Good Neighbor Hints

 

In a neighborhood like ours, with over 300 homes, there are bound to be disputes between neighbors about things such as loud music and other noise, bright lights shining into neighbor’s windows, careless boat operation in canals, speeding on our streets, and dog problems - excessive barking, running free in the streets, aggression, and “doo-doo” on streets and in yards.
It is the policy of BBECA to not get involved with problems between neighbors. We expect people to work out their problems amicably or, if absolutely necessary, to contact the Sheriff’s Office. But most problems can be avoided if everyone observes a few common-sense rules of behavior. So if your neighbor asks you to fix a problem, please listen calmly and try to accommodate him or her. It works! Here are some tips to help all of us be Good Neighbors:

Care taking

j0237249Accomplishing the goals below takes community effort, government support, and in some cases, money. But the results in terms of property values and enhanced quality of life are well worth it.

  • Do not dispose of trash, yard waste, or fish innards in the canals.
  • j0278544
    Ensure that your septic tank is functioning correctly.
  • Don’t litter the roadside. Pick up any litter you see and dispose of it properly.
  • Remove invasive exotic plants such as Brazilian Pepper and Australian Pines from your property.
  • Use native trees and plants to the maximum in your landscaping to minimize the amount of watering you have to do and to avoid the spread of harmful exotic plants.
  • Never dump trash on a neighboring lot.
  • Volunteer to help our Landscaping & Beautification Committee maintain  the Coconut Palms and other plantings at our entrance along Trinidad and West Indies.

Lighting

lightingOutdoor lighting can improve visibility and safety, as well as enhancing appearance of your property. But too much of a good thing can be a nuisance to your neighbors.

Ron Poller, one of our residents and Florida Keys Astronomy Club Member, offers the following tips to ensure that your outdoor lighting is attractive and economical

lightGlare.  If you can see a bright bulb from a distance, it’s a bad light. With a good light you can see mainly the lighted ground underneath, not the dazzling bulb.

Light invasion.  Bad lights shine onto neighboring properties, and into bedroom windows reducing privacy, hindering sleep, and giving the area a “trashy” look.

Energy waste. Bad outdoor lights waste energy by spilling light where not needed, like into the night sky.

(Fact: The United States wastes a billion dollars a year needlessly lighting the night sky.)

Keys Energy has installed a new style of street light on Martinique La. This light is designed to reduce the amount of stray light it emits. Old style street lights would allow light to travel not only in a horizontal direction but in many cases upward as well, resulting in sky glow and the washing out of the dark sky. The new light is an Ashoe [email protected] design which directs the light in a downward direction, thus helping to reduce sky glow.  If you are currently paying for a street light by your home, all you need to do is to send a letter to Kevin at Keys Energy requesting that your light be changed to a Ashoe [email protected] type and they will comply with your request.

     For information on outdoor lighting and sky glow visit  www.darksky.org                                                                                                            

Canal etiquette

mso99EEEBBECA has initiated ongoing projects to perform water samplings and investigate means to improve tidal flow through the canals.  Everyone’s cooperation and concern for water quality is needed to really make a difference. Here are some guidelines to observe to help keep our canals clean and safe for boating and swimming.

Rainwater runoff into canals from over-fertilized yards, and the use of phosphate dish washing products cause nutrient pollution.  Please do not to put fish innards, garbage, yard waste, or other materials in the canals. This may seem innocent enough to the individual resident, but if you consider the aggregate effect of wastes from hundreds of homes, little problems become big ones: overgrowth of algae, jellyfish, bacteria and turbid water. No one likes to look at trash-filled or scummy water, and certainly no one would want to swim in it!

Detergents used for washing dishes leach into canals from septic tanks and cause nuisance algae blooms because of their phosphate content. Most washing machine detergents contain no phosphate. But dishwashing products do contain phosphate in varying amounts, some over 8 percent.   When shopping for detergents, please choose the product with the least phosphate.

IF YOU WOULDN’T WANT TO  SWIM WITH IT, DON’T THROW IT IN THE WATER!

If you rent...

Be sure to inform your tenants of the basic rules of the neighborhood:

    • Observe speed limits on roads
    • Dogs must be leashed, and “doggie doo” must be picked up and disposed of properly
    • Don’t throw anything in the canals
    • No boat wake in canals (use idle speed)
    • Observe “Canal Etiquette” (see Boating Information in the
      Community Services section)
    • No excessive noise or overly bright outdoor lighting
    • Set out garbage and recycles the evening before pickup day, and remove containers from curbside as soon as possible after pickup

Please make sure that your renters are aware of garbage and recycle pickup days.  If they leave prior to those days, please ensure that your rental agent takes care of it.

neighbor