View from the Porch

View from the Porch

Saturday, October 06, 2012

I can't see the forrest for the trees.

Met with Shawn Thursday.  He is Sterling's "house whisperer" for want of a better term.  He's the guy that looks at a lot, figures out what size house can fit there, measures it, squares the corners and then determines where the ordered house should be sited.  He's been doing this work for 42 years, and this site plan will be one of his last, as he is retiring after the first of the year.  Usually, he's involved much later in the process, but because of the odd shape of this lot he came up to size up the lot and then advise Dave what size home can be placed there.  It's usual that they work off the footprint of the home being replaced, but because mine was so old and little, that wasn't working.

It was a very frustrating morning, as the park staff was there to say what I couldn't do.  If you look at the park from Google Earth, all the homes on lots similar to where mine is located (right side, entrance to cul-de-sac) face a certain way; the way the park wants it sited.  But, because of the odd shape of the lot, the corner-to-corner distance for the park's preferred placement, is a lot shorter than the front to back (street to cul-de-sac) distance. The front to back placement would give me plenty of room for the size floor plan I want. But they won't approve it.  Oh, sure, I can ask, but all the comments made by park staff when I said I would ask, gave me to believe it ain't gonna happen.

Then, another surprise; I'm told that the set-back from the street isn't the 3' I was advised earlier, but 6'.   Now I went up and down the street, and there were many homes that were only set back 3', and in traveling through the park, the same set back has not been consistently, or rigorously, applied.  The reason I was given was that there has been a change in park management (from what I've observed all for the better), and those inconsistencies all happened before the new management and the tightening up of application of park regulations.  Although any mention of a 6' set back is not in the copy of the park regulations that I was given.  For me, the really aggravating part is that those many homes in the park, inconsistently done, have had those inconsistencies grandfathered in. And that puts me between a rock and a pine tree.

Park staff kept telling me that wanted to work with me, to make it "happen" the way I wanted.  Yeahsureright, as long as I do it their way.

Shawn and Dave are working on two floor plans that I should get later this afternoon.  One smaller and one bigger.  We'll see.

The good news is that Shawn agrees with me that the pine tree I want out, should come out.  The park guys are still adamant that it shouldn't.

I am writing a letter to the park, to be hand delivered Monday, formally requesting removal of the tree. Letter is at the end, and if any of you have suggestions send 'em on.

Plan A For Siting of house (what I'd really like to do, but know that I will be doomed to failure).

Write a letter, pointing out all the inconsistencies of home placement in the park (and I've seen most of them), suggesting that where I wish to place the home is, while not in the configuration of those homes situated on lots in the same location at the entrance to a cul-de-sac as mine would be,  it is neither unsightly, nor out of character with other home placement within the park.  In fact the siting of my home would be facing in the same direction as the homes next to me on either side.  Additionally, with the front to back placement, one of my neighbors in the back, will actually have an enhanced view of the vineyards.  Therefore, the decision by Park Management to not allow me to site my home in direction of my choosing, providing that it does not take up more than 75% of the lot, seems arbitrary and capricious.

Plant B For Siting of house  (what I'll probably end up doing).

The one concession I want from the park is the north pine tree out.  Period.  End of story

If I have to agree with their siting of a smaller house than what I want, with the house placement direction they want, I'll suck it up and agree.  BUT in exchange, I want the tree out.  Only they don't see it as an exchange.  Do I start of the tree letter by stating my points in Plan A?  Or will that just piss 'em off?  How do I get them to take the tree out, by thinking that "she's being cooperative, and taking our site plan, rather than another plan we don't want"?

Here's the letter, any suggestions to help get my point made, and accepted, would be greatly appreciated, and thanks to Willard for his earlier ideas:

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