Good neighbors in housing show respect, consideration
May 17, 2010
STUTTGART, Germany -- Most everyone has had a bad neighbor at some point in their lives.
YouTube features dozens of "neighbor from hell" videos, and there's even a website dedicated to slamming "rotten neighbors."
No one wants to be "that neighbor" - especially in military family housing, where residents frequently live next door to those they work with.
With shared stairwells, landings, sidewalks, parking and playgrounds, residents of U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart's family housing have an extra responsibility to their neighbors.
"Most people abide by the policies set by the garrison commander," said Iris Jones, the USAG Stuttgart housing chief. Doing so promotes safe and harmonious community living, she added.
With warmer weather coming, Jones said more families will be headed outdoors. "Everyone wants to barbecue. Residents have outside parties. The children come outside to play," she said.
Garrison officials want to remind residents to be considerate of their neighbors, "so everyone can live in peace," Jones said.
She outlined a few of the responsibilities expected from those residing in government housing.
If wading pools and water slides are used, residents are required to closely supervise their children.
Residents must also keep toys, bicycles, skateboards and strollers secured in storage rooms.
Because military housing building exteriors are extremely sensitive to heat, barbecue grills should be positioned a safe distance, at least six feet away, from any building. This means that grilling is not permitted on balconies.
While most residents store their grills next to one of the gazebos near their quarters, "they shouldn't grill under the gazebo," said Jones.
Jones said the housing office periodically removes unclaimed grills.
"We notify the residents, giving them plenty of time, in case they are on leave or TDY. We ask them to label their grills," she said. On an appointed day, the unclaimed grills are picked up by the installation coordinators.
Residents can also contact the ICs if they need to dispose of an old sofa, table or other items too large for a dumpster.
In order to ensure that family housing communities are harmonious and orderly, each building has an assigned building coordinator, a senior ranking service member who inspects the common areas, reminds residents of policies, and resolves complaints or problems within the building.
Army Staff Sgt. Jodell Lyons, assigned to Special Operations Command Europe, serves as a building coordinator in the BAfAPblingen Housing Area. "It can be challenging," she said of the position.
While Lyons occasionally has to deal with neighbors who don't pick up after their grill parties, or children who leave toys outside, "we try and take care of it at the lowest level," she said.
But, for the most part, "the neighbors are friendly. They are respectful of each other," she said.
Housing Chief Jones agrees. "Most of the homes now are renovated. People are getting new homes. They want to maintain them. They take pride in them," she said.
For bulk trash removal, contact your installation coordinator. For those who have misplaced their resident handbooks, each building coordinator has the handbook, which details resident responsibilities, available electronically or in hard copy.