This particular bit of news is very local, but the issue it addresses is universal, and perhaps especially relevant to those of us with lives that may involve the ownership of cars and related machines. It’s about a guy in Schaumburg, Illinois, and his 25-foot trailer. Also, how much his neighbors hate his trailer.
Let’s just get some basic facts out of the way up front: the trailer is completely within private property, the owner lives on a cul-de-sac, and there’s no HOAs or neighborhood rules or local laws being violated.
The trailer’s owner is named Mark Panther, and the trailer seems to be related to his “noisy race car hobby,” according to his next-door neighbors. Those neighbors have collected 65 signatures in a petition that asks the village to address local laws covering home parking of trailers and RVs.
According to the local CBS affiliate, neighbors have compared the clean, white trailer to a “dump truck,” and said that:
“The visual of pulling into our cul-de-sac with this big wall of white in the way is horrible.”
The neighbors, Anthony Tarasiuk and Danielle Wagner, have also taken issue with the security cameras Panther has mounted to the side of the white, unmarked trailer. Wagner, in an interview, said:
... there was a lens staring directly back at me... I started trembling. Even now I get emotional talking about it...
I’m not even going to pretend to be totally objective here. I’m firmly on the side of the trailer’s owner.
Now, I don’t know all the details of what the Wagner’s life was like living next to Panther, but, based on the issue they’re complaining about, the existence of the trailer, I find myself reminded of the words of, I believe, Erasmus: tough shit.
I’m a homeowner, I have several cars and an RV in my driveway, and I have very good relationships with my neighbors. The one thing I’d never expect, even in my own leafy, quiet little neighborhood, is that I have any right whatsoever to try and control what is in my neighbor’s property, even if I can see it. The idea that the perceived beauty of the neighborhood is destroyed by a white trailer is subjective, and, frankly, if none of the local laws are being violated, it’s the viewer’s own issue if they don’t like what they see when they pull into their neighborhood.
If that’s how it worked, I’d slap heavy fines on most of my neighbors for driving such painfully boring cars; they make the neighborhood’s driveways look tepid and bland!
But that’s not how it works. And I’m not trying to get a petition going demanding that there be ‘evergreen screening’ blocking cars with boringness levels I just can’t deal with.
If your aesthetics are so sensitive, you should probably buy a home in an area with a strict HOA, for your own visual protection. Otherwise, you may be forced to look into the yawning chasm of horror that is Other People’s Stuff.