is for storing snow from the streets...

We decorate some of the public right-of-way, although I'm back from it about 6'. But if there were any damage done by the city in their routine maintenance, I couldn't complain...

-Tim

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I line my yard with candy cane stakes and instead of taking them all the way out to the road I move them back 10-15 ft. I live in the country so they wouldn't get knocked over but I know the stakes and lights would take a beating if they were right next to the road. Also snowmobilers like to use the front part of my yard so if I moved my stuff up they would be in for a big suprise. They just drive on the very front edge of the yard and never hurt anything. Luckily in the 4-5 years since I moved in my house I have never had any damage from vandals, snow plows or snowmobilers. I guess I'm just lucky.

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tfischer wrote:

You don't "own" the land by the curb, it's part of the public right-of-way. It varies depending on where you are, but it most cities, it's about 10-15' back from the curb where 'your' lot begins.

One of the uses of this land is for storing snow from the streets...

We decorate some of the public right-of-way, although I'm back from it about 6'. But if there were any damage done by the city in their routine maintenance, I couldn't complain...

-Tim

In the first half of the 20th century that 10 to 15 ft tended to be located between the street and the sidewalk (at least it did around here). The front of your lot would be within a few ft of the sidewalk and the snow storage area was between the street and the sidewalk. Unfortunately newer subdivisions have moved the sidewalk right up next to the street - bad urban design IMHO.

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Titanium48 wrote:

Unfortunately newer subdivisions have moved the sidewalk right up next to the street - bad urban design IMHO.

We don't even HAVE sidewalks. Guess that was the way things were done back in the 80's, when people moved "way out to the suburbs" and liked to pretend they were on a country estate. Heck there are some 70's neighborhoods near us that have large simicircular driveways on many of the houses. Why anyone needs a drive like that on a standard suburban lot is beyond me... but then Plymouth was considered "way out in the boonies" back then. These days it's considered close-in...

-Tim

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Guest johnny christmas

i have a tree out by the curb i have 3000 lights on (2400 up in the branches and 600 around the trunk...trunk survived)...sunday morning i go outside and see 4 of my oversized ornaments on the curb (broken) and a couple of strands hanging in the street...few of them broken, one torn completely in half and a TON of broken bulbs...took them all down sunday and re did it last night (took from 6:30 to 9:30) wrapping the branches instead of the "champagne glass" style i had...snow plow is still prolly driving around with 50 clear minis on it somewhere

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Yeah, I had only 10' between the front of the house & the street

Who hear has plowed? Knows the long hours & exhaustion as a result of a long storm? Can you imagine if they had to "straighten" the plow for everyone that asked?

They plow 1st to keep the roads open, then usually a crew goes around to dig oput hydrants in heavy snow. At my last house I used to go out & dig out the hydrant after storms, after all its YOUR house near that fire hydrant

Years past they used to plow up the grass between my fence & the street. Very hard to tell where the street ends, no curbs - the sidewalk is on the other side

I parked my car at the end of my driveway to give them a "marker"

At some point I will put up reflectors. But the car gave them a line of site for plowing & they did a great job. Our street is very wide, dead end & they have always kept it plowed. My wife commented that someone that lives on the street must know someone

I don't put anything between the fence & street

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David Balch wrote:

They plow 1st to keep the roads open, then usually a crew goes around to dig oput hydrants in heavy snow. At my last house I used to go out & dig out the hydrant after storms, after all its YOUR house near that fire hydrant

They typically don't dig out hydrants here, but they encourage homeowners to. They run a contest every year that you can sign up to "adopt a hydrant" and every week in January through March or some such they randomly check some and award gift certificates donated from local restaurants and businesses. If there's a fire, they lose precious minutes digging out the hydrant before they can fight it...

Which reminds me, I should go dig out ours, and maybe even sign up for the adopt-a-hydrant...

I was talking suburban lots (and from my experience here) when I said the first 10 feet or so from the curb is not yours... Small urban-style lots are probably a different situation, no idea...

ETA: Here's what my city has to say about rights-of-way near the curb...

-Tim

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Where I live the sidewalk starts about 4-5' from the street. That section between there they call an Island here and while it is said to be owned by the city it is our job to maintain it through out the year. Doesn't make much sense to me because if they own it they should come mow it in the summer or pay me or give me some kind of tax break for my hours spent maintating it. Our property line starts right on the other side of the curb which I guess would be about 7 ' or so from the street. So evetything from our propety line to the street is our responsiblity. Even the sidewalk. If it is broken and needs to be fixed or replaced we as the home owner has to pay to get it fixed. Which means if someone was to trip and get hurt from it they could sue us which happened in just in Dallas last month. Doesn't make much sense, cities just like being lazy I guess.

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Texan78 wrote:

Where I live the sidewalk starts about 4-5' from the street. That section between there they call an Island here and while it is said to be owned by the city it is our job to maintain it through out the year. Doesn't make much sense to me because if they own it they should come mow it in the summer or pay me or give me some kind of tax break

(snip)

Doesn't make much sense, cities just like being lazy I guess.

Just to pay devil's advocate, if the city maintained it, they'd have higher expenses, which in turn create higher taxes for property owners (typically the sole source of income for the city). So in a sense, you are getting a tax break for maintaining it...

-Tim

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I don't have sidewalksin front of my home . It is my understanding that while I own the property to the curb the city maintains a 12' right away.

I would never not shovel out my fire plug. I was just venting.

Especially since we had a home five houses up from me burned down last week due to arson. We have had several suspicious fires in the last three years within a 1/2 mile of my home. A young family with an infant now homeless. It's really sad.

I really hope they catch the SOB.

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yeah.....average city street right-of-way range from 60'-70'....so pace off roughtly 10-12 paces from the center of the road and that should clear you of the Right-of-way. Or if you know where your property corners are..stay behind those that way if something get damaged by the plows...they are liable.

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tfischer wrote:

Texan78 wrote:

Just to pay devil's advocate, if the city maintained it, they'd have higher expenses, which in turn create higher taxes for property owners (typically the sole source of income for the city). So in a sense, you are getting a tax break for maintaining it...

-Tim

That might be true and I see what you are saying and would have to tend to agree, but I already pay taxes that go forth sidewalk and street repair. I shouldn't have to pay to have the sidewalk fixed out of my own pocket to keep from getting sued. See what I am saying? It is like double standards. What am I paying taxes for if they are not being used to repair roads and sidewalks around the city if the homeowners have to. All the houses in my neighborhood the garages are in the front. Now some of the Alleys are concrete and some are grass. The ones that are concrete are used for santation trucks and utility. Now my alleys is like 1 of 3 in my neighborhood that is grass. If we want to have it paved we have to have everyone sign a petition whos house backs up to that alley agree on it and then the homeowners will be the ones who have to pay to have it done, not the city even though it will be to their use. So I ask just what are they doing with my taxes if it is not maintaing streets and sidewalks?

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CHRISL1976 wrote:

yeah.....average city street right-of-way range from 60'-70'....so pace off roughtly 10-12 paces from the center of the road and that should clear you of the Right-of-way. Or if you know where your property corners are..stay behind those that way if something get damaged by the plows...they are liable.

60-70' dang how big are your lots before the street starts.

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Texan78 wrote:

Where I live the sidewalk starts about 4-5' from the street. That section between there they call an Island here and while it is said to be owned by the city it is our job to maintain it through out the year. Doesn't make much sense to me because if they own it they should come mow it in the summer or pay me or give me some kind of tax break for my hours spent maintating it. Our property line starts right on the other side of the curb which I guess would be about 7 ' or so from the street. So evetything from our propety line to the street is our responsiblity. Even the sidewalk. If it is broken and needs to be fixed or replaced we as the home owner has to pay to get it fixed. Which means if someone was to trip and get hurt from it they could sue us which happened in just in Dallas last month. Doesn't make much sense, cities just like being lazy I guess.

That's brutal. Here in Edmonton homeowners are required to mow the grass on the boulevard (island) in the summer and shovel the snow off of the sidewalk in winter, but the city is responsible for all other maintenance (like sidewalk repairs and tree trimming).

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Texan78 wrote:

That might be true and I see what you are saying and would have to tend to agree, but I already pay taxes that go forth sidewalk and street repair. I shouldn't have to pay to have the sidewalk fixed out of my own pocket to keep from getting sued. See what I am saying?

(snip)

So I ask just what are they doing with my taxes if it is not maintaing streets and sidewalks?

Well, budgets are public record, you could go check where the money is going ;)

What people forget when they say "the goverment should pay for it", though, is that WE are the ones who pay the governement. So if the city is collecting $1 million to repair streets today, and suddenly became responsible for sidewalks as well, maybe that makes it $1.5 million next year. That's $.5 milliion that has to come from somewhere -- either in increased taxes or reduced services elsewhere.

Around here, developers and property owners are responsible for building/maintaining sidewalks in front of their properties. Streets are a joint venture... If they tear up and rebuild the street in front of my place, the neighbors and I are responsible for 40% of the costs, payable as an assessment over 10 years. General maintenance like snow removal and pothole repair is covered by the general city budget.

Plymouth and some of the other sububrs around here is starting to suffer from an aging infrastructure. Back the 70's Plymouth was a little town of around 10,000 people. These days it's 70,000 and growing... Many of those streets were built in the 70's and 80's and are now coming to the point where they need to be replaced, all at once. Developers paid for them the first time, now the city (and taxpayers) must foot the bill...

-Tim

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Texan78 wrote:

CHRISL1976 wrote:

60-70' dang how big are your lots before the street starts.

Thats got nothing to do with the size of the lots.....average subdivision right-of-way here is either 60' of 66' which is pretty typical most places from what I've heard. Our county regulations say you can go under 60' r.o.w. for a public road. I've seen a few 100' and a few 50' in my 16 years of land surveying, but average is 60'. You gotta look at it this way...typically....you have 20-24' of pavement and shoulder/curb, 4'-5' sidewalks on each side and then a 8-10' grass area between curb and sidewalk. Yes those vary from area to area.....but thats your average.....

60' is not as big as you think it is.

Chris

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Titanium48 wrote:

Texan78 wrote:

That's brutal. Here in Edmonton homeowners are required to mow the grass on the boulevard (island) in the summer and shovel the snow off of the sidewalk in winter, but the city is responsible for all other maintenance (like sidewalk repairs and tree trimming).

Yea that reminds me of something they did this past summer. Since I am on a coner lot I have and island on the side of my house that has crape mrtyles all the way down it. Code says that all trees overhanging the street need to be no less then 15' over the street. Well they came out and cut them back without my permission then sent me a bill. If they are owned by the city then why do I need to pay for them to come cut back trees. I would have done it but my biggest complain is they only pick up tree limbs and grass clippings once a week to take to the city compost. Last time I cut back trees and what not they sat on the curb for over a month. I had to load them up in my truck and take them to the compost. I think the only good thing about that place is the residents get free mulch and compost and it is unlimited. The city is trying to enforce this revial plan to clean up the city which I am all for and it is long overdue, but they have been sending sitations to everyone I know about everything and if you don't do it in a timely manner that they deem fitting, they will come do it themselfs and send you a bill. I think my tax money pass their salary to start with so if they are not doing this stuff anyways then what would then be doing and what am I paying my taxes for? Joys of being a homeowner right?

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CHRISL1976 wrote:

Texan78 wrote:

Thats got nothing to do with the size of the lots.....average subdivision right-of-way here is either 60' of 66' which is pretty typical most places from what I've heard. Our county regulations say you can go under 60' r.o.w. for a public road. I've seen a few 100' and a few 50' in my 16 years of land surveying, but average is 60'. You gotta look at it this way...typically....you have 20-24' of pavement and shoulder/curb, 4'-5' sidewalks on each side and then a 8-10' grass area between curb and sidewalk. Yes those vary from area to area.....but thats your average.....

60' is not as big as you think it is.

Chris

60-66 feet is pretty large. My yard from my house to sidewalk I just measure it is 26 feet. So if the cities right of way is between 60-70 feet then they will be responsible for my yard and the people across the street to. This is pretty standard for just about all the houses out here. Am I misunderstanding this?

My avatar is my house, it was taken from across the street so that should give you some idea how big the yards and streets are here.

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Texan78 wrote:

CHRISL1976 wrote:

60-66 feet is pretty large. My yard from my house to sidewalk I just measure it is 26 feet. So if the cities right of way is between 60-70 feet then they will be responsible for my yard and the people across the street to. This is pretty standard for just about all the houses out here. Am I misunderstanding this?

My avatar is my house, it was taken from across the street so that should give you some idea how big the yards and streets are here.

Oh, I'm in no way saying there are not right-of-ways that are smaller that 60' but that is a average...especially in subdivisions built in the last 20 years.

The 26' sound pretty close.....average front setback line from the front property line is 25'

What do you measure if you go from the back of the side walk on your side to the back of the sidewalk on the house across the street? Thats should tell you pretty close (+/- 1'-2') to what your r.o.w. is for your street.

Chris

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I will have to go measure but I will find out. My yard is a pretty standard size yard for houses in my city or for Texas for that matter. My yard now is actually bigger then most newer homes that were built well under 20 yrs ago much less even today. I guess it just differs from state to state maybe. I know when I measured I measured from the stake to the start of my house. Only reason I know where the stake was is because I had it surveyed last year for a home equity loan and they had to survey the lot first.

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Texan78 wrote:

Only reason I know where the stake was is because I had it surveyed last year for a home equity loan and they had to survey the lot first.

I had to find the property irons a couple years back when we built our new deck. Our one property corner was directly behind the electric co's green transformer box, so I know exactly where my property corner is today thanks to this big ugly green box. I'd say about 10' from the curb...

-Tim

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