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Dec 8, 2011

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Larimer County, CO

Verrrrrrry conflicted about this town - Part 5

[continued] It seems a virtual certainty that Judge Kaup's decision, and -- ultimately -- the actions of my neighbors and this neighborhood -- will drive my wife and me into bankruptcy, IF that is even an option. Every time I consider this prospect, I break down in tears. You can imagine the stress it has also placed on my marriage. And all because a disabled guy wanted to sleep in his own new home. That's it. No more. No less. There has been a systemic failure to deliver aid, assistance, or justice in this situation, at every turn. There's something horribly wrong with the residents of this particular neighborhood, and with these governmental processes, in this "fine city" of Fort Collins. I am a good, decent, compassionate, giving, caring, and kind person. I acted civilly, appropriately, within the law, and in a very "measured " way, at every step. I also never did anything to any of these people, am now in medical and financial jeopardy and ... an emotional wreck. This is all documented. There's no "he said, she said" here. I conducted all of these correspondence via e-mail ... too sick to knock on doors. The rest of the story is in writing, in sworn Depositions, from the relevant players. Fort Collins may HAVE a lot to offer, but ... something is terribly rotten in Denmark ... in this case.  (Dec 8, 2011 | post #1)

Larimer County, CO

Verrrrrrry conflicted about this town - Part 4

[continued] The Judge -- Eighth Judicial District Judge Daniel Kaup -- decided that the HOA had no obligation to act, in my situation, and -- by implication -- that no matter how egregious the actions OF the HOA WERE -- they were legally okay, despite a fiduciary obligation TO the homeowners, a duty of "utmost good faith," and a prohibition against the sort of "arbitrary and capricious" behavior that they so clearly demonstrated, in deciding what they would and wouldn't do. Among the other impacts of this decision, it has emboldened the HOA Vice President, who now verbally torments me, whenever he sees me. I finally filed a police report against HIM, and against his next door neighbor, who tried to run me off the road with his truck. He taunted me again, just a few days ago. This HOA Vice President is an athlete, a hunter, and generally a young man who seems in robust good health, and -- presumably -- gets great joy and satisfaction from tormenting a disabled guy. When we moved into this house, my neighbors' dogs were puppies. After months of incessant barking, I told my neighbors that -- along WITH the toll that it was taking on me -- the barking did NOT seem normal, and that their dogs might NOT BE OKAY. The neighbors -- first-time dog owners -- denied that, took significant offense to that, and dug their heels in even further. About a year ago, the primary barker of the two sister puppies died, at age two, from an autoimmune disease. Either the stress of being left alone CAUSED the disease or the barking was a symptom OF the disease. Either way.... In other words, my neighbors had killed their dog, and -- in effect -- are coming dangerously close to killing me. The constant sleep disruption meant that I could not insert the $12,000, fluid-filled, custom prosthetic lenses that I MUST wear during ALL waking hours to protect my burned eyes from the harsh environment of Colorado. I'm not allowed to sleep in them, and had to TRY to sleep whenever I could, to make up for the sleep disruption. But ... being without my lenses -- sometimes for days at a time -- caused multiple corneal problems, deemed sight-threatening, and which forced me to DRIVE to Boston to be seen, evaluated, and treated -- a six-week stay -- and .... more torture. As the problem continued, my neighbors wrote to every member of this community, telling a horribly one-sided, dishonest, and inaccurate story about me, and about the situation, telling the neighbors that I was trying to force them to get rid of -- or in one particular case -- force them to euthanize -- their dogs. Patently untrue. I LOVE dogs. I just asked them to train THEIR dogs to stop the unnecessary barking so that I could sleep. After two years of antibiotics, I STILL cannot beat the sinus (and other) infection. Neither did 30 days of steroids effect it. I have been battling fungal, viral, and bacterial infections. The immune disorder renders me more susceptible to these things. I was recently started on a six-month trial of Intravenous Immune Globulin. I have no idea whether my Medicare will cover it. The Boston Foundation for Sight told me that I MUST return, annually, for follow up care. The unreimbursed portion of THAT trip has averaged $12,000 each time. The Judge just awarded the attorneys for HOA and its VP ... $73,000 in fees and costs. This represents my wife's and my life savings, and will leave me unable to pay for the unreimbursed portions of my ongoing medical care, setting aside for the moment things like income taxes, and the cost of selling our house and moving OUT of this neighborhood.  (Dec 8, 2011 | post #1)

Larimer County, CO

Verrrrrrry conflicted about this town - Part 3

[continued] 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-controlle d, 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.  (Dec 8, 2011 | post #1)

Larimer County, CO

Verrrrrry conflicted about this town - Part 2

[continued] I have significant problems with my eyes. For over six years, ONE of those problems was treated with eye drops, a treatment that -- while it DID allow me to return to work, after a lengthy period of disability -- chemically burned my corneas. As it turns out, the preservatives IN those eye drops are known to be toxic TO corneas. I live with constant eye pain, and -- since we can no longer treat the underlying eye issues -- I was declared medically disabled in 2004, and am on Social Security, at age 47. I also have a Primary Immune Dysfunction. I am very susceptible to illness -- particularly if something affects my sleep, my diet, or my stress level. And "something " did. My wife and I moved to Fort Collins, to buy our first home, in late 2008. We rented for a couple of months, during the completion of our house. We took possession of our new house in 2/09. Our house -- as it turns out -- is situated on our lot in such a way that our master bedroom is ENTIRELY IN our neighbors' back yard. We didn't know this when we bought the house. It was just a floor plan, on paper. Our neighbors -- as it turns out -- were (they moved out in the Summer of 2011) the owners of barking dogs. The barking woke me up in the 6am hour. It woke me up in the 11p to midnight hour. It kept me from napping, as the dogs would bark for hours on end, day after day, all day long. Month after month after month. We didn't know THIS part either. Within WEEKS, this led to a precipitous decline in my health, an increase in my eye issues, and an increase in my eye pain. Which led to me being prescribed increased pain medicine. Which led to several cycles of physiological dependence, withdrawal, and ... suffering -- a time I can only refer to, now, as sheer hell. That's the beginning of the story.  (Dec 8, 2011 | post #1)

Larimer County, CO

Verrrrrry conflicted about this area - Part 1

Maybe this will generate some conversation. Maybe it will serve as a cautionary tale. I read, in one thread, where a poster intimated that Fort Collins REALLY enjoys news that paints itself in a favorable light. I couldn't agree more. I like a lot of things about Fort Collins, but ... it might have killed me, yet. Literally. My story..... Two elite Fort Collins (Colorado) athletes and their friends tormented a disabled person .... month after month after month ... to the point that his health utterly failed. And now ... Big Insurance is looking to bankrupt the disabled guy, leaving him unable to pay for his ongoing medical care -- a classic 1%'er vs. 99%'er story.  (Dec 8, 2011 | post #1)