Saturday, May 3, 2014

Desperado, Why Don't You Come To Your Senses? Come Down From Your Fences, Open The Gate

No this is not my yard.  This is the yard I WISH was mine.  Right now, after this week's torrential rain, the gullies (where the dead arborvitae were removed from) are two 60' long breeding pools for mosquitoes.

There grass seed hasn't begun to take root yet, and since we've had first, extra dry and windy, then ridiculously wet and freezing weather, the seed doesn't look like it's going to germinate and will be there until the birds conveniently roosting there eat it. I guess Scott's colored the seed blue so I can tell what a failure my lawn is going to be through every granule just laying there doing nothing. Wingman would have been out there with his hoses, sprinklers, weepers and secret weapons all the while cursing the seeds into growing. Me, I watch from the window while checking out what's happening on Facebook.

And my fence...well, that's another story. I first applied before the first day of spring, thinking it was nothing more than a piece of paper, maybe with cute little butterflies on the border, asking my name and wishing me well on my adventure to improve my little piece of Mayberry. It is now six weeks later, I've been rejected on my design not once, but TWICE.  First, because I can only have a 4' fence within 10' of the side yard, and I wanted a 6' fence.  I reapplied, and changed it to 4'.  Was that good enough?  No-o-o-o...because it has to be 4' on my back neighbor's side 30 feet deep from the street.  The idea of a privacy fence was so I didn't have to look in my neighbor's yard, so hence, I now need a variance.

And what had that entailed? The checklist asks for this:

4 copies of  the denial letter
A certificate that says my taxes are paid
A copy of the deed
4 copies of the completed application
14 copies of the CURRENT survey
The application fee
The escrow deposit
The Escrow Agreement
The W-9 for the Escrow

I'm guessing the deed washed away in Sandy, because I can't find it.  At least that's my story.  Since I haven't seen my name in the outstanding taxes section in the newspaper, I thought I was OK there, but the variance desk on the right needs me to get verification from the tax desk on the writing.  And the application takes a degree from Harvard.  It's five pages long and I'm stuck on prevailing setbacks and plat submissions.  Right now, Wingman's "WTF's" are ringing in my ears.  After that, it has to be notarized. Then, to get a new survey costs somewhere around $700.  The survey company we originally used is out of business and the new one I called said to petition the town since nothing has changed on the property lines. A new survey wouldn't show any changes, so we'll see if that will fly. The application and escrow fees are right out of the Merchant of Venice (personally, I'd give up a pound of flesh or 10 of fat rather than go through this). All I can think about is how many trees were destroyed to make all this paper so I can put up a plastic fence.

Wingman and I lived in three houses.  The first was bordered by Spirea (which was wicked on his allergies) on both sides and had a creek in the back.  We then moved to a house with a fenced in yard when the boys were 5, 4 and 2.  The fence kept them in when they were small, but by the time we moved to this house, there were holes from baseballs and bats, and a section where a tree fell and crushed some boards.  This house had a falling down chain link fence when we moved in, which he replaced with the year-round green Arborvitae.  Never did I ever remember so much hassle trying to make something nicer.

Then again, I could just put up an electric fence for the dog which would be a helluva lot cheaper.  And make the gullies into moats filled with piranhas.

I wonder what kind of variance I would need for that.

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