Friday, August 5, 2011

You Want Me to Get Rid of My Garden By WHEN?--an EMERGENCY Trailer Park Homestead update

 As my followers on Twitter and Facebook already know, I received a notice this morning to "please remove garden & restore grass area" by August 12.  Say what?  The notice cites "rule violations" of "written approval required", "area to have clean appearance", and "lawn - mow/trim/fertilize/water/rake".  Well, as long time followers of this blog know, I was told on May 31 that if I provided a drawing of what I had done on the property, she would consider that the written permission.   At that time, she told me the issues she had with my gardening were the buckets around the property that were being used as planters and she wanted the brick border on the side of the property inlaid into the ground.  I had the drawing to her within the hour and had the other things done by the weekend.

Now this.
This makes her "cringe" when she drives by
When my husband called her, she said first that she didn't actually approve it, she just never got back to us telling us that.  She said some of the residents have inquired about the garden, but when my husband asked for clarification, if anyone had complained about it, she said no.  He asked if it was Sun Homes, the actual owners of the property, that had a problem and she said no, it was her. She just wasn't expecting to be so tall.   She said she "cringes" when she drives by "because it is not a normal yard" and that it is so tall.  He asked if she was familiar with the situation in Oak Park and suggested she look into what happened there when there was a similar situation.  She said to go ahead and disregard notice until Monday morning when she set up a time to have her and her supervisor come out nice and early to discuss the situation.

So this is all personal with her apparently.  No one else has a problem with it.  Ton of residents have complimented me on my great garden.  There is nothing in the lease that says I can't do what I've been doing.   Other residents have even grown corn in their yard (that was actually a factor when I was trying to decide whether to have corn in my yard!), which seems to be her primary issue, just theirs haven't gotten as high.

My husband's impression after talking to her that she really just wanted to talk about it, but the way she went about it, leaving a notice on the door saying we have to get rid of the garden by August 12 was certainly not the way to do it.

So here we are.  We have this meeting on Monday to "look forward to" (edited 8/8/11: the outcome of that meeting can be found here).  In the meantime, I'd like your help.  I'd like there to be no doubt in the property owners' minds that I have every right to have this garden.  Please go to the Sun Communities webpage and submit a comment letting them know that I was told before we ever signed a lease, which didn't forbid the garden, that it was okay to have an extensive garden here in Hamlin MHC in Webberville, MI.  I submitted the papers I was asked to and was never told they were denied.  Let her bosses know that it would be very wrong for them to deny our family all this good healthy food that we are depending on to feed our family.  Just remember to be nice, since at this point, we believe the owners will be on our side, it is just the site manager that has issues.  (Edited 8/8/11:  Please read the update before sending messages)

Oh, and she specifically said, when my husband commented on the possibility of media exposure, that "I don't want to be on the six o'clock news!", so let's help the lady out and get this resolved nicely over the weekend, shall we?  *wink*

22 comments:

  1. Not really sure how to fill out the form for Sun Communities hon. I went and was ready to fill the thing out but it wants some info I am not sure of. Could you please go and take a look at the form and let us know which tabs and all we need to fill in with what info. Thanks and keep up the Great Work!!!! HANG IN THERE :)

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  2. posted on the community page. Sending love and peaceful thoughts your way.

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  3. Looks like the fields with the red asterisk are required. For the one that says "topic of interest" select "community related". Thanks!

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  4. Oh no!! That sucks. i hope this gets resolved without you needed to take it down. how terrible would that be.

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  5. I sent them a quick comment telling them what amazing foresight they are showing by allowing it, including a comment that commended them on being trendsetters in an old movement that was now vogue LOL!

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  6. Chris,

    My name is Laura and I work for Sun at their corporate office. I found your blog earlier this evening. I forwarded a link to this post to some folks at the office.

    It sounds like you have put a lot of work into your garden and that you are extremely passionate about it. I am probably not the person who can fully resolve the issue at hand, but I would be happy to talk to you over the weekend about this and lend any assistance I can provide. I followed you on Twitter (@Farms) - send me a DM and we can talk. :-)

    I look forward to hearing from you!

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  7. Thank you for your assistance, Laura. :-) I think I sent you a message via Twitter, but I don't really know what I'm doing on that thing, so I hope I didn't screw it up. lol

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  8. I wrote the story about the Oak Park gardener for TreeHugger (I'm also a fellow Michigan gardener). After we published it there, it was picked up by dozens of other news outlets. It resulted in lots of bad publicity for the city of Oak Park, and plenty of calls and emails from people who didn't like seeing Julie Bass bullied. If this isn't resolved, I'll be happy to write another post. I hope it all works out for you, Chris!

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  9. I'd much rather see the tall corn & other plants than that ugly building that's behind them. You really improved the view!

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  10. Unreal. I'm so sorry you are going through this now too. I was shocked when I saw the post. I've sent my comment to Sun Communities.

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  11. I posted a comment on the corporate page per your link and the request of Take Back Urban Home-steading. Good Luck and keep us all posted as to the outcome of your meeting Monday.

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  12. I emailed Sun and asked them to reconsider. Good luck!

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  13. Would it help to email the executive vp?

    Jonathan Colman
    Executive Vice President
    Sun Communities, Inc.
    jcolman@suncommunities.com

    maynekitty///at\\\live///dot\\\com

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  14. I sent the following comment:
    I just read a blog about a wonderful woman who is contributing to her family's food needs and beautifying her immediate surroundings with a garden. She is being told to remove the garden for no better reason than "it is too tall" and makes the woman "cringe" when she sees it. Funny that, green lawns make me and tens of thousands more, cringe. It shows lack of creativity, it is not productive or beautiful in any way and it is a sap on our natural resources. I hope you will reconsider your stance on this issue.

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  15. I read about your problem and sent a message to Sun Company. I told them, as a vegetable gardener myself, how important it is in these economic times to keep an important feature such as this, and thet the family has done all it was told to do, and has broken no rules. I wish you the best of luck with your situation! Hang in!

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  16. Maybe you should cook a meal with some of your produce and invite all neighbors!

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  17. chris- contact me on my blog if this nonsense doesn't resolve and i will give you loads of information on who might be in a good position to get your story out!! good luck!! -julie bass

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  18. I wrote! :
    "I would like to see that Sun Communities support Chris and her garden. That is the kind of news I want to hear about."

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