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  1. #1

    Angry Possible Zoning Violation - Blocking Off Street

    My question involves real estate located in the State of: Ohio

    I am fed up with a certain neighbour of mine. I live in a cul-de-sac of 13 houses. One of them has an exercise group that meets irregularly several times a month. They have no set schedule and meet on the weekdays in the evening and on the weekends during the day. There are between 20 and 30 people, and they block the entire street while they do calisthenics up and down the middle of the road. They also block the sidewalks and either refuse to move or very reluctantly step to the side. They park on both sides of the street (there are only houses on one side of the street) making it extremely difficult to pass. They have recently taken to putting up pylons, caution signs, and other barricades to block the street. They do not consult or warn anyone before doing this. I am fairly certain the owner of the house is doing this as a business.

    I am pretty sure this is a violation as when I threw a block party, I needed to file for a permit to block the street. What, if anything, can I do about this situation? Talking to the people involved has produced no results. I have emailed the Code Enforcement Officer for my county, but I just got an automated email back saying he is out of the office until April 2nd.

    Please tell me this is a violation and I can do something about it. It is maddening.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    OH10
    Posts
    13,897

    Default Re: Possible Zoning Violation - Blocking Off Street

    Call the police and complain about them obstructing traffic.
    With enough thrust, pigs fly just fine.
    You may believe that you understood what you think I said. I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    2,361

    Default Re: Possible Zoning Violation - Blocking Off Street

    I am pretty sure this is a violation as when I threw a block party, I needed to file for a permit to block the street. What, if anything, can I do about this situation?
    You need to complain to whatever jurisdiction issued the permit for your block party. If they decline to intervene you can tell them that you will be having a block party whenever you want with no permit from them, as they have no power. See how that works out.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Possible Zoning Violation - Blocking Off Street

    Understanding you were frustrated when you wrote this, it might be helpful to focus in on a few things. First, its March and although its been a warm winter, I doubt they've been tromping around on the street in spandex in the middle of the Ohio winter. next, you live on a cul-de-sac with 13 homes, which probably makes it a few hundred feet long. Its improbable that they are using the entire cul-de-sac for whatever thing they are doing. I'm not making fun of you, but you need to be more specific with yourself about what kind of problems are being created by whatever activity is taking place. This will help your jurisdiction deal with it also.

    Most cities/counties/agencies have to maintain a 20' wide fire lane for emergency access. Assuming cars parked on either side of the road take up 6 feet on either side, you should have a road width of about 32' wide or better. Is that true? If not, you might want to see about having parking restricted along one side of the road.

    Next, does your jurisdiction have any restrictions on home based businesses? You might start with the planning division and see if they can offer advice. Many jurisdictions support such businesses, however the roadway is for public conveyance, not the personal venue for a business. Have there been specific times when you could not make use of your home or property because of the activity taking place, or is it just really bugging you? Be honest with yourself about this.

    Lastly, try to lighten up a little bit. Its possible that this is just a group of neighbors and friends trying very hard to stay in shape and do something positive. You might even want to join them, who knows? Make sure the spandex is optional though; the widespread occurrence of middle aged people in spandex will almost certainly lower property values in Ohio or just about anywhere.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Possible Zoning Violation - Blocking Off Street

    Thank you for your replies. I like the suggestion of saying I'll throw a block party if they don't intervene.

    No, they do not do this in the winter, but as soon as it is warm enough, they start right up again. It has been going on for almost a year. When it was three or four people, I didn't mind so much. Now, it is ridiculous and it seems to grow in number each time I see them. They absolutely do take up most of the street. They are the fifth house down and effectively block thee street for anyone but the first few houses. The road really wasn't designed to have cars on both sides. It is possible to get through, but very tight. This normally isn't a problem as the other neighbours are polite, but I'll look into that to see if I can at least alleviate that part of the problem.

    I suspect the business aspect may be a violation which is why I brought it up. There have been times where nobody else can use the road because of them. The last time they did this it was six pm and they were very rude to people coming home from work. Yes, they did move, but only after several minutes. And honestly, we shouldn't have to go through this cycle of asking, being ignored, demanding, being ignored, and honking, only to eventually be let by because the road is, as you say, for public conveyance.

    We live right across the street from a public library and park. We also live a few blocks from a public school with a track (open to the public) and a public park with a jogging trail and lots of wide open space. There is simply no need to inconvenience everyone else. They have been asked several times and have only gotten worse. Believe me, I wouldn't be posting here and trying to sort out zoning and coding permits if there was another solution in sight.

    Anyway, I know this is long and I sound frustrated, but I really appreciate your replies. You have given me more things to look into. It may not seem like a big deal, but it is if you have to live with it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Posts
    1,995

    Default Re: Possible Zoning Violation - Blocking Off Street

    Quote Quoting frustrated111
    View Post
    Thank you for your replies. I like the suggestion of saying I'll throw a block party if they don't intervene.

    No, they do not do this in the winter, but as soon as it is warm enough, they start right up again. It has been going on for almost a year. When it was three or four people, I didn't mind so much. Now, it is ridiculous and it seems to grow in number each time I see them. They absolutely do take up most of the street. They are the fifth house down and effectively block thee street for anyone but the first few houses. The road really wasn't designed to have cars on both sides. It is possible to get through, but very tight. This normally isn't a problem as the other neighbours are polite, but I'll look into that to see if I can at least alleviate that part of the problem.

    I suspect the business aspect may be a violation which is why I brought it up. There have been times where nobody else can use the road because of them. The last time they did this it was six pm and they were very rude to people coming home from work. Yes, they did move, but only after several minutes. And honestly, we shouldn't have to go through this cycle of asking, being ignored, demanding, being ignored, and honking, only to eventually be let by because the road is, as you say, for public conveyance.

    We live right across the street from a public library and park. We also live a few blocks from a public school with a track (open to the public) and a public park with a jogging trail and lots of wide open space. There is simply no need to inconvenience everyone else. They have been asked several times and have only gotten worse. Believe me, I wouldn't be posting here and trying to sort out zoning and coding permits if there was another solution in sight.

    Anyway, I know this is long and I sound frustrated, but I really appreciate your replies. You have given me more things to look into. It may not seem like a big deal, but it is if you have to live with it.
    I mentioned this a few times in the past on this forum, but this is a good issue for your local representative to handle. Usually, these people go by the title of councilman, alderman, or selectman depending on where they are.

    I had a co-worker who lived in a small town, and neighbors had been calling the police about someone on the block coming home 3:00AM often on a motorcycle waking up the whole neighborhood. The police was called, they investigated, and found there were no violations of any noise ordinances, there weren't any, so there was nothing they can do.

    My friend then called the councilman, explained the problem, and the councilman said "you're right, I think we need a noise ordinance, we don't have one, and I'll introduce it". The ordinance was passed shortly, the councilman notified the police, who waited by the development for this motorcyclist coing home early in the morning saying there is now a noise ordinance, and he can no longer roar down the street at 3:00AM.

    It is quite possible ordinances for street fairs may not apply here, but one is needed for a large group doing exercises. Your councilman would be in the best position to tell you. Keep in mind if you have a group of neignbors voicing the same complaint as you, you would have a stronger case.

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