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.