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.
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.