fences and neighbors...sheesh.
I'll apologize in advance if I've mis-posted and for the fact that this is a long post.
We live in a new, neo-traditional development--with an HOA--that is designed and styled after old-fashioned towns. Our particular house is more of a cottage-y style; all homes are fairly close to neighbors' in an effort to foster closer relationships. Recently, we put up a picket fence in the front of the house. It's a standard, dog-ear picket such that you think of Tom Sawyer whitewashing. Nothing fancy or extreme about it in any way at all. Approval sailed through HOA no problem; we had it permitted by the county also. Double and triple checked the survey, plats, line-drawings, etc. Neighbors had to sign before we applied for permit; that was also no problem, except neighbors on one side indicated they "don't like" picket fences. There have been many fences installed recently; they are sprouting all over our neighborhood and people seem to like them well enough. Well, Neighbors-Who-Objected-To-Style (NWOTS) called us at 10 pm the night our posts had been cemented. They indicated they'd like us to move the post that was closest to the boundary between our properties. Fence is NOT on the boundary--it's inside it, on our side, by at least 6-8". The reason given for objection was that they didn't like looking at it and they felt it would be difficult with the lawnmower. Our fence does not continue back to the house, just runs across front (this was a concession on our part to minimize impact on the NWOTS--we eliminated that part w/o telling them we'd do so); we have animals and wanted an enclosed fence. We promised to speak to our fence guy the next day about options (but did NOT promise to move it.)
Well, next day comes, fence guy says he'll move it if we want, but it's inside the line and it lines up with our back fence(and then he spends the next 45 minutes re-measuring and re-checking against boundary markers, lines, etc.) Measures between nearest obstruction on NWOTS lot (a tree) and post, and comes up with 42", more than enough to put a push mower through. Points out that to move the fence, we'd need to move it about a foot or more due to concrete already set, etc (so fence would be about 2' shy of property line, and 1' shy of back fence ending, so they wouldn't line up visually.) But, reiterates that he'll move it if we choose that route. Fence guy also promises to wait on that section of fence until NWOTS H comes home and we can speak to him about limitations. Around 5:30 that day, the section was in. Fence guy told me that NWOTS H had been there and spoken to him about not moving the post; he offered some very detailed bits of conversation that made me certain he had actually spoken to NWOTS H. NWOTS H also, at that point, apparently tried to get fence guy to change the post caps we had chosen, since NWOTS H objects to post cap style, too(!) I don't know exactly what was said--NWOTS H never spoke to us (see below) after that.
Well, here's the disaster. It's been three and a half weeks since this incident. They haven't spoken to us since (a conversation). NWOTS H isn't speaking to us--and he's making quite a display of (not) doing so. Can't even be bothered to return a wave if we see them outside, in the store, whatever. More particularly, it seems aimed at me (for some reason, this became "my" fence in NWOTS' minds.)
Hubby went over to their house yesterday to share some of the bounty of our garden and while SIL was very friendly, NWOTS were less than terrific to him; NWOTS H didn't say a single word to my DH while he was in the house giving them fresh-grown veggies. Other neighbors have literally stopped us on the street and made a point of telling us how nice the fence looks--neighbors from all over the 'hood. The fence is NOT on NWOTS' property; it doesn't run back to the house, so it doesn't make their lives difficult. (That said, they do a lot of gardening and have put in a side flowerbed that runs to within 2" of the property line on their side, but much further back from the fence.) Can it possibly be that the big "issue" here is the fact that we put up a picket fence and he's so upset about LOOKING at it that he won't speak to us until--I don't know--whenever he thaws out? I've half a mind at this point to just run it back to the house, since it's already approved and would be more usable for our purposes that way anyhow. If our relationship with NWOTS is going to be so icy, why shouldn't we have what we originally wanted anyhow? Ideas, anyone?