I just want to tell my story because I am not sure what to do. We moved to Minnesota 1 year ago and rented a house in Minneapolis while building a house in Edina. I understand that many existing residents have issues with the large wave of teardowns and rebuilds in Edina, especially if people have to live next to a construction zone for 9 months. Makes complete sense, and believe me I symphathize. I am also a believer that new construction enhances everyone's property values and makes everyone wealthier, but again there is never one side to any story. I just happen to be building a house, and therefore have to fall on one side.

Anyway, during the building of my home, a single neighbor (all the others handled being near the construction with acceptance and grace and kindness) has been a remarkable thorn in our side. This individual (who I won't name for now so I don't stoop to his level) has been acting in a way that I have never personally experienced (I am 38, so I haven't had a full life of adult experience, but enough to have a decent amount).

First, during the build phase, he has called the City of Edina and the police on our builders and the construction workers on a very frequent basis. This includes calling the police if a vehicle was parked within 30 feet of a stop sign for a short period of time, and once even calling Edina HazMat because he saw a "bucket of liquid" in the back yard (you guessed it! - it was water). He knows the Edina code inside and out and calls the police if there are any accidental violations at any fixed moment.
Now, let me say that I understand he is well within his rights here. Frankly, this was my developer's problem, and not really mine. When I heard about this I expressed my concerns, as the last thing I want is to create friction with my future neighbors. My builder was very adamant that this neighbor was being extremely unreasonable. When I investigated individual complaints myself I agreed. Yes there are technicalities, but imagine if I saw someone's kids a little too far out of range at night from their own houses and called police to enforce curfew laws? Additionally, the neighbor's actions waste the city's resources and more importantly the time of police officers. Finally, he harasses hard working constructon workers who are just trying to put food on the table for their families. Still though, it is what it is, and it didn't affect my personal life.

Then, however, he has come after me and my family personally. First, he on multiple websites (whether in a facebook group focused on Edina politics, or local Minnesota news and community sites, and also this very site speakupedina!) he posted my address and described issues in a negative light. Besides the construction issues, he also made comments about his opinion on the aesthetics of the newbuild and other more personal claims. I have a very young family, and now I find that I have to move them into a neighborhood where a neighbor has splashed my personal information all over the internet negatively!

More recently, he has put up 2 youtube videos of my house (this was within the last month and a half). While I am guessing he is within his rights (and to be clear, humans have many rights which they don't exercise because they are mean-spiritied and wrong), this was to me a very frightening invasion of privacy. Just before I move my family into what should be a happy and safe home, I have to see this on the web as well.

We have moved in, and since then he has already called the city on us due to a mistake our landscapers had made. He could have just spoken to us, but called the new city redevelopment employee to come over. I have confronted him directly, but when I asked him (loudly, I will embarassingly admit) why he keeps calling the police on us and keeps bothering us, he says nothing and ignores me. He prefers the computer and his direct line to the city. Since then my family has seen him constantly walk over toward our side of the property with his hands on his hips looking menancingly. I am not making "menancingly" up...my young kids have asked about the "angry man".

I am sure like most posts on the web, this will elicit very nasty comments from the anti-development crowd. Go for it. I am not asking to curb the rights of Edina residents. In fact I am a huge supporter of the new employee that was hired to deal with these issues (she is very nice, and will do a great job). I just want this guy to leave us alone. I can't believe I am posting my dirty laundry up on a website, but I am desperate for advice.

What do I do? If the answer is grin and bear it, then that is what I'll do (ok, well I'll try, I am not a shrinking violet but want to start in a civil manner). But it makes me sad as this was supposed to be a good move for my family.

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Ranjit Ahluwalia about 4 years ago

One last thing...I also had our realtor visit him before we moved asking them to please stop putting our information on the web (the realtor has a relationship with them). Subsequently, he made the youtube videos. I am not sure what to do.

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Amy Giltan about 4 years ago

Thanks for posting this. So sorry that you and your family have to deal with this nonsense. (Good point on the waste of city resources, by the way.)

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Ranjit Ahluwalia about 4 years ago

Update...while I was away from the house today, the neighbor went to the opposite side of the house and yelled at a worker (using profanity!_ because they put down a hose in the wrong spot for a minute. When the workers said it wasn't even his property, he said he was looking out for the neighborhood. He won't speak to me though when I confront him, he likes to yell at the workers who are I am sure told by their employers to turn the other cheek.

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Ranjit Ahluwalia almost 4 years ago

Yesterday he walked toward the front of my house (away from his so just being the sherrif I guess)...to be clear this means he has to walk all the way up a side street and then move onto my front street...well i was sitting on my porch and he saw me and then went back

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Ranjit Ahluwalia almost 4 years ago

July 1, 2013 at 08:19 am I am going to start a Facebook page for stories about Edina residential tear downs. Any ideas for…Read More what I should call it?

The above is from the Edina patch website. He is clearly ready to up his game. Can someone from the city who reads this site (assuming that person exists) just tell me to go F myself and that they will continue to support his behavior (by constantly rushing to our home whenever he calls). I just want it on the record that I tried all civil approaches first.

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Ranjit Ahluwalia almost 4 years ago

My latest update: so the Edina planning commission video was put online, and my neighbor spent 3 minutes trashing my home; most of this didn't bother me too much because he has a right to air his greviences to the city during a hearing, but his claims were extremely exaggerated and inflammatory. In addition he suggested my home is dangerous to his children. I have 3 young children, and going public suggesting that I am creating an environment that is bad for kids is wrong and disgusting. But the City of Edina continues to enable him without fail.

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City Of Edina admin almost 4 years ago

Ranjit,

Thank you for using this online forum to express your concerns to the City of Edina. I understand you have already been in contact with the City’s new Residential Redevelopment Coordinator, Cindy Larson. I would like to reiterate that when any resident expresses a concern regarding Section 411 of the Edina City Code (Demolition Permits and Building Permits for Single- and Two-Family Dwelling Units), she always researches the concern, even if no action is necessary.

If you have any questions about Section 411, please contact Cindy at clarson@EdinaMN.gov. If you feel your personal safety is in danger, please call 9-1-1. You might also seek mediation services to resolve any civil disputes with your neighbor by contacting the Conflict Resolution Center at 612-822-9883 or www.crcminnesota.org. You can also contact the Edina Resource Center at 952-848-3936.

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Ranjit Ahluwalia almost 4 years ago

Thanks for the response. Frankly if the City of Edina would stop enabling my neighbor it would go a long way, but that doesn't sound like it will happen. I won't post on this any longer...but I wanted to check this box to show that I have tried various avenues before moving on to other approaches. Thank you.

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Angie Berger almost 4 years ago

Ranjit, I do hope that the City of Edina realizes the great asset we have in property values and the amount of taxable property that is being built in their city. Most would KILL for this. I hope the new residential construction coordinator can also be a voice for homeowners like yourself and not just those that speak the loudest or most often.

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Maryanne Neuman almost 3 years ago

Ranjit, I have lived next to a build. It was awful. Had a heart attack (yes cheese eating also entered into it!)-- my jaw pain was dismissed by a doctor who thought I was worried, that my jaw clenching during the tear down of the next door house due to the noise, caused the pain.

No notices sent out, complete surprise. We suspected something was up when we recognized the builder from nearby new builds. The city would not give us any info, he never returned calls.

Developer & his Edina-raised snot of a grown son, was absolutely difficult, we and other neighbors had property damage. Many of us were parked in many times. The rumblings and sounds were like dinosaurs roaming, work done late at night and before 7 am, also on weekends. Police had to be talked to and talked & talked to to to help us get "no parking" signs by our driveway. Police treated us like we were whiney-- and comments were made that we were typical Edina residents complaining. Apparently getting to work is not important?

I understand a new build generates more $ for the city tax-wise, but those of us who live next to the builds, we get NOTHING. No payment for damage to fences, cracks in our homes and in our fireplaces, driveways and patios.No reimbursement for paintings that are damaged when they fall off the wall, or family china heirlooms that were on a well-secured shelf that fell off a wall.

No notice so we could pack up what we value.

Bobcats and even larger equipment being driven by texting workers, inches--yes, inches-- off our house.

Of course we go out to check on what they are doing, and sometimes we do cuss, the construction guys can be very difficult. Sometimes they pretend they don't speak English even!

The city would not show us the plans for the home next door. We had to sneak around the site to find the plans stuck in the door handle of the bobcat. When we overheard the developer talking about how he and his son were going to build closer to our lot line--the driveway they were building with tall retaining wall-- they denied it when the city finally came out to look. Of course, we set up barricades and marked our lot. Better that than having a too-close build that the city will not order them to correct.

We had to go into city hall to get someone to show up to review the digging that had been done in preparation for that work. Phone calling did not always get us city assistance.

Perhaps you need to talk to your neighbor and not bad mouth him on this site. Invite him over for a fall evening with drinks and dessert and hear his side of the story. PLant some flowers on his side, thank him for putting up with all of it.

Does your build have a yard? Many don't and the result is children using neighboring yards to play in, never mind that a homeowner has gardens and quiet places they go to in their yard to relax. The kids come in despite being told it is not their property, and to please leave.

The attitude of many in the new big homes is awful-- their children are special and can do what they want. Are you guilty of this?

You need to realize that property values are CAPPED by all of this, developers will build a home 3x the amount they pay for a property. Right now, $1.4 seems to be the max for a new build in the west Edina neighborhood. So the homeowner who sells their house makes 1/3 of that. Even if house is in very good condition and is worth more. My home I recently soldin the high 400's will be demolished and a new build at 3 times that amount will go in. Thank goodness we never put in new windows, siding, patio, fireplace and all of that. We never would have gotten the money back.

I have left Edina, sold to a developer! THe giant new house next to me can live through a new build. I did not notify them. Let them experience what we did.

Also, the real estate companies encourage sellers to go non-MLS with their listing, so the realtors who work with developers and people who want to build, get a head start on buying. The average family who wants a safe neighborhood, safe schools and a nice community is being shut out.

I have had my fill of noise, dirt, rumblings, trucks banging, rude construction workers and the uppity and whiney newcomers who live in the McMansions.

The city does NOT have enough inspectors and complaint takers. It is the homeowner who has to protect their home, their investment.

We were here for years paying taxes and keeping our homes up. We are not being treated well by the city.

I would not be surprised if people on city coucil and working at City Hall are financially beneffitting from all of this. A REALTOR is on city council!

You obviously have bought into the Edina mentality. Know that grades are inflated. The school brags about how many graduate and get into college...but they never make public any floow-up info about how many complete college. As a former educator, I can tell you no school system has such high college entrance rates unless student grades are being fudged.

Any school that does as Edna does, having parents cheering kids on as they walk into the schools on the first day in Septemebr, is babying their kids, creating spoiled brats. The kids don't work, they have too much idle time, they walk around and do minor property damage, the parents look away.

EDINA-- Every Day I Need Aggrevation.

Every Day I Need Assessments-- $12K for a new street?

While I could easliy afford to "upgrade" my property, even buy a new build. But Edina does not share my values. It all about feeling special and feeling entitled.

Edina residents, you can get a lot more for your housing dollar, and your kids will be better equipped to be a "real " person, by living elsewhere.

Now and then drive yourself and your kids into Richfield by Southdale mall to see the real world!

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Maryanne Neuman almost 3 years ago

City of Edina takes down any critical posts. Someone in city gov't and city council have got to be making money off the McMansioning.

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Jane Hendrickson over 2 years ago

Ranjit - Is there any way to enter into discussion with your neighbor on a reasonable, calm level? You each have a part in the situation, as you admit. Perhaps you can both air your side of it and then figure out a way to move forward. Yes, perhaps mediation of some sort is an option if direct communication doesn't work. There are challenging situations, no matter where you live - entitled people, angry neighbors, fill in the blank. I hope that Edina can be seen as a safe and welcoming place and that you can find like-minded friends in your new community.

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