Landscape & Gardening

A Visit from Nazi Troll #2

The field of contention is the above swale which helps drain the backyard into the alley after heavy rain storms.
The field of contention is the above swale which helps drain the backyard into the alley after heavy rain storms.

Evidently, having the nicest looking alley right-of-way makes me the prime target for University Park’s code enforcers. This second visit was from a different person who spoke to the crew informing them that my river rock was in violation. I never saw the guy, but I was informed that I would be getting a notice in the mail. And this occurred AFTER I had the crew correct the first code inspector’s citation.

(above) This neighboring alley was rebuilt two years ago using aggregate as the filler in the easement.
(above) This neighboring alley was rebuilt two years ago using aggregate as the filler in the easement.

According to Sec. 3.03.003, the surface materials allowed in the alley easement are grass, gravel, pavers, concrete, and other permeable materials. All installations of the listed materials must be done in accordance with city specifications.

If gravel is acceptable — even though it tends to roll down into the alley and won’t stay put — why can’t I use river rock? Especially since the city now uses a very pointy rock called crushed aggregate to fill in the easements on their new alley projects. I would think that the pointy rock would be more harmful to city equipment than my smooth round river rock. And heck, while I’m on this tirade, walking a few houses down I discovered messy large-sized gravel behind one of the brand new McMansions. Why pick on me? My rock will stay put, is permeable and better looking.

After many calls to University Park’s Public Works department, I was able to arrange for the boss man, Jacob Speer, to meet me and my landscape architect at my house to hammer out what should be done. Jacob had to tread very carefully so as not to step on the two inspectors’ toes while making the final decision. There has been a lot of discussion within his department on what kind of rocks would be acceptable. Since the code only mentions gravel as acceptable, yet aggregate is being used on the city’s projects, each inspector has come up with his own interpretation. Jacob agreed to work it out within his department, get everybody on the same page, and allow me to keep my river rock as is. Hopefully this won’t come back to haunt me.

3 thoughts on “A Visit from Nazi Troll #2”

  1. Leslie Connally says:

    A word to the wise: calling the city inspectors “nazi troll”(s) as in “a visit from nazi troll #2” does not endear you to them. Just saying…

    1. Patsy Ann says:

      Leslie, I don’t care. Besides I said nice things about the boss man. I’ve seen worse written up about this department on DMagazine’s websites (FrontBurner and Park Cities People blogs). I was honey compared to those posts.

  2. Leslie Connally says:

    reminds me of a (true)story.. A friend’s oil baron father was fighting the IRS about a multi-million dollar write-off. The IRS sent a handsome, Harvard educated, young black man to audit him. My friend’s Southern bigot father told him, “not only are you a son-of-a-bitch, but you are a stupid son-of-a-bitch.” And thus ensued 10 years of expensive litigation.

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