Monday, October 4, 2010

Uh-oh Pt. 2

I've been asked to leave my parking lot. I'm still awaiting more information, but here's what I know so far.

1. A tenant, or tenants, of the apartment (that is adjacent to my lot) has filed a complaint. This person or these persons allegedly said that I and/or my van are making them feel "uncomfortable."

2. The apartment owner has contacted Duke lawyers, informing them of her request to have me move.

3. Duke lawyers have contacted an Associate Dean.

4. That dean contacted my program director, who relayed to me the request that I move.

5. I'm not sure why the owner has chosen this line of action, but I've been told that she is aware of this blog and does not desire negative press.

Of course I'm baffled and somewhat disillusioned that my very low-key presence has upset tenants of the apartment. But I'm more confused with the legal aspects of the situation.

The apartment complex, as far as I know, is not owned by Duke. The complex is owned by a private entity. BUT, part of the parking lot IS owned by Duke. And I pay $274 a year to park in the Duke section of the parking lot.

So its unclear to me how the owner has a say in whether I stay or go. I'm guessing the situation is more complex than what I make it out to be, but this is all I know as of yet. More to come...


Mike said...

Sorry this is happening to you. As you feared yourself, it was bound to happen. Only takes one person to complain and ruin it. Is it technically illegal to sleep in a vehicle in that lot? Maybe Duke was content to look the other way unless someone complained. It may feel like giving up, but maybe Duke will work with you to move to another lot. Any that you can live with?

you gained some "fame" when various media wrote about you living in your van at Duke. Maybe the same media can help you in your struggle to continue to live in the same lot.

Good luck and hope things work out.


Anonymous said...

It's sad that people can't empathize with a student trying to cut down on expenses while trying to acquire an education in a tough economy.

David said...

Uncomfortable, eh?

Charles Dickens would have some ghosts visit her and show her some real discomfort. Maybe drop in on some soldiers returning from Iraq with missing limbs, or a couple of the gay young people who killed themselves last week. Or maybe some people who don't have apartments to be uncomfortable in.

I hope the media find her so we can better understand her discomfort.

Miss-Fit said...

Well-stated, David.

Ken, sending good vibes your way. I hope this all pans out amicably.

Ken said...

Mike--who knows if it's illegal... Before I applied to Duke I looked over their parking laws and found nothing that appeared to make vandwelling illegal. But they--I'm sure--could find something to nail me. Duke already has worked with me to move to a new lot, but that's like "letting me" get in the bus so long as I sit in the back. Will see about the media. I'd prefer this whole thing blow over quietly.


David--haha. ;)

Sarah--thanks for the vibes!

Chris said...

Thats bull Ken. I agree with the protesting thing. It would probably make the situation worse but maybe confront the landlord/owner and discuss the matter further. You never know when just talking about the situation with them could work out in your favor. How about dropping some flyer off around that apartment with your blog info so people there are more aware of why you're living in a van!

Anonymous said...

"I'm not sure why the owner has chosen this line of action, but I've been told that she is aware of this blog and does not desire negative press. "

Does not desire negative press? Best way to not get it is to not try and push people around when they are doing nothing wring. She's definitely taking a good route to GET negative press.

Anonymous said...

Ken, I'm wondering what her reasoning is. Duke being an open minded university has me baffled as to the communication chain they chose to pursue. Perhaps informing the media will further the phlight of college student loans/costs and attempt to open narrow minded people ways of thinking of others. I do not think you should resort to sitting in the back of the bus, Ken. You have proved you are resilient. Happy parking!

Ken said...

Chris—I briefly thought about “getting my info” out in some fashion, but I think that it would just come across as kinda creepy.

Anon- I wonder how many requests from “uncomfortable” tenants merit action? Does the request from just one uncomfortable person merit change? Or must it be many? Let’s say all the tenants in an apartment building complained about something. Must an owner respond in such a way that is accord with the requests of an overwhelming majority, even if their request is—by most moral definitions—wrong? What if an overwhelming majority said they were “uncomfortable” that a Papua New Guinean was parking (though not living) in the parking lot? I’m guessing most any owner would use his/her better judgment and say “I don’t care how many of you are uncomfortable. You accusations are baseless and prejudicial. Since he’s done nothing wrong, he can still park there and you can remain uncomfortable.” That is a logical and honorable response.

Anon—Thanks! It’s such a nice night. It’s going to get down to a very pleasant 40 degrees. It’ll be quiet except for the hum of distant traffic, and in the morning, I’ll awake to chirping birds. I’d hate to lose the home that I’ve come to love.

Romana S said...

Hi Ken.

An interesting development. In some ways I think this was to be expected sooner or later. I figure well the ride was great while it lasted and the uni has not said you can't park in another car park. Some times you need to be like water, when a boulder gets in your way, just go around and take the path of least resistance.
Sure it may seem like giving in, but really, is it worth the heart ache? Yeah, I know there's the principle of the thing, and yeah, maybe 200 years ago I would have said "bugger off there's plenty of space for all of us" but these days there's lots of little monkeys with car keys and some of those monkeys get a little edgy when faced with conflict. So this time, well make a little move. I mean, that's one of the joys of Vandwelling. The world is your lounge room now, time to rearrange the furniture and view a little. :)

Anonymous said...

Pick your battles. You.

Mike Troy said...

Hi Ken,

Good points listed here on both sides of the argument; standing your ground or move. Whatever decision you make will be the correct one for you.

Best to you, Mike

JP said...

I'm very curious as to how many complaints were received. I'd bet its either one individual or one small group of narrow minded.

At this point I defer to David's comment.

Ken said...

Romana--Well said. Though I think it is worth the heartache.

Anon--I will.

Mike--thanks for the support!

JP--No idea. I asked this question, but I don't think the powers that be know. Whether it's one or a few, it's amazing how much sway they have.

Anonymous said...

Oh no! What are you going to do? We've got your back!


Ken said...

Sarah--well, in this case, the only way to do something is to do nothing. At least for now. Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, but I would be uncomfortable if someone was living in their van at my apartments.

Not that you are, but a lot of people who live out of vans are weird. I would not feel comfortable going to my car at night knowing that a "weird" person might be sleeping in the car next to mine.

I think a lot that is not attached to an apartment is more appropriate.

Even with my reservations, I am considering doing something similar.