Note: The DearEsq free 'ask a lawyer' site is offered as a free informational service to the public and is not intended as legal advice. Laws vary from state-to-state, and in addition every situation is unique, and relevant facts may not be known. The answer to the question posed below may not apply to in your state or to your situation. For legal advice in your state and your situation you should consult with an attorney in your state who is familiar with the rules and laws in your state.
‘A resident of one of the units in our HOA operates a bike and minor auto repair business out of his garage. The garage is attached and faces the common driveway and the units across the driveway. He leaves the garage open for hours and parks bikes and cars in front. The parked bikes and cars do not block other cars from using the driveway. It’s not different from when I wash my car in the driveway, but that takes about 30 minutes. His activities take entire afternoons and early evenings. My primary objection is noise. His power tools are sometimes loud, and he shouts to his family members. He must be selling the bikes or cars online. I see him photographing them. The benefit is his presence may help deter trespassers or thieves, as he is often working during the day when other residents are at work. He does not leave litter or dirt in the driveway. Is there a downside to not addressing the situation. It’s been going on for several years.’I think you’ve described the downside: If you don’t address the situation, the noisy activity will continue. I suppose if you tried to stop him now, he could argue that he’s been doing it a long time and has come to rely on it not being objectionable to the neighbors. In theory, a nuisance is a nuisance, regardless of how long it’s gone on, though in practice there is some traction to his argument.
Question: I guess the question is, if you’ve put up with this for several years, what’s different now?