Landscaper has business in residential neighborhood with HOA

diddlydooMarch 11, 2011

I live in a neighborhood which does not allow you to run your business at your home. This is written in the rules and regulations.

The neighbor across the street (landscaper) refused to stop.

I have called zoning and they agree he should not be doing this. The area is not zoned for business. The zoning guy went over there and my neighbor basically told him to get lost and he can do what he wants.

Zoning told me I can take the guy to court, but I'd have to show up with my pics/videos as evidence. I don't want to face him in court. He said the only other way I can get him to stop is to get the HOA to take care of it.

I called them and they consulted their attorney and the attorney wrote him a letter to cease and desist running his business with a deadline of today 3-11.

He's evidently ignoring that letter.

The guy did clean his yard from wood and various landscaping equipment but he still has his employees parking over there and employees hanging out in his yard at various times during the day. He brings extra traffic to our otherwise quiet cul-de-sac. There are children that play in the cul-de-sac. I had a friend pull out of my driveway one day and hit one of his employees cars.

If any self-employed landscapers in here, how do you handle your business? Do you park your equipment in the yard? Where do your employees all meet up?

This guy has a lot of landscaping materials in his garage and the employees come throughout the day to load and unload. Am I being unreasonable to want him to stop? I don't think so. As far as I'm concerned he's being disrespectful to his neighbors. He should have moved to the country or some area with no HOA.

He has ignored both zoning and the HOA. No other neighbors want to face him in court or make waves with this guy but no one appreciates what he's doing either.

Thanks for your input.

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gardengal48

If neither the zoning board or the HOA have any clout on their own to do anything and no one else has the guts to take him to court, I guess you're stuck. Why is everyone afraid of him?

Personally, I would not choose to live anywhere governed by a HOA, but that's just me :-)

    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 10:11PM
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diddlydoo

If this guy didn't want to abide by the HOA rules and regulations, then he shouldn't have moved here. He should have moved to the country but he knew we had an HOA....his own fault.

I was just curious how other landscapers worked it with their equipment and employees i.e. where they met-up w/employees and where they store equipment. Surely they don't do all this at their home if in an HOA neighborhood.

Do other landscapers think this guy is in the right? What are their views?

    Bookmark   March 12, 2011 at 10:44AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

That has no bearing on the rules of your development. All that matters about what is happening there is what he is doing and what he is supposed to be doing.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2011 at 11:51PM
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diddlydoo

I was curious how others that lived in an HOA that prohibited running business from home. How are those landscapers set-up?

Where do they meet employees? Where do they store equipment.

This guy across the street stores some equipment/materials in his garage/back yard. Employees may be over at his house any time during the day, trucks parked over there preventing others from easing driving past his house, etc.

Any other landscapers/lawn care people in here? Thanks so much in advance for your input.

This guy was sent a letter from the attorney to cease and desist running his business from home and to clean up his yard. The yard is somewhat clean now but I'm not optimistic it'll stay that way (pattern he has). But I still notice his employees over there and trucks parked out front.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2011 at 9:34AM
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laag(z6CapeCod)

What the heck does this have to do with professional gardening other than the fact that he chump in your neighborhood is a landscaper. If he stuffed animals would you post it on a taxidermist site?

    Bookmark   March 13, 2011 at 9:45PM
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diddlydoo

Um, this is how this forum is described above:
The Professional Gardener

This forum is for the discussion of those matters which primarily concern professional gardeners, horticulturists, landscapers, etc.

I'm asking for a landscapers point of view and thought perhaps some would read this forum and could give me some insight into how they work their business but thanks for your helpful post just the same.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2011 at 10:36AM
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laag(z6CapeCod)

"Professionals" play by the rules. One would not work out of a home if it were not allowed by zoning. One would not violate the rules of an HOA.

The landscaper that you describe is not a professional, therefore is not a subject of such a forum.

There are jerks in every profession and his behavior as a human being is the issue which has nothing to do with anyone else in the industry.

It's not a religion or a culture.It is a way of making a living. The individuals who work professionally in the green industry don't think and behave as a group.We are as diverse as the general population.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2011 at 7:45PM
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gonativegal(zone 5a)

I work by myself and have only one vehicle - a large van which I store in the garage. Since I live in an urban environment with a small property I don't leave any equipment out that I can't store in either my garage or van. Things like mulch I have delivered to the site or I pick up along the way to a job. Perennials and shrubs - I keep for limited periods neatly organized on the patio. And I always make sure the rest of my property is always neatly kept up so as not to draw attention from neighbors.

Even though it's against HOA rules I don't think it should be a big deal that's he is running a business out of his home only that he is being a slob and inconsiderate. It sounds like the property looks like a mess in general and if he would keep things housed in a shed or a garage or in his vehicles and the yard kept respectable it wouldn't be such a big deal. As for the employees - sounds like they just need be taught some basic manners. Do they behave like this on a job site? If so, I would fire them. One thing you can do is discreetly check the vehicles for city stickers and call parking enforcement and say that there are multiple vehicles parked on the street without proper stickers. They like revenue and will give the employees a wake up call since their boss won't do it. Also, look for problems with peeling paint, falling gutters and call code enforcement. Hopefully, he'll figure it out and keep things cleaner and more organized.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2011 at 7:43PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

The owner of the landscaping company should abide by the HOA rules, and obtain an off-residential site for his office, storage, etc. If he's the least bit hard working, he could come up with an inexpensive location (maybe even share a site) to rent.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2011 at 2:52PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

I should have also added that many communities which prevent the activities of a home business in residential areas. Period. It's a zoning issue.

My neighborhood is an example of that. We have a CPA who was putting his sign out every February though April 15. Cars would line up along the street outside his home. He's not doing that anymore. ;-)

    Bookmark   April 5, 2011 at 11:10PM
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Newjerseypinelands

Zoning and the Township Solicitor (attorney) are the ones to pursue this situation not you with a private attorney.

The landscaper as the business owner is responsible for compliance including but not limited to Land Use (residential, commercial) compliance.

We had the same thing happen to us. Landscaper moved in next door seven years ago. He immediately erected a 10'W 24'L 14.5' H shed with an overhead garage door next to his house abutting our property. He turned it into a small engine repair shop and stored his equipment there out of season as well as all over his lawn during the season. Trucks, trailers, employees in and out all the time, shaping shrubbery, dumping containers, brush, debris, snow plow, etc in the rear yard. Had large tree trunks delivered in a two-story dump truck and slices of tree trunks delivered by a tree service where he would cut them up with a chain saw and log splitter then created a fence 25' long and seven feet high in front of our living room window and threw wood all over our property.

The neighbors on the other side complained and when their home was unfortunately foreclosed, landscaper went all out with full-blown operation of the business.

Because the "shed" required a variance and could not be located within 20' of another structure, we were able to appear before the Zoning Board with our attorney and present our evidence of commercial activities which put a stop to it. We had to hire an attorney because the snake neighbor scheduled the variance hearing during our January vacation.

I would band together with other neighbors and document the landscaper's activities then approach the Zoning Officer again. You can all also simply show up at the Zoning Board meeting and state your concerns and case during the public comment period at the end of each meeting. There is usually a time limit of five minutes per person.

Best wishes and keep us updated.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2013 at 11:18AM
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enjay2014

Thanks for the info njpinelands. Im going to my zoning board meeting next month bec of the same problem. I thought i have to hire my own lawyer. Someone has to stop my neighbor. Why cant these people go to zones where theyre suppose to be.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2014 at 1:25AM
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