Verrrrrrry conflicted about this town...

Verrrrrrry conflicted about this town - Part 3

Posted in the Larimer County Forum

Since: Dec 11

Littleton, CO

#1 Dec 8, 2011

Now ... from 35,000 feet ....

Our dog-owning neighbors are -- literally -- champion bicycle racers.

She is the #1 ranked women's cyclist in the United States. Her husband is a highly-ranked amateur racer.

I wrote several civil, reasonable, and plaintive e-mails to my dog-owning neighbors, begging them to curb the barking, telling them it was causing me serious harm, explaining that I'm medically disabled, and asking them to help me, by simply training their dogs not to bark needlessly.

In short, they wouldn't comply, and resented being asked.

We later found out, they also didn't believe there was anything medically wrong with me, since "they had seen me on my bicycle" before. On good days, I can ride my bike.

Neither the Larimer County Animal Control Department, the Fort Collins Police Department, nor the City of Fort Collins Mediator ... truly responded in anything like a fair, objective, and reasonable manner.

Animal Control maintained that they needed at least TWO complaints from at least TWO separate addresses (in stark contradiction with their ACTUAL policy), even though nobody else's bedroom was IN the neighbors back yard, and even though nobody else was home all day to be disturbed BY the constant barking.

The barking constituted a violation of the City's Noise Ordinance, but the Police Department said that -- in the case of animal noise -- they will ONLY act if a case is referred TO them BY Animal Control.

Catch-22. Not an unusual situation, as I later learned. It's very common, in communities around the country. One agency points at the other, and neither acts.

The City Mediator -- as we later found out -- was previously acquainted with the dog owners, and -- while she had lengthy e-mail correspondence with THEM -- she never even spoke to me, took my calls, or answered my e-mails.

It was an ambush, on every front.

Our neighborhood is extremely close-knit. We were among the last to move into this community. It is covenant-controlled, and governed by an HOA. It "celebrates itself" in much the same way that Fort Collins does.

The Property Manager was my next avenue, in trying to get the barking to stop.

She promised to solve the problem, but -- when the HOA (CLOSE friends of my neighbors) Board of Directors VP got word of this, he "called the Property Manager off," "ordering" her to take NO FURTHER ACTION.

The barking ... and the chronic sleep disruption ... continued, unabated, and my overall health got worse. I was put on long-term antibiotics for a sinus infection that would not go away.

I finally wrote TO the Board of Directors, directly -- the only name I could get FROM the Property Manager -- the VP who was best friends with my neighbors.

I begged him to help.

He wrote me a horrible, scathing e-mail, in response -- nothing more than a string of mean-spirited, personal, and baseless attacks on me. This man ... who had only ever MET me, once, in the streets -- allegedly speaking for neighbors who -- themselves -- had probably never even MET me -- viciously attacked my character, rather than address the truth of the situation.

I retained counsel. I was too sick to consider something as arduous as trying to find a house, and moving. I was non-functional.

We filed a lawsuit against the HOA for Breach of Contract, Breach of Fiduciary Duty, Failure to Enforce Covenants, and ... probably one or two other things.

We sued the neighbors for Private Nuisance and Breach of Covenants.

We recently lost a Motion for Summary Judgment hearing, in favor of the HOA.

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