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General Astronomy >> General Observing and Astronomy

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t.r.
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 02/14/08

Loc: Upstate NY
Re: The battle with HOA has began. new [Re: Mike B]
      #5941357 - 06/26/13 12:23 PM

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power.
~Abraham Lincoln


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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: The battle with HOA has began. new [Re: t.r.]
      #5941377 - 06/26/13 12:40 PM



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Achernar
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 02/25/06

Loc: Mobile, Alabama, USA
Re: The battle with HOA has began. new [Re: okieav8r]
      #5941386 - 06/26/13 12:45 PM

I know, that is why I am thinking of a way to build better light blockers that are higher and stronger than the ones I made before from PVC pipe. I'm going to get some EMT conduit, a bender and my welder and build some tall enough so I can use my 15-inch at home. It is not feasible to drive very often to a darker site, and I have every right to use my telescopes in the driveway, no matter what people think.

Taras


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Gil V
professor emeritus


Reged: 09/09/12

Re: The battle with HOA has began. new [Re: Raginar]
      #5941389 - 06/26/13 12:48 PM

Get to know your neighbors. People are generally nice, and can be reasoned with.

That being said, sell and get out as quickly as possible..

Edited by Gil V (06/26/13 12:51 PM)


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FirstSight
Duke of Deneb
*****

Reged: 12/26/05

Loc: Raleigh, NC
Re: The battle with HOA has began. new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #5941400 - 06/26/13 12:57 PM

Rick Woods wrote:
Quote:

I've never understood why anyone would willingly put themselves under a HOA's control.




Meanwhile, Rex from OK states a common wish among astro-folk:
Quote:

It's hard to get away from such neighbors. It seems every neighborhood has one or two who want to light up the rest of the neighborhood. So that's why I'm actively looking for 10 acres in the country. Means a longer commute to work and to see family and friends, but it also means peace and quiet and an environment more conducive for astronomy.




...but member "celtictexan" illustrates the HUGE potential flaw with this plan:
Quote:

I bought a place in the country, someone else moved in 5 acres down from me. First he puts this giant 5 globe front light in then puts a big mercury vapor light on his shop. Looks like the sun stayed up around him. I use to could set up anywhere now I have to hide behind my shop or be blinded from the side. People that are scared of the dark should stay in the city.




The only real solutions to this problem are to either:
1) move to a place that's forbiddingly-enough isolated from other habitation that it's unlikely to attract any neighbors, irrespective of whether they turn out to have potentially problematic lighting habits or not.
2) move to a place where ENFORCEABLE RESTRICTIONS are solidly in place against astro-unfriendly lighting, such as Chiefland Astronomy Village in Florida or Tom Clark's astronomy-friendly development in southern New Mexico.

REGARDLESS of whether the formal mechanism by which the restrictions protecting Chiefland or Tom Clark's new digs is a HOA, deed covenants, local municipal regulations etc. it amounts to the same thing: there's a set of legally enforceable restrictions in place with a group of people authorized to enforce them against you should you ITHO be in violation. THE REAL PROBLEM most of you in fact have against HOAs is that the types of restrictions most of them are most focused on are issues which seem like petty intrusiveness to you. Would you feel differently if you were a member of a HOA which was as aggressive against people with excessive or unshielded lighting as many are about paint color or out-building style?


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brianb11213
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 02/25/09

Loc: 55.215N 6.554W
Re: The battle with HOA has began. new [Re: galexand]
      #5941456 - 06/26/13 01:45 PM

Quote:

But some advice, if you want to actually win, and you know which neighbor...might help to just bring the guy some cookies or a nice cigar or some imported coffee...you know, sit down and have a chat like friends. Depends on how much time and patience you have.



+1. Building friendhips is not done through legal action.

And ask him/her (& family) to have a peek through your scope. At the very least they'll gain an appreciation of what their lights are doing. Almost all light pollution is thoughtlessness rather than deliberately hostile action.


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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: The battle with HOA has began. new [Re: brianb11213]
      #5941473 - 06/26/13 01:53 PM

.

Edited by tecmage (06/27/13 07:27 PM)


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Startraffic
professor emeritus
*****

Reged: 02/12/06

Loc: Lat. 39.143345, Long. -77.1748...
Re: The battle with HOA has began. new [Re: FirstSight]
      #5941480 - 06/26/13 02:00 PM

AstroTatDad,
My turn! I live in a small town (Pop. 400) in the middle a heavily populated county (Pop +750,000) outside DC. There is no HOA, I made sure of that before we bought the house. BTDT, NEVER again! It was in fact one of the conditions. I'm the kind of neighbor that comes around with my own tractor & pushes the snow from the road & your driveway for a "Thanks". We had a snow storm that left 8"-10" on the road (keep in mind that 2" will cause every single grocery store to have a run on toilet paper, eggs & milk. Rush hour becomes complete mayhem, and if the snow isn't gone the next day people start thinking how to barbeque their kids.). There is a guy that lives at the end of the road, that didn't like my pushing snow in front of his house, so he came out & chewed me out saying he'd rather shovel it himself than have me push it for him. "Ok, no problem. I'll push down to so&so's driveway from now on." "Good". The next snow was 30" then, 4 days later we got another 40". This was called "Snowmageddon" The DC area was stopped for days, literally. This guy had a great time shoveling 70" of snow from his 150ft of driveway and 200ft of road in order to get out. The same guy figured out that my Obs was too close to the front of my yard & he had the town come out to make me move it. I did, he complained again, they came out a total of 4 times before all was said & done. I kept "That hideous, leperous, looking toadstool". Then he complained to the County about it, the county code enforcement officer came out, checked it out & told him that it was a "temporary structure" & inside the setbacks & legal. So he complained about my 35yo siding. It was in 35yo siding condition but the Code off agreed that it needed replacement, & I have to replace my siding. My solution, Craigs list leftover siding. Any color, any style. The house is looking like a patchwork quilt. I've got purple, red, 2 different blues, you name it, it's going on the house. He walked by the house & stopped in his tracks. Then he started screaming that I couldn't do that. I thought he going to have a stroke. I told the Inspector when she showed up that I was simply complying with building code requirements. The BC requirements just don't happen say that everything had to match. The inspector just laughed & agreed that I had a right to side my house however I wanted. Wait till the "Gentlemen" sees my "new" Obs. My kids are going to paint it like R2D2. Passive devious compliance.
In your case, maybe a set of Xenon Strobe lights that come on right after you go to bed & just happen to be pointed at HIS bedroom. You can ever shield them so they don't have a lot of backscatter. I think there is even a random pulse generator that would flash it at, well random times. Xenon strobes are like looking at the Sun at noon, in the Sahara, at the summer solstice. I had a 30 million candlepower spotlight that I swear felt like it had a recoil. Fried eyeballs, roasted retinas, & inflamed iris's. He'll get the message, or if he continues to harass you that is a legal matter and could be dealt with by legal means.

Clear Dark Skies
Startraffic
39.138274 -77.168898


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Mike B
Starstruck
*****

Reged: 04/06/05

Loc: shake, rattle, & roll, CA
Re: The battle with HOA has began. new [Re: FirstSight]
      #5941495 - 06/26/13 02:16 PM

Overall, it seems like the issue of regulating things concerns aspects that affect folks beyond one's own property- light, sound, smells, etc. I have the right to run my personal stereo, but at what point does its volume begin to intrude onto other folks' peace & quiet... and to what degree is this measured or determined. That's a tough one to evaluate... probably even tougher to legislate... even harder to enforce! Typically this is thrown onto local law enforcement, who i'm quite sure have better things to do with their time & our tax dollars.

Then there's the issue of controlling intangibles, like artistic tastes, aesthetics, and "group-think" sensibilities. Do i have the right to paint my house chartreuse, or let my front lawn grow six-feet-deep? Yeah, it might offend your sense of taste- possibly even affect your property value. Where do my rights end & yours begin there? That's a tough one.

Now there's the issue of controlling behaviors. Hangin' around in the dark all hours of the nite, peeking thru optical instruments... are you the neighborhood astrohead, or a peeping-tom? All those folks comin' to your house once a week (or more?) & hoggin' up all the neighborhood curbside parking- are y'all doin' Amway, a Bible study, watching illegal movies, or planning your next Jihad?

Sure seems like our culture is deeply divided over a LOT of this kinda stuff. The notion of leading a quiet & unobtrusive life seems to have been flung out the window... not even sure if anyone bothered to see if it was even OPEN before they flung. What it's been replaced with... i can hardly begin to describe:
1) vehicles that rattle your home's windows three blocks before they pass by,
2) private parties in residential neighborhoods that run PA-system loud music 'til early in the morning,
3) dogs left outdoors 24/7/365 in residential neighborhoods, barking all hours of the nite,
4) illegal & EXTRA-boisterous fireworks dispensed by the truckload, for imbeciles having too many extra fingers to play with all nite long... and for MONTHS leading up to & trailing each explosive holiday,
5) you get the idea... most of us have seen far more of this kinda thing than should be experienced... unless, perhaps, for a Gitmo Bay detainee!

HOA's are, no doubt, a knee-jerk reaction against much of the above, yet they bring their own offensive practices to the equation. Not really sure what the solution might be...


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AstroTatDad
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 04/22/13

Loc: Los Angeles - San Diego
Re: The battle with HOA has began. new [Re: Mike B]
      #5941616 - 06/26/13 03:25 PM

Update: I'm cool on my light blockers. I guess they contacted who ever complained about it and asked if I left it up all the time. They said it's most nights from 7:00pm til the AM hours.

Yeah HOA don't come out, they go by what people say around here.

So I'm just glade I CAN use my blockers, that's the thing that bugged me is there only up when I'm out observing so I'm glade they are cool with me.

As for all the lighting around here they are going to make sure they have all the right lighting, but they think it has been done already.

As for the pool area yeah I guess it has to be on. no biggie.. I CAN use my blockers. So now whoever complained if they have a power trip will be looking for something else now so we will see.


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csrlice12
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 05/22/12

Loc: Denver, CO
Re: The battle with HOA has began. new [Re: AstroTatDad]
      #5941627 - 06/26/13 03:33 PM

...oh, they'll find something or someone else to bother...its their nature......

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Mike B
Starstruck
*****

Reged: 04/06/05

Loc: shake, rattle, & roll, CA
Re: The battle with HOA has began. new [Re: csrlice12]
      #5941661 - 06/26/13 03:58 PM

Hey, that's great! Aren't HOA's just the coolest thing!

I know it's been tried before... but perhaps NOW would, in fact, be a great time to invite that complaining neighbor our for a peek thru your scope? Might just score a double-winner?


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REC
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: NC
Re: The battle with HOA has began. new [Re: AstroTatDad]
      #5941724 - 06/26/13 04:45 PM

Hmmm....just picked up this post. So if I read this right, your neighbor with the Getto light is causing most of the problem along with the pool lights?

So, I am on the board of my HOA. The HOA's in NC are pretty standard and very common for Condo's and Housing developments. The Dec's and Covenant's must be filed with the county before the units are built by the developer by law. They than write up "the rules" and vary from very basic to very strict...like, no parking on the street, no buildings in the yard, keeping up the street views and common areas ect. All home owners must get a copy of these rules when they purchase the property and agree to follow them.

Now, maybe this will help. The HOA can write up rules that the city does not have on the books, like say parking on the street. It's not illegal here, but the HOA says no, so they can control that. BUT, if the HOA is violating city rules like keeping lights off at 11pm, that may trump them?

Perhaps you can have a star party at the pool area and then the HOA can turn them off so they can see what a differance it makes for star gazing. They can send out a newsletter anouncing it....but don't pick a night with a bright moon out, as you want them to see what they can see with a darker sky. Focus on Saturn and some Milky Way stuff with the telescope and some binos.

Hope you get it worked out as you say you have a red/orange area which is great!

I just came back from vacation in your area and we really love it there.

Good luck!

Bob


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audioaficionado
scholastic sledgehammer


Reged: 05/24/12

Loc: Medford, Orygun, USA
Re: The battle with HOA has began. new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #5941743 - 06/26/13 04:54 PM

Quote:

Threats, empty or otherwise, are not the method by which civilized people conduct relations with their neighbors. The very first step should be in the manner of a friendly request; if the situation remains intractable, there is always recourse to the courts... and ultimately, a moving company.

Life is too short to engage in hostilities unless there is absolutely no other option; ask any (real) combat veteran.

Fred




+1
What is worth some one's or your own life and/or years of incarceration?
Trivial things can escalate to this level. We read about it in the news all too frequently.


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T1R2
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 06/11/13

Loc: NeverWhere, 35*N
Re: The battle with HOA has began. new [Re: audioaficionado]
      #5941793 - 06/26/13 05:25 PM

lol

Edited by tecmage (06/26/13 07:19 PM)


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AstroTatDad
Pooh-Bah
*****

Reged: 04/22/13

Loc: Los Angeles - San Diego
Re: The battle with HOA has began. new [Re: T1R2]
      #5941852 - 06/26/13 06:08 PM

Thanks Bob, yes it's nice. I think we are about 15 miles give or take south east from Down Town San Diego. Most the main area of SD is white zone and tapper off to red then some areas orange out in the east. We have an amazing spot that is a dark zone out east right off hwy 8. it's about 35mins or so. It's up in the mountains. But it's great and very dark. I really like it there cause you can see the cut off in the southern skies.

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caheaton
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/26/09

Loc: SW Ohio
Re: The battle with HOA has began. new [Re: AstroTatDad]
      #5942237 - 06/26/13 10:23 PM

I've been following this thread and glad to hear it worked out ok for the op. What I've been wondering all along is, the neighbor complained about the light screens being up generally AT NIGHT, IN THE DARK, so why the h@@l should he have even cared?

Edited by caheaton (06/29/13 10:14 AM)


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GeneT
Ely Kid
*****

Reged: 11/07/08

Loc: South Texas
Re: The battle with HOA has began. new [Re: Rick Woods]
      #5942267 - 06/26/13 10:48 PM

Quote:

I've never understood why anyone would willingly put themselves under a HOA's control. As I understand it, they can actually take your house, if push comes to shove...




This is true. If the lighting ordinances are being violated, the the appropriate city/county council should enforce the code. People in San Antonio have had good results in similar situations.


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okieav8rAdministrator
I'd rather be flying!
*****

Reged: 03/01/09

Loc: Oklahoma!
Re: The battle with HOA has began. new [Re: AstroTatDad]
      #5942283 - 06/26/13 10:56 PM

I can see where HOA's serve a purpose--making sure owners are keeping their property up, keeping the yard mowed, not parking cars in the yard or leaving them on blocks, not playing loud music into the wee hours or being a general nuisance to the rest of the neighborhood--that sort of thing. But people have a right to the peaceful and reasonable use of their property. When they infringe on that, they overstep their bounds. Just my opinion. Anyhow, I'm sure glad I don't have to deal with such associations.

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Mike B
Starstruck
*****

Reged: 04/06/05

Loc: shake, rattle, & roll, CA
Re: The battle with HOA has began. [Re: caheaton]
      #5942309 - 06/26/13 11:15 PM

Quote:

...so why the h@@l should he have even cared?




Because SOMEbody over there is having a heck of a good time, enjoying the splendors of the universe, and the complainer is NOT! We shall not stand for such an inequity... how dare he!


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