My friend and Michigan House Cooperative House resident Yochi Zakai has been having what he terms “neighbor problems.” This is the latest installment which involves the notoriously anal “historic fourth ward” neighborhood association’s low-grade war of annoyance on the many students who also share their neighborhood. It also involves a graduate student who, upon purchasing a home for $250,000, discovered it was feet from three co-ops (and a number of student apartments), and now has taken it upon himself to terrorize their residents with complaints to the city, no doubt because he’s afraid he won’t be able to sell the home for a tidy profit after he earns his PhD.
“i live in a coop in the north state neighborhood, and we’ve been having neighbor problems. we went into a mediation session, but the head of the old forth ward association kept saying that she had been contacted by 5 renters in the area who have called the cops on us at parties or when we sit on our porch and talk in level voices. We’ve also had problems with one owner of a house in the area and it’s crazy. Apparently the noise laws say that if it’s past 10pm you don’t have a permit you can’t make any noise that can be heard from your property line. when we apply for permits for our parties, we generally get them, but they normally only last until until midnight (and if you live in Ann arbor you know all parties start at midnight!). After this time, whenever the cops are called by anyone, the police apparently have to issue a noise violation if they can hear any noise from the sidewalk.
My house, over the years, has had to raise our charges to cover the cost of all of our noise violations. We have been harassed, with people coming in to our yard and attempting to “clean up the neighborhood” uninvited. In response, we reached out to our neighbors and offer to schedule parties around the times they’ll be out of town or coming to a compromise about the situation somehow. We offered many suggestions, none of which were discussed as the reprasentative of the neighborhood association refused to speak for the neighbors, who were invited but did not attend the session (they were invited).
If you live in our area, it’d like to speak to you about this. please call us. Our phone number is available from the inter cooperative council, or you can e-mail me. if you don’t like our parties, we’d love to come to a situation that we all can live with. If you have experienced harassment from people in the neighborhood, as we have, i’d like to speak with you as well.
if you know of anyone who this letter should be directed to, please let me know. thanks.
yochi (yochi at umich.edu)”