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Does the covenant need to be more restrictive/detailed?


Marianne Little
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Hi, I am starting this as a spin-off from another thread.

The thread was about a houseboat owner who had:

A fake sand beach, a raised pool and palm trees. I looked at the images (that is removed) and agreed that it was not the best use of a houseboat... but it was not a direct breach of the height restrictions.

The problem is how to interpret: "However, you may customize it by adding tasteful extensions, as long as they are compatible with the theme and style of the house. " http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Linden_Lab_Official:New_Linden_Homes_2019

Maybe this is special for boats, my impression is that an occurring issue is that houseboat owners treat their water as ground, and build on it. The houseboats is placed side by side, they do not have so much public ground between them. Often only a pier.

I tried to view this as a house owner: A Traditional house at the water's edge. The owner places a 4 m high fence, an add-on build, an overground pool, a pergola on top of the pool surround and a couple of palm trees. The house behind has lost their view, so they AR it because his garden items is blocking their view. Nothing is over 14 m, and the trees does not encroach. Yes or no, should this be removed? Should only the palm trees be removed since there are no Mole made palm trees, and so palms are not in theme?

Are houseboats under a special obligation to keep open views for the neighbors, but not houses on ground?

Should houseboats have a special note in the covenant?

Like a rule for the use of water: It can not have permanent builds that raise more than 0,75 m above water? This would still allow fake sand. Should the note also say that wood piers is allowed, but not sand? Should only potted plants be allowed?

My worries is that if we raise a petition to LL about tightening the covenant, and this is agreed upon by LL who updates the covenant, what stops another group from doing the same, and so on.

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I think as time goes on, the covenant will be edited/amended to reflect whatever is fed back to Linden Lab, most likely through what they receive in abuse reports.

A friend has kindly lent me his Linden home - well, we kind of half live there together I suppose, we walk his dog around the roadways, and admire everyone's gardens. I was checking the covenant last night, reading every word of it, and I was surprised that skyboxes were allowed, but have to be over 2000m, to allow people to fly if they want to without restrictions. 

And then I read this part:

"Decoration should not be placed out any earlier than 30 days in advance of any holiday or season represented and must be removed within 15 days of the holiday or season passing"

... which basically means if you forget to take your Christmas decorations down by the 12th day, you can't leave them up!

But how enforcable that would be is anyone's guess - and really is anyone that offended by a bit of tinsel and a tree and some lights still being there in July?

I am more offended - affronted - that my real life landlord - who happens to be the local authority in my town - has take to putting up notices in our communal hallways to TELL US to wash our hands every 20 minutes! I think what we do in our own homes should be our own business. But, hey ho!

Edited by Marigold Devin
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Many people are going to disagree  as to what is in theme and what is not , not every ones ideas of the theme is the same.Although i agree there are many questionable builds out there  , that could be questioned and possibly ar'ed , it is not up to premium members to make those calls, and is definitely not cool to be posting photo's of them on the forums, and getting the pot stirring started. If something is clearly breaking the covenant of height , out of parcel , causing excessive lag, etc. then by all means ar it. But if it is a measure of what you feel belongs on someone elses parcel , is not up to you to say what is in theme because your idea of in theme may not be the same as the next persons or the next.You can still ar it but it should be up to linden governance team to make the call when they get to it,as you can see they been a little busy lately.  on the subject of the sand on the beach house plot, i have seen dozens of house boat plots with sand .lets stop the witch hunt people and start posting about things you see  that are positive about bellisseria , and not tearing down you neighbor because of a difference of style , taste , or skills

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I think the forums are a fine place to discuss issues, and it is not a "witch hunt" to start a thread like this one. The question is whether there should be extra covenant restrictions for houseboats. 

Personally, I don't think there needs to be any change to the covenant to address houseboats. People will just find some other way to annoy their neighbors (intentionally or not). Thank you, Firestorm, for giving me the ability to derender it all.

I do think LL could avoid a lot of the complaints if the official viewer included a derender function. If we are looking for ideas for LL to address issues like pink trees, that would be a good place for them to start. People complain that ARs don't get addressed quickly enough, but how many ARs are filed about things that could be easily dealt with by a quick derender? Maybe if all residents had the ability to do this, it would lighten the load on Governance and let them focus on real problems. 

 

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3 hours ago, Marigold Devin said:

"Decoration should not be placed out any earlier than 30 days in advance of any holiday or season represented and must be removed within 15 days of the holiday or season passing"

 

... which basically means if you forget to take your Christmas decorations down by the 12th day, you can't leave them up!

But how enforcable that would be is anyone's guess - and really is anyone that offended by a bit of tinsel and a tree and some lights still being there in July?

in the case of decorations not being taken down i'm always mindful that there are many RL circumstances which might prevent someone logging in, same as when i see an unfurnished house. not going to add to anyone's stress by AR'ing that. and if my neighbour's decor simply isn't to my taste i can derender or move. i'm not really interested in HOA roleplay.

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I think the covenant has been left deliberately vague so that governance, the Moles, and @Patch Linden can make judgement calls based on a variety of factors and should remain that way. 

There have been important discussions here on the forums that have led to changes in the covenant - the holiday decor, and the political signs, off the top of my head. I'd like to think these discussions could be had without posting identifying photos, but maybe not. Some people are more descriptive than others and sometimes it's just easier to show a pic of what we're talking about.

I think I have exquisite taste. I am positive that there are others who think I have crap taste. I would be horrified to see any of my houses posted here even if my name wasn't attached. I'd know it was mine. 

I think there is a very fine line between posting something because we're truly not sure if it's a covenant violation or not, and posting something that is really meant to be an oh-my-god-this-is-awful-looking post. I almost posted one myself of the cabin next door to mine that was surrounded by walls of breedables asking for opinions on how many is too many, but they moved out before I did it. It would have been both a genuine question and a "who possibly thinks this looks good??" What I would have really been looking for was confirmation from others that it looked tacky AF and didn't belong in Bellisseria. It would have been immediately identifiable to the person with the kitty cat obsession. Would that have been right or wrong to have done? The person most certainly thinks that they were okay in putting all the breedables out and would have been angry with me. It could have been avoided if I'd just ARed it and let LL decide. 

But, as Sylvia pointed out, the question is whether or not the covenant should be changed. My answer is no. Tighten the houseboats and someone is going to want to tighten the trads. Tighten those, and someone is going to want to tighten the campers, etc. 

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The ‘what is in theme’ question is a really difficult one. Beth’s comment reminded me of a camper that I saw full of breedable cats. My first thought was really? That’s keeping in the camper theme? Then I stopped & thought there probably are people out there whose camper IS full of cats so who am I to judge. I’ve never lived in a camper, houseboat or a log cabin before in RL so I’m just guessing myself on what’s appropriate.

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At this point, I don't think the covenant should be changed to limit houseboat builds further.  I see your point, Marianne, about HBs being so close to one another in the rows of rectangular docks, though.  I COULD see something being done if reports of attempts to make houseboats into something they're not became rampant.  I credit LL on acting quickly about holiday decor, as banks of prim snow swiftly appeared around Belli at Thanksgiving.

No, a houseboat isn't a tropical beach, but probably I wouldn't AR one next to me.  But if there were 3 around me, and I really liked my parcel ... yes, I'd probably AR them, and point out in each report that the really difficult part of it was that I found myself in a cluster of wannabe beaches.

One thing I might do if I were on the fence about whether or not to AR a build is to private message a few people in this forum, with pictures, and ask them their opinion, rather than posting pics publicly on a thread. 

Edited by Nika Talaj
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Truthfully, just like in RL, if someone builds something that is within the height limits but it blocks someone else's view, that's just the luck of the draw.  Nobody is really guaranteed any view - unless you truly are on the very outer edge of something.  Even then, LL could decide to come along later and drop more regions down that ultimately mess with your view.  In RL, when I decide to purchase a home somewhere, one of the things that I take into account if it has a view, is whether or not that view could possibly be obstructed in the future.  Ditto for when anyone decides to stay in whatever location they get from the Linden Home random lottery draw.

As to "in theme", this one truly is so hard and so subjective most of the time.  There are exceptions -- like the folks that STILL have their whole freakin parcel covered in snow.  And while I don't really consider pink tress to be "in theme" in any of the current Linden Home areas, as long as they aren't full bright or glowing, I will either just ignore them or derender them.

I'd rather LL spent their governance time dealing with the less than 15-second security orbs that people still sometimes report here about, or builds that are definitely outside someone's parcel or more than a smidgen above the height restrictions, or even those snow covered parcels that I still see today.  In other words, for now, let's worry about the covenant violations that are not subjective.  

While I might not like how someone decorates their parcel, they probably don't like mine either.  I already know for a fact that there are a few here that would call my houseboat setup out of theme because I have covered a lot of water with a large dock. Yet, I have actually seen, in RL, houseboats that are permanently moored and built with docks totally surrounding them.

So, I'd definitely vote no on a covenant change that tried to define the 'in theme' part in full detail - for the houseboats or any other Linden Home.  They left it somewhat vague intentionally, to give us some leeway with decorating and them some leeway in enforcement.

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14 hours ago, usagihara said:

 

in the case of decorations not being taken down i'm always mindful that there are many RL circumstances which might prevent someone logging in, same as when i see an unfurnished house. not going to add to anyone's stress by AR'ing that. and if my neighbour's decor simply isn't to my taste i can derender or move. i'm not really interested in HOA roleplay.

My thoughts are that if someone hasn't been able to get to their plot for quite some time to remove obviously seasonal items then they are being helped, rather than punished by an AR. I would be grateful if someone tidied up for me if I had a genuine RL emergency or lack of net access.
By 'quite some time' I'm thinking a couple of months rather than one day over the limit!

The useful thing about posting on a forum is it gets us out of our own heads and answers the question of 'am I being reasonable in my reaction?'. It also helps to clarify, not just in a particular situation, but in future, how the covenant is likely to be interpreted and acted upon by the governance team. We can tap into other forumites' experiences.

I also believe that's there is sometimes an uneasy tension between the needs of residents, and the operation of a public arena which supports a business. (ie this forum).
 Whilst being grateful for the facility, I am also frustrated at times by the lack of an alternate venue where it wouldn't always be necessary to be wonder whether a free ranging discussion would set off official alarm bells. The answer to this has always been 'take it in world'. Which, to me, has been a version of 'be quiet and behave'.
I also realise that attempts at alternate venues can been bogged down in drama, and clogged up with ex-residents spilling bile which becomes a huge burden for volunteer community organisers to deal with.  Ah me, maybe I wish for utopia.com/forum!

 

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I started the thread because the original poster took offence to discussing this further in that thread.

Personally, I am open to a "water" clausul in the covenant. With that I mean a height restriction for permanent builds in the water area.

One of the larger yachts/speedboats I have in my inventory would fill almost all the water part and be as tall as the default Linden houseboat, and a rule against builds in water would not apply for mooring a boat.

So one can add more and more rules, and it will always be something else that the neighbor wish wasn't there.

I was a bit horrified when I read somewhere - can't find it again now - about "large add-ons around the lake in Hammond Park", because I have a house there and a large add-on. I decided not to ask what parcel(s) it was.

 

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I agree that the covenant pretty well covers things in 'general' and is left to the discretion and final decision of Lindens  & moles to determine if something needs to be removed.  I rarely, if ever, (trying to think if I've AR'd anything since coming to Bellisseria) AR'd something. It has to be pretty extreme of breaching the covenant to warrant that.  We all have different tastes and even if I don't particularly care for something, as has been stated above, to someone else, its their slice of heaven. 

If there was any one thing I'd wish changed, its the allowing of any breedables in Bellisseria.  They do often cause excessive lag, but the one thing that really upsets me, is when you have owners of breeders that are not attentive to their animals and forget about them.  I'm not sure the case for all breedables, but I used to have the ABC horses and I remember how upsetting it was to watch the days, weeks go by, when an owner didn't log in, or pay attention to where they were kept their animals and they'd begin to get sick and some finally died.  It was a very disturbing sight to see a dead  horse lying on the ground and you were helpless to do anything about it.  I have a nearby neighbor where I'm currently dwelling who  had a pretty tiger out on their property. Its information read "I am sick..."  So I sent them a very polite IM to let them know, and that I was concerned about its welfare. They thanked me and removed it.  I wasn't wishing it removed, only attended to.  But at least I don't have to watch it grow sicker due to someone's busy RL schedule where they might forget its out. 

And that my 2 cents on what I would wish changed, otherwise, I'm pretty easy going about other people's taste. 😉

Edited by PrudenceAnton
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@PrudenceAnton one of my houseboat neighbours (on a past plot) left her virtual baby crawling around an open fire stove. I had the same degree of discomfort that you describe about the horses. With that, and her oversized (and overlapping) build on the water I decided to move. We might say breedables lag the place out, but it's that lack of emotional investment that sends out the bad vibes :(

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  • Sand covering the water:  Incredibly tacky -- why is a piece of sand just floating on the water, blocking the boat?
  • Extended pier with a hole in it for a pool:  Incredibly tacky -- why would you decrease the size of your natural water, water that can be swum in, like, you know...A POOL?
  • Gignormous 512 m2 boats with 14.999 m masts and full sails:  Incredibly tacky -- such a huge boat, taking up so much water, why not live on THAT instead of your houseboat?  Oh, wait, then you don't get to block everyone's view.
  • Making use of the Linden Security System in a Houseboat area:  Incredibly tacky -- Those piers between our houses are tremendously thin.  Your neighbors are going to periodically fall off them, right into your water.

These are just my opinions.

Are they violations of the current covenant?  NO.

Should they be made Linden Law?  NO -- THEY'RE JUST MY OPINIONS.

Don't we already have ANOTHER thread about some group that considers themselves the self-appointed Bellesseria Content Police?  Well, $#@%, we do.

I think the covenant is fine as it is.  So much of this is a matter of personal taste.  One person's trash is another person's art.

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12 hours ago, Rabid Cheetah said:
  • Making use of the Linden Security System in a Houseboat area:  Incredibly tacky -- Those piers between our houses are tremendously thin.  Your neighbors are going to periodically fall off them, right into your water.

It's not tacky having security when you're allowed to have it, also, those security devices don't cover the docks/piers between the houseboats and they give a person enough time to get out of the parcel if they do fall in or something by accident.

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38 minutes ago, DevinKnights84 said:

It's not tacky having security when you're allowed to have it, also, those security devices don't cover the docks/piers between the houseboats and they give a person enough time to get out of the parcel if they do fall in or something by accident.

I agree.  I would much rather people use security orbs with the 15 seconds rather than having banlines.   I have found that 15 seconds is plenty of time to get off someone's property if you have wandered or fallen into it.

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2 hours ago, DevinKnights84 said:

has the covenant been changed recently? i swear there was something about breedables in it before...now I can't find anything about them. why can people fill a linden home with breedables, lagging everyone else in the region?

I've got 4 versions of the covenant, back to the day the new homes were first released.  I've possibly missed a change or two, but I don't remember ever seeing anything specific about breedables.   One of the Moles did mention - way back when - that if someone had a lot of them and thus were consuming an unfair share of the region resources, they could be AR'd.

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On 5/1/2020 at 11:46 AM, Marigold Devin said:

But how enforcable that would be is anyone's guess - and really is anyone that offended by a bit of tinsel and a tree and some lights still being there in July?

The reason decorations are mentioned at all is that some people felt they were not in theme and should not be allowed at any time of year. The compromise was to say decorations were fine, but only actually at the holidays. In other words, yes, some people would absolutely be upset if the decorations were still there in July. They didn't want them there at all.

I'd hope all the Lindens/Moles would do is return them to the person's inventory, as there's a lot that could stop someone logging in and sorting it.

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On 5/1/2020 at 3:46 AM, Marigold Devin said:

 really is anyone that offended by a bit of tinsel and a tree and some lights still being there in July?

How genteel, that sounds like Half Deer's year-round product line!  I think it's when folks' decorations extend to banks of prim snow, tall screens of snow-covered trees, particle snow, nativities or snowmen in spring that the time limitations come in handy.

Edited by Nika Talaj
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10 minutes ago, Polenth Yue said:

I'd hope all the Lindens/Moles would do is return them to the person's inventory, as there's a lot that could stop someone logging in and sorting it.

From posts made here, I got the impression that items are returned to the owners with a comment about the Linden Covenant.  I assume that the person's name is recorded somewhere because someone had said that if a person keeps violating the covenant after polite reminders that they could lose their privilege to own a Linden Home.

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I do not think that the covenant needs to be more restricted or detailed.  The more specific it is, the more you will have people going around looking for specific infractions. I think leaving it up to LL to make the final decision about whether something is in or out of theme is best, because it is so subjective, and I would also hope that they aren't getting flooded with that type of AR.  

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11 hours ago, DevinKnights84 said:

It's not tacky having security when you're allowed to have it, also, those security devices don't cover the docks/piers between the houseboats and they give a person enough time to get out of the parcel if they do fall in or something by accident.

 You're missing the point.  Those are my opinions;  You have different opinions.  Should either of our opinions become the Law of the Land, in the Covenant?  Go back and re-read my post for the answer.

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10 hours ago, karynmaria said:

I agree.  I would much rather people use security orbs with the 15 seconds rather than having banlines.   I have found that 15 seconds is plenty of time to get off someone's property if you have wandered or fallen into it.

Again, this is veering off-topic.

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