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Corner Block – Access rights

MightyJoe 16 August 2011 32

I have an ongoing question that I’ve never been able to figure out. I live on a corner block, my house (well the bank’s) so not a housing commission house / rental.

My neighbours are constantly cutting through my front yard (at times past the front door) but mostly through the lawn to get to the next street.  They let their dogs do their business in front of my gate and when they see me pretend that I’m not there. 

Is there anything I can do? Most nights / aftenoons I’m not at home to see them walking through, so if I directly confront them, I’m afraid that they may enter the back yard for pooping purposes.

Also, another gripe. People on the opposite side of the road are constantly parking on my nature strip, to the point where at nights it becomes a car park. Anything for this?

Cheers

MightyJoe


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32 Responses to Corner Block – Access rights
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TimmyAct TimmyAct 2:35 pm 19 Aug 13

Hi MightyJoe,

I had a similar issue – my neighbours were cutting across my lawn and dragging wheely bins etc. The final straw was the owner hired painters who tore my yard up pretty bad. After several complaints etc, the owner couldn’t care less, and the residents neither.

I planted screen hedges to prevent pedestrian access from their house through my yard, forcing them to instead go around. They were not happy about it and I have since copped slack from both the owners and the residents, but my lawn is ever so green again.

Holden Caulfield Holden Caulfield 11:48 am 17 Aug 11

MightyJoe said :

Ok. Won’t do the string line.

But will cut 1m from the footpath (my grass) and install a flower bed with low shrubs. Next time they walk through my front porch (yes I have one, but no banjo) I will kindly ask them if they would like it if I came up to their front porch to just walk through. Also, will place a sign about the poop. I.e. cameras in place and fresh deposits will be returned to the owner.

Cheers for the suggestions!

My current house and previous house are corner blocks. In the right scenario, they can be much better than a traditional block IMO. But, yes, they do have the issues you mention. These can mostly be overcome.

If you’re not too picky about your plants I have found native grasses are very good at stopping inconsiderate arseholes from walking across your lawn. They freak people out, it would seem.

A hedge also works well, so long as your neighbour’s dog stops pissing on it.

My current eucalypt-on-the-corner set-up is also effective, but takes longer to establish, of course.

The corner block issues get worse when you’re still living on site while doing renos and the permieter fencing makes people think there’s no-one at home.

The “I thought nobody was living there” excuse wears thin very bloody quickly. It’s amazing how many people seem to lose their moral compass on my block right now.

Henry82 Henry82 11:43 am 17 Aug 11

Postalgeek said :

As far as the nature strip goes, buy some cheap native shrubs and some star pickets and strategically place them to deter people driving over them.

Not a bad idea actually, in my old place the council planted a native species on the lawn, and used 3 posts to protect it. It wasnt to stop people from parking, but add some more shade/greenery to the area.

MightyJoe MightyJoe 11:28 am 17 Aug 11

Ok. Won’t do the string line.

But will cut 1m from the footpath (my grass) and install a flower bed with low shrubs. Next time they walk through my front porch (yes I have one, but no banjo) I will kindly ask them if they would like it if I came up to their front porch to just walk through. Also, will place a sign about the poop. I.e. cameras in place and fresh deposits will be returned to the owner.

Cheers for the suggestions!

ThisIsAName ThisIsAName 10:29 am 17 Aug 11

taninaus said :

In reality, without a complaint, I don’t believe the Gov are terribly active in enforcing the – have to seek permission to develop the verge requirement – only if you come to their attention for some reason.

Most likely the case. A few months ago a newsletter article covered this topic. It requested anyone who had developed a verge without permission fill in the approval forms for post-development approval. If the paperwork isn’t there, the govt doesn’t know.

Friends of ours did it by the book. If I recall correctly they had something like 2 visits from the ACT govt to inspect + photograph the block. The funniest part was a verbal warning: anything seen growing over 40cm would be cut to be under the official maximum height (chop off flower heads etc).

Postalgeek Postalgeek 10:42 pm 16 Aug 11

Sounds like you need some permanent solutions if you’re going to be in your house for the long term. You may train one person only to have a fresh pest come along.

I’d say you’re going to have to aggressively stake out your territory with a low mesh fence and hedge. I think fences are allowed if they are intended to be the heart of a hedge. The fence will stop people from going through the hedge while it’s growing. Even if you only do one side at a time, blocking off one side will disrupt the route.

Alternatively, you could also collect all the fresh dog turds you can find around the neighbourhood and place them at the entry points of your neighbour’s route through your property. Let them marinade their feet in dogshit every time they pass through.

As far as the nature strip goes, buy some cheap native shrubs and some star pickets and strategically place them to deter people driving over them. The worst that can happen is you’ll be asked to move them. More likely your nature strip will go unnoticed amongst the thousands and thousands of nature strips in Canberra that have tanbark mounds with shrubs, or rockeries, or sleepers, or piles of bricks, or car bodies, or mounds of dirt.

It’ll be hard for people to take umbrage at a bit of ‘landscaping’.

Sgt.Bungers Sgt.Bungers 10:22 pm 16 Aug 11

What PBO said. Fire up the sprinklers each time they walk on your lawn. Turn them off the instant they’re off your property. I do recall seeing motion activated sprinklers on TV a few years ago that are intended to scare birds off, if they still exist, they might work on humans too? 🙂

As for the nature strip, parking on any nature strip or footpath in an urban area in Canberra is against the law. Nature strip is considered the space 1.2 metres from the edge of the road. Kindly leave a note quoting the rule on the premise you dont want them to get fined for an offence they probably don’t know they’re committing. If you’re not that way inclined, keep a log of vehicles comitting the offence, what time, what days… pass that onto parking operations after you’ve collected a bit of data. (They’re more inclined to do something about if if you have a log of how often the offence is being commited, rather than you just calling up and saying “OMG it happens all the time!”)

If they’re actually parking on the road, are parked over 10 meters from any intersection, are not blocking access to any driveway or foot path ramp, and there is over 3 meters of space for other vehicles to pass by without crossing over a solid centre line, then parking there is not illegal.

Henry82 Henry82 9:53 pm 16 Aug 11

If they’re the non violent type, go and speak to them about the issues.

Otherwise:

– take photos of the dogs doing shits, tell them you’ve got the photos/videos, and if they dont remove it, you’ll report them to the council. It worked for us.
– cutting through – install a fence, or use star pickets with 3 wires, that will force anyone to go around, particularly with a dog
– the car issue can be reported to the council. Its been discussed in a recent thread, it illegal parking

Pandy Pandy 9:17 pm 16 Aug 11

PrinceOfAles said :

Does your house have a porch? Get a rocking chair and a shotgun.

and a banjo to boot

Captain RAAF Captain RAAF 8:50 pm 16 Aug 11

I-filed said :

PrinceOfAles said :

Does your house have a porch? Get a rocking chair and a shotgun.

So many possibilities. Dog poo or cow poo. Dye bombs. Bags of wet flour mixture hidden just below the surface of the “path”. Trip wire causing camera to go off. Follow culprit home, and wreak equivalent havoc on THEIR lawn. Could end up being fun!

I have a ‘game camera’ i bought from the US, just set it up out of sight and it will capture all the imagery you need for revenge attacks. In fact if you are going to start putting up string or delivering poo to peoples houses then i’d recommend getting the camera set up at the same time so you can catch the vandals that try any tampering or returning of ‘evidence’.

I-filed I-filed 8:14 pm 16 Aug 11

PrinceOfAles said :

Does your house have a porch? Get a rocking chair and a shotgun.

So many possibilities. Dog poo or cow poo. Dye bombs. Bags of wet flour mixture hidden just below the surface of the “path”. Trip wire causing camera to go off. Follow culprit home, and wreak equivalent havoc on THEIR lawn. Could end up being fun!

taninaus taninaus 7:42 pm 16 Aug 11

I think there is something like requiring 1.8m or so clearance from the road way if there isn’t a footpath – I presume there is no footpath if people are taking the short way around. In a previous life with a corner block I did similar to others and had a garden bed and retaining wall marking the edges along the road way to define my space from the road way with similar good effect.

In reality, without a complaint, I don’t believe the Gov are terribly active in enforcing the – have to seek permission to develop the verge requirement – only if you come to their attention for some reason.

Captain RAAF Captain RAAF 7:10 pm 16 Aug 11

EvanJames said :

I think that, even under the old NCDC rules, you can have a fence or wall, but it has to be quite low. But such a thing would establish your territory and I can’t see people stepping over it.

I think front yard fences can only be 60cm high solid and can have a further 30cm height that is see-through, but please check up on it.

My neighbors used to use my driveway as a shortcut to their front yard. Its a standard single frontage block so I went and complained. I was met by a punk kid at the door who could’nt give a rats arse so that was it for me.

I built a timber planter box out of treated pine sleepers across their ‘shortcut’, and put large rocks inside it at each corner. I also made sure that the big arsed bolts I used to hold the sleepers together had the heads well pronounced so they would cut up a car tyre if they skimmed it……sure enough, just a couple of days later I bagged a victim and he destroyed a tyre on it. I watched him changing it, it was piss funny.

I’ve had no trouble since. It helps if you are a big bloke that frightens small children though.

PrinceOfAles PrinceOfAles 6:54 pm 16 Aug 11

Does your house have a porch? Get a rocking chair and a shotgun.

EvanJames EvanJames 5:12 pm 16 Aug 11

I think that, even under the old NCDC rules, you can have a fence or wall, but it has to be quite low. But such a thing would establish your territory and I can’t see people stepping over it.

Madman Madman 5:05 pm 16 Aug 11

MightyJoe said :

Will try the string line.

Just remember that if they trip on your string line (and or on your property for that matter of fact) and have an accident then you as the owner of the property would be liable for his/her damages and you should check you have adequate insurance coverage.
You would need to be able to prove in court against any damages that you put measures in place that would have prevented any such occurance of personal injury to a third party person.

EvanJames EvanJames 4:35 pm 16 Aug 11

niftydog said :

Seed your lawn with the biggest, nastiest, sharpest caltrops you can find.

Now you have gone too far, that stuff is vicious! And, um, if anyone should feel the need for some, along the footpath at the lake end of Telopea Park is a very active colony of it.

PBO PBO 4:20 pm 16 Aug 11

Maybe take a page out of the nutters handbook and start flinging poo at them, I believe that this may be quite legal to do if you have a sign warning that it could happen if they tresspass onto private property.

Fling poo (sounds like a good name for a shitzu)

Gungahlin Al Gungahlin Al 4:09 pm 16 Aug 11

We have a corner block and it is completely planted out with a lix of native species – except for the formal concrete footpath on one frontage and a less formal gravel path (outside the property line) that we created on the other frontage. The species were chosen with an eye to height and proximity to the corner and therefore impact on sightlines for drivers. Problem solved.

blowers blowers 4:01 pm 16 Aug 11

I’m in a similar boat. I own a corner block. My solution is growing in the form of a photinia hedge. I have left a small gap for the power and water meter readers. Built a big garden bed also to stop the neighbour shortcutting

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