Communication is key in solving neighborhood disputes
CLEVELAND - Jacqueline Johnson claims her Cleveland home has been under attack for more than 10 years.
It's all part of an ongoing feud she's been having with her neighbor. It's a battle that's been going on for so long that Johnson admits she can't recall how it all got started.
Three months ago, Johnson reported to police her next-door neighbor shot out the front window of her house with a BB gun. She also claims her neighbor has been spreading nails on her driveway.
"I don't mess with no one. I mind my business," Johnson said. "I don't know what's wrong with the woman and her significant other, but I've been reaching for help."
Johnson even alleges her neighbor even tried to run her down with a van.
"I've reported these problems to police many times, but nothing ever gets done," Johnson said. "I'm really worried about the safety of my family."
Johnson contacted the 5 On Your Side Troubleshooter unit in search of a solution and we quickly determined both sides never actually talked to workout their problems.
We approached Johnson's neighbor, David Houck, and he gave us his side of the story.
Houck explained how he and his girlfriend could never have a long-term conversation with Johnson, and he denied causing any damage to Johnson's home.
At the urging of NewsChannel5, both sides talked out their differences, and within 15 minutes Houck and Johnson left smiling and shaking hands.
"I apologize this is never going to happen again," Houck told Johnson. "I'll tell my girlfriend too. I'm getting gray"
"Yes, I'm getting gray too," said Johnson with a smile. "This is over now. Yes, it's over."
A lack of communication was also to blame for a neighborhood battle in Seven Hills.
Tony and Theresa Nero were in the middle of a property line battle with their next-door neighbor since 2009.
Both sides refused to cut a small strip of lawn between their homes. Each side claimed it was the other person's property.
A row of high grass has separated their perfectly manicured homes for years.
NewsChannel5 got both neighbors talking and within 10 minutes, Nero had his lawn tractor out and mowed down the high grass between them.
Both sides have now agreed to work out their differences.
Residents should always try to communicate with their neighbors first, and turn to police and attorneys as a last resort.
Neighbors can also turn to many resources at their city hall or contact their council member to act a mediator to solve disputes.
Residents living in Cleveland can seek conflict mediation by contacting the Cleveland Community Relations Board at 216-664-3290, or finding information on the
community relations board website.