Maybe we can just have an annual lobster bake
May 12, 2016 6:47 AM   Subscribe

We closed on a house! Yay! It's a tiny house in a gorgeous town. I have a question about my husband storing his lobster traps in our yard.

It was a given when we were house hunting that we needed a lot large enough to fit the traps. There are 900 so they take up a lot of room. Our budget was small so we figured we'd wind up in a not great area where it would be no big deal to have all those traps in the yard. But we wound up in a much nicer area than anticipated. The lot is .75 acres and surrounded by other houses.

The other lobster men in the area keep their traps in their yards when they can, and I know they run into problems sometimes with their neighbors because they smell to high heaven. Right now my husband is keeping his next to some railroad tracks but it would be so much better for him if we could bring them to the house and he could work on them in the yard.

(My husband thinks this is NO BIG DEAL but I am generally more afraid of conflict than he is).

It's a tiny, tiny cottage with a decent sized yard. The town is a coastal town but very upper class - no other lobsterman live nearby. There would also be a lobster boat in the yard but it will be covered with plastic for the winter.

Mefites in nice areas - would you be wicked pissed if a lobsterman moved into your neighborhood and plopped his traps and boat in the yard? They'd mostly be in the yard December-April with about 50 stragglers year round.

How do I mitigate this ?
posted by pintapicasso to Home & Garden (57 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Offer your neighbors free lobsters in exchange for their putting up with the inconvenience. Lots. Of. Them.
posted by HeyAllie at 7:01 AM on May 12, 2016 [9 favorites]

Congratulations! We moved into our first house recently, too, and live in a coastal town, as well. I'd be pretty unhappy if a neighbor put 900 lobster traps in his or her yard -- especially if they smell. I vote for leaving the traps by the railroad tracks.
posted by thursdaystoo at 7:02 AM on May 12, 2016 [7 favorites]

1. Is it legal to store the traps and boat on your property? If it isn't, don't do it.

2. If it is legal, are you having a negative impact on the quality of life for your neighbors and/or property value in the neighborhood? If you ARE, consider it a moral obligation to not do that.

I live next to an out-lot on which the property owner (who does not use the property for any other purpose) has abandoned two 20 foot hull rotted sailboats, two rusted trailers, a rusted boat lift. She makes it clear she doesn't care about the fact that this is the view from half of the windows in the houses in our small cul-de-sac. We do NOT care for her.
posted by HuronBob at 7:03 AM on May 12, 2016 [9 favorites]

Do your neighbors have central air and heat or do they open their windows for air? Because if they open their windows, he will not be able to get away with this, even with a lobster bake. If they keep them closed, go around and introduce yourself and get a feel for them.
posted by myselfasme at 7:04 AM on May 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

Can he offer an occasional lobster or two to anyone who complains? If he hoses them down thoroughly and sets them in bright sun will they smell as bad? I lived on Martha's Vineyard for almost a decade and had several serious lobstering friends. I don't remember smelling anything when I walked past piles of traps outside their houses. Or anyone complaining about boats. Could they be covered with tarps? Do you have any friends with farms nearby who would have room for them away from their house? Are there any zoning concerns about the boat in the yard or the lobster pots?

And have you read the book Spartina?
posted by mareli at 7:05 AM on May 12, 2016

this is probably the city slicker in me coming out but wouldnt the storage of your husbands (commercial) lobster traps be a zoning issue on your residential property? I think perhaps you were asking more from a social etiquette perspective than a legal one, but in case it became an issue it might make sense to know which way the laws in your area ran.
posted by Exceptional_Hubris at 7:06 AM on May 12, 2016 [2 favorites]

The smell would upset me, as well as any stray animals that might be attracted to the traps. I don't know how big a pile 900 lobster traps would be, but if it's a huge pile I might not want to look at it. But if they were neat and well cared for that would be less of an issue.
posted by cabingirl at 7:10 AM on May 12, 2016 [3 favorites]

Thanks for the answers so far. It is totally legal to store the traps in the yard (we checked with the town zoning board before closing). The traps can not stay by the tracks. I so wish we knew someone with lots of land to store them but we do not.
posted by pintapicasso at 7:11 AM on May 12, 2016

If I were your neighbors I would be super fucking pissed and would expect that one of the compromises you make when purchasing a home like this is that you will be storing all of your unattractive, smelly stuff somewhere else.
posted by MoonOrb at 7:11 AM on May 12, 2016 [12 favorites]

So to be clearer, my question is - we are going to potentially make a lot of people annoyed by storing 900 lobster traps in our yard. How do I lessen the annoyance?
posted by pintapicasso at 7:12 AM on May 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

I see no mention of a shed or other means of covering the traps and the (apparent) odor. Is there a reason not to store them in your yard in a shed or locker or lean-to?
posted by crush-onastick at 7:14 AM on May 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

Any shed that would contain that many traps would be bigger than the house
posted by pintapicasso at 7:15 AM on May 12, 2016 [3 favorites]

Nine hundred lobster traps that "smell to high heaven"? I think you've answered your question right there. You might as well be asking whether we think your new neighbors might mind if you stored a 10,000 pound heap of fresh manure in your yard or put a half-dozen rusted old cars up on blocks in front of the house.

It would be one thing if you had bought a house in a fishing community where many lobstermen lived and storage of traps in the yard was an accepted social norm. But you describe the area as "upper class" and say that "no other lobstermen live nearby." It's hard to imagine a more effective way of getting all your new neighbors to hate you than piling up a giant unsightly heap of stinking lobster traps in your yard. If you are resolved to do this, you might as well get used to the idea that you will be the neighborhood pariah and that your neighbors will probably try everything they can, possibly including legal means, to make you store them elsewhere. Frankly, that's what I would do if I were your neighbor.

Absolutely not.
posted by slkinsey at 7:15 AM on May 12, 2016 [28 favorites]

What do other lobstermen do if they can't store their traps in their front yards?
posted by thursdaystoo at 7:19 AM on May 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

There may not be any laws against storing the traps specifically, but have you looked into the nuisance violations in your area? These could very well run afoul of bulky/ nuisance objects that will trigger fines and other negative attention.
posted by Think_Long at 7:19 AM on May 12, 2016 [3 favorites]

In a nice upperclass neighborhood you will run afoul of nuisance and blight regulations, in all likelihood.

Maybe if you planted a row of hemlocks or arborvides all the way around your property, in about 10 years you'd have enough of a visual barrier to keep neighborhood hatred at bay.

I live in a relatively rural, rustic area with similar sized lots around and even my neighborhood folks who do things like what you're proposing are not appreciated. The mess takes down EVERYONE ELSES real estate values within range of sight, because nobody wants to buy the house near the mess. And people take their real estate values very very seriously, as a general rule.

I'd recommend finding someone with an empty lot, industrial facility etc and renting some "storage space".
posted by slateyness at 7:25 AM on May 12, 2016 [6 favorites]

If you moved next door to me, and did this, with the pile of traps that "smell to high heaven" (per your words), I would make it my life's mission to get them removed.

Legality of means be damned.
posted by yesster at 7:28 AM on May 12, 2016 [7 favorites]

Yikes ! Hopefully we won't be living within smelling distance of any mefites ;) my husband says that he can wash them down much more thoroughly when they move to the yard so that should minimize the smell, also the cold weather will help. I will talk to him about covering them with tarps if it is out of hand.

This is why metafilter is useful... Every single person I have talked to about this issue (family, friends and other fishermen )say it is a non-issue and a given when you live in a town that is historically a fishing village with laws in place to protect the lobsterman who are being pushed out by incoming $$$.

As frustrating as it is, I'm glad to hear from the other side. Thanks to all.
posted by pintapicasso at 7:31 AM on May 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

The only way to lessen the annoyance is to 1) get lucky, 2) give everyone free lobster. But that may not work. If I were your neighbor, I'd be friendly, take the free lobster and call city zoning everyday to make a ruling. And I wouldn't be a helpful neighbor about regular neighbor things.

You can try it for awhile and see what happens. But, don't be those folks that dig in your heels about your property rights if people around you start calling the authorities. You already knew it would be an issue. I think you can either scuttle the deal and move to a place that is further away and less "fancy." Or you can secure some storage place that is a tax writeoff for the lobster business. If there's not already a lobster-trap-storage co-op, someone should make one!
posted by amanda at 7:34 AM on May 12, 2016

Will the lobster cages be visible from the street or any neighbor's houses/yards? Is your husband tidy with them? I googled lobster trap in yard images and it seems like it could easily look like a heap of junk. But if you have them very neatly stacked, perhaps shielded by a privacy fence, that would make them seem less industrial in appearance. I have a neighbor who always has ... uh, woodworking projects? ... in the yard, but he doesn't leave his stuff in disarray, ever, and the yard is otherwise in a very nice shape - pretty plants and well-groomed.
posted by stowaway at 7:35 AM on May 12, 2016 [3 favorites]

I'm confused as to how you can simultaneously "know [other lobstermen] run into problems sometimes with their neighbors because they smell to high heaven" and also have everyone you talk to tell you it's a non issue.

Have you tried talking to the lobster men who have run into trouble? Is their response a shrug and flippant "sucks to be my neighbor" ? Or have they worked something out with their neighbors?
posted by Karaage at 7:37 AM on May 12, 2016 [5 favorites]

If they smell, you are being really bad neighbors, and there’s no mitigating that. If they’re just ugly, then apologizing, keeping them neat, and having a lobster bake will help generate good will.
posted by metasarah at 7:37 AM on May 12, 2016 [3 favorites]

Oh, so your friends are on the, "this place used to be for regular folks and fisherman, bring in your stinky traps and flip 'em the bird!" I totally get that emotion. You could 'get lucky' and your neighbors might be on the same wavelength. But given your description of the neighborhood, which looks to have gentrified, you might be out of luck.
posted by amanda at 7:37 AM on May 12, 2016 [3 favorites]

Covering with tarps might make the problem worse. Rain and snow will wash the traps, and sunlight will help kill odors.

Your husband and family are likely inured to the odor, as fishermen. Your new neighbors might not be.

Fishing town culture can be different, I suppose. But I still don't understand why anyone would consider this to be acceptable. Bringing a big pile of stink onto your property isn't really a "good neighbor" thing to do.
posted by yesster at 7:38 AM on May 12, 2016 [5 favorites]

To minimize the side effects. Clean those suckers super well. Be prepared to privacy fence around your whole yard our at least have a fenced off trap and boat storage area. Store them all neatly so they don't look like rubbish. Plant a lot of trees around to act as wind breaks top stop the smell traveling, heavily scented trees preferably. Landscaping is your friend here. Being seen to try and minimize the eye sore and smell will go a long way.

Having said that as someone who spends summers in her garden the smell would drive me to want to get you to move, and you seem like nice people and I'd put up with a lot for wholesale price lobster.
posted by wwax at 7:40 AM on May 12, 2016 [3 favorites]

Can you clarify if the traps will be in your front yard or back? That makes a difference in terms of visuals, but you'll still have the problem of smell.

I personally would be very upset about the smell. I like being able to relax in my yard or open my windows without being repulsed by smells. You describe the town as "gorgeous" and "very upper class" and your neighbourhood as "very nice" - people who invest in beautiful homes in fancy neighbourhoods expect a certain atmosphere, for which they likely paid a premium.
posted by yawper at 7:41 AM on May 12, 2016 [2 favorites]

Wow, 900 of those traps would be a huge pile, if going by google images is any indication. The sight and smell would really bother me. Is there any type of storage facility or lot you can rent, maybe in a location surrounded by other fishermen?
posted by JenMarie at 7:44 AM on May 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

Ok sorry to thread sit but I talked to my husband more about this. He says that they will only smell for about a week when they come out of the water in April and if he realllllly sprays tk down then maybe less than a week. This makes more sense, now I understand why our friends who keep them in their yards aren't constantly pissing off their neighbors. Yes, our cohorts generally have the attitude Amanda describes but I do not which is why I'm asking this question :) I'm also not a mainer so I didn't grow up in this culture.

Also my husband wants to build a platform out back to store the traps so they won't be visible from the road.

Insight has been invaluable. Thanks.
posted by pintapicasso at 7:44 AM on May 12, 2016 [4 favorites]

Are you on the Cape? We have family out there and I'd think nothing of this there, as long as the traps were hosed down, kept nicely stacked, and not super easily visible from the front yard. Our family lives near a fishing family and that keeps a lot of traps in their yard, but they are stacked nicely under a pavilion in the backyard and aren't super noticeable.
posted by notjustthefish at 7:45 AM on May 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

If they just look bad, you'll probably be fine, especially if they're not easy to see from the road. If they smell, you are setting yourself up for hatred and legal battles, and possibly neighbours trying not so legal methods of getting smelly lobster traps away. Even if it's only for a week, "sorry it's the first week of spring and you have to keep all your windows closed and can't go outside" is not going to make you beloved.

I would assume the boat is a non-issue.

You didn't "wind up" in a nicer area than anticipated, you deliberately chose to move there knowing there are no other lobstermen around.
posted by jeather at 7:46 AM on May 12, 2016 [4 favorites]

covering them with tarps

Plastic tarps are not attractive.

If the lobster traps are made of wood and/or metal, they might possibly be made into a kind of rustic-looking feature if they are stacked neatly and with care, maybe into a long, low fencelike thing that's a backdrop to a garden or something. They could become a kind of privacy fence themselves. If you have access to a landscaper or landscape architect, that might be a huge help!

If you don't, you could try posting photos of the lot and the entirety of the lobster trap collection and ask us for suggestions.

Also - not visible from the road could still affect your neighbors, especially the very important neighbors on either side. You would do well to make this as attractive as possible! Maybe you could plant corn in front of them or something. Also: make sure you plan for loading/unloading to minimize mud damage; maybe build a driveway specifically going to the traps that you can use as a porch area in the summer.
posted by amtho at 7:48 AM on May 12, 2016 [5 favorites]

Put them closer to/upwind from your own house. If you (NOT your husband - his nose cannot be trusted in this matter) aren't bothered by the smell, your neighbors will probably be ok.
posted by mskyle at 7:50 AM on May 12, 2016 [2 favorites]

Your latest update makes it sound less problematic. And amtho's suggestion about attractive stacking is a great idea.
posted by yesster at 7:54 AM on May 12, 2016 [3 favorites]

This is what boat yards are for. Rent space at the local boat yard. Your traps AND boat belong at the boat yard.

You live near the coast. Likely there are multiple boat yards around. Don't do this to yourself or your neighbor's! Keep your yard nice!
posted by jbenben at 8:07 AM on May 12, 2016 [7 favorites]

Piles of lobster traps are a fact of life in Maine fishing villages, and people who haven't lived there may not have the most perspective on this. I mean, be considerate and tidy with them, try to minimize the smell, yes. But I'd really seek the advice of people who are local to your immediate town, before concluding this isn't ok.
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:08 AM on May 12, 2016 [12 favorites]

What are the dimensions of these traps? One of your posts above implied that their combined volume would be larger than the house on your property. Assuming these are standard 36 x 21 x 13.5 lobster traps, you're talking about 5,300 cubic feet of lobster traps. If they're 48s, it's 7,000 cubic feet of lobster traps. It's hard to imagine how nine hundred of these wouldn't be a complete eyesore, no matter how nicely they were stacked.

My experience is that the gentrifiers who shelled out real money to make their homes in what is now a "very upper class" neighborhood are likely to have a serious issue with looking out their windows into a huge stack of lobster traps. This is not the sort of thing they bought into the neighborhood to see and, as others have pointed out, it will likely have a negative impact on their property values. You are, by your own admission, talking about a stack of lobster traps as large as a residential structure (and indeed larger than the residential structure already on the property).
posted by slkinsey at 8:09 AM on May 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

Piles of lobster traps are a fact of life in Maine fishing villages, and people who haven't lived there may not have the most perspective on this.

If it's really a fishing village today, that's a different story. But there are, of course, coastal towns in Maine that are not predominately fishing villages. The OP described it as "a coastal town but very upper class - no other lobstermen live nearby." This doesn't exactly say "fishing village" to me. That said, the advice to seek out the advice of locals is sound. It's just important to seek out advice from locals who have some similarity to the prospective new neighbors. Advice from lobstermen who live in areas where piles of lobster traps are a fact of life may not have any particular resonance in an upper class neighborhood in which no lobstermen currently reside.
posted by slkinsey at 8:19 AM on May 12, 2016 [2 favorites]

Oh, also - a lot of people who move to Maine fishing villages like the visual signifiers of "Maine fishing village." If he keeps the traps neat and hangs his buoys in a decorative or picturesque way, it will go a long way I think -- when your rich neighbors have their friends from out of state visit, they'll be able to say "oh of course we have a lobsterman on our street, it's Maine after all, do you want to go over and take some pictures?" or that kind of thing. I'm not kidding, a nice-looking setup could maybe be a benefit to the neighborhood, depending.
posted by LobsterMitten at 8:20 AM on May 12, 2016 [15 favorites]

December to April means smell is less of an issue. Do something else with the other 50 stragglers. My sister in Glosta has neighbors with traps Etc. In the yard. I've met them and they are good friendly neighbors which goes a long way. Boat rides on a summers day and lotsa lobsta never hurt.
posted by Gotanda at 8:22 AM on May 12, 2016 [2 favorites]

The sight of the lobster traps I could easily get over with the occaisional lobster bake. Also, as mentioned with some nice privacy plants in a decade you can completely eliminate the sight.

Something that smells to high heaven, and actually ruins the prospect of being in my backyard would also motivate me to make it a high priority to get you fined and hassled to the point that you will move or find/rent a storage solution. Even during the winter months, I grill and hot tub. I intentionally did not move near to a dump or a rendering plant.

So prioritize finding a method to destinkify them, and I think you can make this work. If you can't destinkify them, then I feel that morally you need to rent a space to store them.
posted by nobeagle at 8:27 AM on May 12, 2016 [4 favorites]

"Only" smelling to high heaven "for about a week" isn't really helping, and any pile of nine hundred traps, in your front or back yard, will almost certainly be visible to your neighbors, no matter what you do --- as you yourself say, a shed that could contain that many traps would be larger than your house, so the bare pile isn't that much smaller, is it?!? And throwing a tarp over them just means it'd be a big smelly tarp-covered eyesore, instead of a big smelly uncovered eyesore. Add in the boat, and you're just adding insult to your neighbors' injury.

Look, you chose to purchase a house in an area that you knew does not welcome that kind of commercial storage; the best solution is to rent storage space, for both the boat and the traps, at a local boatyard. Or even stuff the (well-rinsed) traps into a local u-store-it place.

But no: please do not antagonize your neighbors with 900 used lobster traps and a lobster boat at your house.... you might get away with the boat and/or a dozen or so traps, but that's pushing it on a three-quarters of an acre lot (which really isn't that large) in an upper-class neighborhood. You could give me a lobster every single day and it wouldn't be acceptable.
posted by easily confused at 8:28 AM on May 12, 2016 [4 favorites]

Oh, also - a lot of people who move to Maine fishing villages like the visual signifiers of "Maine fishing village." If he keeps the traps neat and hangs his buoys in a decorative or picturesque way, it will go a long way I think . . .

For maybe fifty traps, sure. But I don't see how even the most neatly and decoratively stacked arrangement of nine hundred traps can possibly be picturesque. I have my doubts that any rich neighbors are going to be so eager to tell their out of town visitors, "oh of course we have a lobsterman on our street, it's Maine after all, do you want to go over and take some pictures of that enormous pile of traps the size of a small house taking up more than half the lot?"
posted by slkinsey at 8:39 AM on May 12, 2016 [5 favorites]

900 wooden traps stacked neatly wouldn't bother me. The bright yellow ones might.
posted by Ideefixe at 8:45 AM on May 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

I used to work on a fishing wharf and the office was literally surrounded by traps, stacked high. The green wire mesh ones, no one uses wooden ones anymore. I never noticed them smelling, not even in high summer when we had all the windows open. Bait stinks but they're not stored with bait still in 'em. Since this is over the winter when windows are closed, I don't see an issue with the smell.

I think the bigger problem is visual. I think you'll need either a fence or an evergreen hedge to block the view from the street. I don't think you can count on the neighbors being mollified by free lobster.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 9:02 AM on May 12, 2016 [4 favorites]

I think if you do your best to make most of them not be visible, building privacy fences and planting, and if they only smell for a few days a year, you should be fine. It might actually blend in to the fishing-village quaintness.

I would get to know my neighbors, tell them that if there are any smells, to please let you know, and then feed them lobster for that week.
posted by Vaike at 9:23 AM on May 12, 2016

I have friends who recently moved to a beautiful upscale town on the North Shore near Boston, and I saw a few homes with lobster traps in the yards when we went for a walk around town in March. The (yellow) traps were all neatly stacked, often tucked away a bit, and I found them a charming reminder that it was a coastal town. I agree that being proactively friendly (and throwing that annual lobster bake) will go a LONG way to having your neighbors be fine with it.
posted by ldthomps at 9:45 AM on May 12, 2016

Seconding LobsterMitten's point that this is much more normal in coastal towns in Maine than people from away might think-- I grew up in an area where this was quite common and do not remember a smell, ever (the one thing I do remember vividly is the time my cat got stuck in a neighbor's trap, where he had either followed some stray bait or wandered off to nap-- he was missing for a few days before we figured out where the meowing was coming from. So, uh, if any cats go missing, remember to check.). To my mind, neatly stacked lobster traps become almost invisible after a while, and even if that's not true for everyone, they're certainly a normal part of the coastal landscape. Definitely be generous with your neighbors, but I think it'll be fine.
posted by dizziest at 10:20 AM on May 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

For what it's worth, I live in a very upscale town with some lobstermen both in town and in neighboring ones who keep their traps in their yards. (At Christmastime, they make big conical piles with them and light them up. It's neat.) I've never noticed a smell or heard of someone having a problem with the smell. I don't live next to a pile of traps though, I just drive by them with the windows down on a regular basis.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 10:59 AM on May 12, 2016 [3 favorites]

They smell if there's any bait left in them, so even a good rinse in seawater will help. Your family has a small business that requires storing lobster traps. It's a traditional life that belongs on the shore. I hope you will not be intimidated.
posted by theora55 at 11:20 AM on May 12, 2016 [2 favorites]

I'd suggest a few shipping containers for them. They're robust, you can plant hedging in front of them and paint them, they're inoffensive and functional, and the fact that they're narrow and only have one door is not a problem if you're storing 900 identical things in them. Plus, they're cheap.
posted by ambrosen at 12:14 PM on May 12, 2016

I'd suggest a few shipping containers for them. They're robust, you can plant hedging in front of them and paint them, they're inoffensive and functional,

I'd rather see the lobster traps, than shipping containers!

But really, just what are the dimensions of the stack of traps you're talking about? Google images showed some really big stacks... but it should be straightforward to compute the dimension of the stack from the dimension of the traps (if they're the square kind that stack neatly) and then see what it would be like in your yard.

Personally, if you had a nice tall wooden fence around your backyard and the traps stacked neatly in the backyard as well, seems like it would be fine to me, modulo if they were stinky, which has been addressed above.
posted by leahwrenn at 12:32 PM on May 12, 2016 [1 favorite]

It was not until late that the OP mentioned

> with laws in place to protect the lobsterman who are being pushed out

She might want to consult a local land use lawyer. If the town has passed ordinances like this, the issue has no doubt come up before, probably frequently.

In my state we have a "right to farm act" which pretty much overrules any nuisance-based claims that neighbors can make about sights, sounds, and smells relating to farm operations, assuming that certain practices are followed. The same may apply here.
posted by megatherium at 2:11 PM on May 12, 2016 [2 favorites]

Plant annual flowering fragrant vines on or around them.
posted by clew at 4:01 PM on May 12, 2016

If my neighbor said "hey, the traps are here just for the off season, they're going to smell for a week but it will fade, here's some lobster for you to eat to take your mind off the smell," I'd be fine with it.

If the lobster traps appeared and I thought the smell was going to be there permanently, I would be unhappy.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:21 AM on May 13, 2016

I grew up in an upscale fishing village in New England, this does not seem like a big deal to me. The traps will only smell for a few weeks, that's when you offer free lobsters to the neighbors. Make sure you don't block their view, be kind in all other aspects. I assume you're living near the ocean, and where I grew up the ocean routinely smelled offensive (low tide, hot summer, just because) so my guess is the neighbors are already used to the smell of things that come from the sea.

Congrats on the house!
posted by danapiper at 6:14 AM on May 14, 2016 [1 favorite]

Update: the traps are stacked in the yard, all 900+, and although the pile is about the size of a school bus it is so not a problem. I was imagining the neighbors as much closer than they actually are. The yard is sufficiently wooded that they aren't even visible from any of the neighbors yards and they are definitely out of smelling distance - they have been out of the water a long time but I really don't think it'll be a problem next year.

It did prompt me to go around and meet all of our neighbor's to sneakily get an idea of everyone's views of our backyard. They are super nice and accepting.

Thanks for all of the advice.
posted by pintapicasso at 10:27 PM on May 24, 2016 [2 favorites]

I wanted to post an update that we ended up fencing one property line as a neighbor was not super happy about seeing the traps from his yard. He offered to fence it which was very nice of him and we still have a great neighborly relationship with him.

The other two immediate neighbors are soooo into it! It's great. They are all about the *maine culture* and bring out of town visitors over to meet my husband and see the traps. One family asked if their kid can work for him next summer !!

Thanks for all of the input, again. I showed this thread to my husband and he was GOBSMACKED that people might be bothered by this! Thank you for lending credence to my point of view, it definitely softened him to our neighbors!
posted by pintapicasso at 10:17 AM on September 30, 2016 [5 favorites]

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