Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Unreal Estate

Yesterday was a successful day. Two long-looming problems were solved to everyone's satisfaction and relief. By me.

Yet, the hen-pecking nature of life won't let me relish the contentment for one full night. Nope. New problems nag and niggle at me. It's too early and too late to be awake thinking about the red tape of existence in a 'free society.'

I have indignation constipation.

For the sake of anyone reading this I won't go into detail because who wants to read frustration at Christmas. Geez Louise, I don't even want to know about it let alone write or read it.

Suffice to say I'm reminded of the Matrix, a film I should watch several more times. There's a scene (and I'm sorry Matrix fans that I will probably butcher it in my sorry recollecting) where a guy (see? I don't even remember his name...) orders a steak in a restaurant. He says he knows it isn't real, that it's an illusion, but he enjoys the pleasure of it anyway. He doesn't care that it's unreal.

I don't enjoy living in the city, in the 'civility' of society. It feels like prison. While running errands on Sunday, Tom and I were discussing how the city seems benevolent and yet when the hologram shivers a little you see the stern reality behind the facade. It's benevolent as long as you follow the rules. One hairy toe over the line - aka questioning authority, independent thinking, or managing your own affairs - and you pay.

"Your helpful original ideas are not wanted. Get in line, Sheep." That's how it feels.

We own our home and property, right? Hmm. What does that even mean? (Oh no, I'm getting into it. You'd better go somewhere else. Listen to John Denver sing about Christmas in the post before this one...scroll down... warning, warning Will Robinson!!) I'll keep it short. Our neighbor and we agree that we want to adjust the property line four feet to right a mistake that was made by a surveyor and the city decades ago which leaves an unsatisfactory, to the both of us, situation. We are in complete, friendly agreement. Four feet. No utilities will be effected. No landscaping, just four feet of lawn. He wants to do it. So do we. Future home owners will be better off if we do. Win-win, right? No, the city wants us to pay nearly three thousand dollars to acquire documents for them to peruse in order to decide whether or not to give us permission. Permission! To alter four feet of personal property which will actually bring the two properties up to the city's code, a choice we are making on our own. The city planner even told Tom, as she researched the properties with him sitting right there, that it all looks kosher to her, but we have to follow procedure anyway, and pay the permit fees. $650 for permission alone - to buy and sell four feet of personal property. If on the off chance some city yahoo denies the permit, we are out thousands of dollars. For nothing.

Is it just me? Is this perfectly okay? Am I merely turning into a curmudgeon?

Mind you, the three thousand dollars doesn't include the price of the land.

Red. Tape.

Indignation constipation.

I just want to go to sleep.

I'm going back to bed.

Maybe I'll solve a few problems tomorrow and find a more regular mind.


sean said...

curmudgeon? No!!.
Great word I learned today.
How did the city find out about you, and your neighbor- adjusting the property line four feet.
I don't know if it's possible, but you and said should have went ahead and moved the post and let the dust of the years fall over the demarcation ..... if ever anything's said by town or city hence, then whenever/who-ever can put it back and then move it again till victory.
Who would notice a post any-which-way unless you draw attention to it.
Be ye as wise as serpents and as meek/peaceful as lambs, or something like that;-) ;-)

Mike S said...

My neighbor, when I lived in FL, and I ran into a nearly identical problem. We got out of it easily though. A guy who drag raced with us at the local track weekends was a surveyor. 2 cases of beer from each of us and 2 turns at the wheel of my Alcohol Funny purchased us 2 new and 'corrected' surveys of our properties to file. Filing fees? $30 apiece.

Cherie said...

Hmmm, maybe we need to rethink this thing and get a little more creative huh. Surely there is a better way that is legal, that won't come back to haunt future property owners.

Thanks, Mike and Sean, for your insights.


tshsmom said...

If it's any comfort to you, it's no different in the country.
We own 2 sets of adjacent lots with a platted alley running between them. The county admits that they will NEVER build an alley there. BUT, they still wouldn't let us build our garage on the alley.
Stupid paper pushers!

Cherie said...

Stupid is right!

Who's in charge around here anyway? Them or us?

Maybe it's time we revolted again and got things right-side up .

tshsmom said...

That's the problem. There's NO common sense in gov't, all the way from the local level on up to the federal gov't. These people forget who they're working for! :(

Cherie said...

Yes, Tshs, no common sense. Absolutely none and on all levels. And we just keep jumping through the hoops because to fight takes more time and money than any of us have - and they know this.

How'd it get this way so quickly?

tshsmom said...

Unfortunately, we have to backtrack to the point where we allowed this to happen in order to fix it. Once again this involves time and money that us ordinary people(the backbone of this nation) don't have.

Annie said...

It's the same here too GRRRRRR!

Stick with it Cherie. Get what you want even if you have to cut red tape to do it.

Cherie said...

Tshs - it's kind of a 'what's wrong with the picture' scenario, isn't it. Maddening. The backbone is being crushed.

Annie, thanks for the encouragement! It really helps. (GRRRRR is right...)