Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Code Violation! Code Violation!

Yesterday I fumed all afternoon. We received a letter from the Shorewood Planning Dept saying that we are in violation of code because we have “building supplies” that are visible from the road on the west side of our shed. One of our neighbors complained.  First of all, what kind of neighbor reports something like this to the city without at least talking to us first? Oh yeah, a cowardly passive aggressive Minnesotan neighbor, that’s who!

Secondly, the “building materials” they complained about (we think) are the slabs of maple from the giant tree that we saved when we built the house. They are covered by a tarp and are FAR away from the street. But yeah, technically it’s a code violation. I’ve got a call in to the planning technician that sent us the letter to clarify exactly what the violation is, and that putting up a screen will be sufficient.

But I’m pissed, and hurt. Our house and landscaping are BEAUTIFUL, especially for something that was only built a year ago. This violation seems very minor to me, yet it warrants a letter, and a threat of a fine and further action if we don’t fix the problem by August 17th. It’s hardly like all the houses around us are specimens of grace and beauty! 

It makes me feel angry, and suspicious too. Why did they do it? Who was it? Were they jealous? Are they being vindictive and trying to get back at us for the mess we made while building last year? Is it just some crank that likes to drive around and look for violators? Is it someone that noticed the mezuzah on our front door and is racist? We’ll never know.

And it makes me homesick for New Hampshire, where the government pretty much minded it’s own business. I’m reminded that I hate the City of Shorewood for what they put us through when we built the house. And here they are doing it again.

I’m lucky that Lee is so handy. He can throw up a screen so the slabs aren’t visible from the street, and that will be that. But I’m still angry. And sad. Damn Minnesota! This doesn’t help me feel at home here. At all.

Today we’ve received some clarification from the city. If we put up something to hide the maple slabs and some latticework in front of the stacked wood that will suffice. They also gave us a few more days to fix it, since we didn’t get the letter until yesterday and we’re supposed to have 10 days. I’m still not happy, and neither is Lee but we’ll just suck it up and take care of it. No way are we going to bother arguing about it.

But to whatever “neighbor” complained, go to hell. You’re a petty little busybody. I love my house and I love my family and friends and the rest of you can go suck eggs! I guess this is just another example of “Minnesota Nice”. Yeah, nice.


  1. The thing I disliked about the midwest (Ohio in my case) was exactly this 'smile at your face while stabbing you in the back' attitude.
    The thing I liked about the northeast, and New Hampshire in particular, was that you knew where you stood; if you were an idiot people had no problem letting you know. I very much enjoyed my 16 years there.



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