Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Cityfolk vs the country

The Argus has a classic rural story about cityfolk who move to the country and want to change things.

It was 3 a.m. a couple of years ago when the rustic nature of Livingston County stirred Dolores Pitts from a deep sleep.
"I was convinced that someone was being attacked," she said. "My husband was, too. It wasn't until daylight that we went out and looked around. That's when we realized it was a peacock."

The peacocks belong to neighbor Sam Campbell. He also owns roosters, dogs, chickens and other animals that he keeps on the 37 acres that abut the condominiums in Hamburg Township.

If you don't like the animals, Ann Arbor is just 15 minutes south of Hamburg. Most of this county was farm or to a lesser extent woods. It is the buyers' responsibilities to know the neighborhood and know the area they are moving. I live near railroad tracks. They were there before me. I had fair warning before moving here that trains and their whistles would be a problem at times. That's life. If there is one thing that bothers me, it is when the city moves to the country, tries to eliminate country values, and then uses the heavy hand of government to change the country to recreate their city.

The animal noise and the smells — particularly from chicken manure — irritate the residents of the 7-year-old Summer Park Condominiums. They say the use of the land for farm-like operations doesn't predate current zoning, which means they can't be grandfathered.

That argument mystifies Campbell, a Hamburg native, who says animals have always been a part of the land that's been in his family for three generations.

The original owner of the land where the condos sit, he said, used to keep horses, mules and rabbits

Those in the right are those who are there first. This is a clear cut case. 60+ years of animals vs seven years of condos. Period, end of storty. There should not even be a discussion here.

1 comment:

Keith Richards said...

Yes. I live next to a busy road. The busy road was there when I moved in, so I have no right to complain about the noise.

Likewise, people that move in next to a farm should not complain about the smells and noise. People that move in next to an expressway should not complain about the loud trucks driving by. People that move in next to an airport have no right to complain about the noise from planes. And people that move in next to a shooting range should learn to live with the noise.

It is not fair for people to come into an area and then demand that it be changed to suit their tastes.

There is another issue too. In most cases, homes located next to a busy expressway or airport will sell at a discount of about $20,000 or more, compared to comparable homes located away from the noise.

When buyers find a home that seems to be priced way cheaper than the competition, they need to check carefully to find out WHY the seller is selling at fire sale prices. All responsible home buyers should drive around the area of a home they are considering.

It is also a good idea for buyers to talk to multiple real estate agents and township officials to learn as much about the area they are moving into. It will save them from making a decision that they will later regret.