I recently had new neighbors move in next to me. I had nothing against them personally, but shortly after moving in, their kids started running 4 wheelers up and down their (actually our) driveway and doing doughnuts at both ends.
The noise is annoying and disturbs the peace and rural character. I have no problem with someone mowing their lawn, running some equipment. Generally I am of the opinion that a person can do what they want on their own land. But I feel like their noise is intruding on my land—a LOT!
Making matters more confusing, half of their driveway is actually on an easement on my property. I need to check the legal specs on this, but I am pretty sure this easement is for “egress and ingress” purposes only. If that is the case then they may be trespassing, and I don’t want to be responsible for any accident they may have on my property.
Again, this is mostly a frustrated rant and I need to vent. I am not opposed to 4 wheelers and I don’t want to regulate what a person does on their property, but I do want my neighbors to respect my property as well.
You're taking it well. We had some kids mudding on our road and even though it's not just our road my hubs was furiously planning ways to pop their tires. lol
I'd bring it up nicely to them that driving like that on your shared? driveway makes a mess of it and causes a lot of upkeep concerns for you. Then ask them nicely to make a nice 4 wheeler track on their property somewhere. People around these parts actually make hills and jumps and all sorts of things for such purposes. If you really want to sweeten that deal and have a tractor you could offer to help them make the track.
I guess I should have been more clear. The driveway is not a shared driveway. The neighbors house is on a landlocked parcel of land. They have a driveway that runs along northern edge of my property. The easement was grandfathered into our land when we brought it about 15 years ago. Initially I wanted to tie my driveway into the existing one, but that would have meant cutting into the dam of a small pond and guaranteed water problems. As such, my driveway does not intersect my neighbor’s even though half of his is on my property.
For years this was of no consequence. They used their driveway and I used mine. I even plowed their driveway (it’s about 1000’ long) in snow. Things were amicable. But today it is new neighbors and obnoxious.
I just got back from walking the dog. Yesterday evening, the kid on the 4 wheeler was out and busy. I thought he was doing doughnuts at the end of his driveway, but it turns out he was riding his 4 wheeler through my tall grasses! This really irritates me as firstly, he was blatantly trespassing, but more importantly, I grow tall grasses for a reason. I deliberately let wildflowers (especially milkeed for monarch butterflies) and wildlife grow all summer long. I deliberately bought acreage to keep the property as wild as possible. They trashed part of my grassland just to run their 4 wheeler as if on a racetrack.
I am going to have to check with the specifics of my easement and exact legality about trespassing, but this cannot continue.
I feel your pain. While I understand the utility of 4-wheelers and ATV's, I am honestly not a fan. Numerous times over the years we have had neighbors and unknown trespassers ride up and down the creek on our land and at times really tear it up. There are places I can still see the ruts where they went through, and that was nearly 20 years ago.
Most recently we had a group come down the road on quads and I could tell by the sound they went into the creek and were running up and down it. Since my dad is technically the landowner I called him and he said that was enough and call the sheriff. When they showed up I told them I would be satisfied with a warning if they ever caught them and was mostly calling to make a formal statement in case things got worse as they have in the past. One of the deputies saw them on a road and tried to stop them to talk, but they ran. That was their biggest mistake. About an hour later the deputy called back and said he had gotten 3 other deputies in the area to coordinate and they boxed them in and caught them. They each got several tickets including one for trespassing. Moral of that story is don't run from the cops.
In talking to my dad about it he was telling me that he has had conversations with others over the years that people in this area, possibly your part of Illinois as well, have this very strange mentality about property rights. A neighbor could walk into your shop to borrow a chainsaw and see it sitting out in the open, but wouldn't dare take or move it without talking to you and getting permission first. But that same neighbor wouldn't even think to ask before running all over your land on foot, 4-wheeler, or truck even though they have as much if not more land than you.
I hope you are able to come to peaceable terms with the new neighbors.
Not all those who wander are lost - J. R. R. Tolkien
Feeling your pain, Eric. Took a few years to help folks around here understand property rights especially related to hunting and 4wheeling. The farm is posted per state law, and I always take a camera when I address folks trespassing. Pictures are worth a thousand words in a court of law. Just sayin'...
Man do I feel your pain and frustration for the noise. While not four wheelers or on my land, it was next door. For years the neighborhood was peaceful, then my neighbors daughter got pregnant and married and had a child, and the whole family moved in because they had nowhere to go. My neighbors new son-in-law was charming. He loved V8 pickup trucks, with the catalytic converter and mufflers removed, running straight pipes (there were no emissions testing in our county. Just pay the annual fee to register a vehicle or renew the tags, nothing else). His trucks were loud, like really loud. His favorite thing, every time he started it or came home, was to take 10 or 15 seconds and rev the engine to high RPM's. Vroom vroom!! VROOM!!! Every day. Run out for cigarettes in the evening, he made sure everyone knew he was departing or arriving. Sometimes, he would go outside, start his truck, and rev the engine for 1-3 minutes, sitting in the driveway. VROOM VROOM!!! Sometimes he would do this at 10pm, or 11pm. Sometimes midnight, and even 1am a few times. Then turn it off and go back in the house. For the first year and a half or so, he was unemployed, so this happened at random all day long. Then he got a job, so there was peace between 8am and 5pm, but the evenings and some late nights were wrought with sporadic noise making. 3 and a half years we lived next door to this.
"Study books and observe nature; if they do not agree, throw away the books." ~ William A. Albrecht
I, too can see the utility of an atv, but not as an off road racing machine. At times I have even contemplated buying either a 4 wheeler or a side by side for general utility work (but as I already have a nice tractor, this is superfluous), but this would be to haul tools or help pull out logs (fallen ones, live ones continue to live). But again, these would be tools and not toys.
Also, running from the police is a really dumb idea!
I can share with that situation as well. Whoever is leaving the house (presumably for work) likes to really rev their vehicle and like you say, it sounds like it just has straight pipes. The good part is that only happens twice a day whereas the 4 wheeler (which also might have straight pipes) happens randomly. There are a few other 4 wheelers on our road, but they make nowhere near the noise of the one right beside us.
Hate to say it but....good fences make good neighbors. You may have to fence.
OR you can be like one of our new neighbors and spread the word that you've put snap traps all over your field. We never trespassed before but I sure as hell wouldn't trespass with the possibility of losing a leg to a snap trap! No idea if they were really there but yeah.
I have a shared drive as well. When I purchased, I required in the description of the easements that there was to be no ATV recreational use. I don't know how I would enforce it, but haven't had the need thus far. At least the intention was explicit.
Turns out it was not a kid riding the 4 wheeler but his father/ostensibly adult in the room! And he not only trespassed on my property, but on another neighbor’s as well! And my other neighbor (a great guy really) is not happy either.
I am going to talk with my older neighbor later this afternoon and strategize.
Eric, it may be that you and the other neighbor going over together and talking to him and letting him know that doing that isn't acceptable is enough. It may not be, but it's a reasonable first step. If that doesn't work, I would send a registered letter telling him the same. After that your only options may be the fence as Elle said, which does nothing for the noise or the driveway of course, or, calling the police. That may initially escalate the issue. Many people respond to police visits with anger and more acting out, but you can establish a pattern of behavior then. Game cams on property line and the driveway may help as well, when it comes to proving it was the adult, not the children as he may claim.
I suspect that we will have to do much as you suggest. My other neighbor is also upset about this and we will likely end up working on this in a coordinated fashion.
Thanks for the input, I will keep you all updated as thing progress. Also I am shouting out a great big thanks to all for offering sound advice and generally for taking the time to listen. Thanks much.
I gotta ditto what Trace said about you and the other neighbor going to talk with the new guy together. It seems clear this behavior bothers the two of you, and I think a nice, friendly chat with the new guy letting him know he's being rude and disrespectful and it's not nice move in and try to own the entire neighborhood and drive on whomever's land as he pleases. I believe if nothing is said, this new guy will have set the bar, thinking he can be the boss and do as he pleases with no regard for others.
"Study books and observe nature; if they do not agree, throw away the books." ~ William A. Albrecht