Thursday, October 20, 2011

Neighbourhood Friction



A work stoppage order has been put in place regarding my new next door neighbour’s pool installation. 

This may cause a delay of eight weeks…which would bring us to the cold and possibly snowy  weather of November…which could mean work on the pool may not resume until spring...which means the “hole” through the basement must remain and thus basement renovations would also be postponed.

The neighbour on the other side of the pool property brought in the heavy artillery – the city government – due to his concerns about possible damage to his tree and the potential cost of having to remove it.

I sympathize with his concerns.  However, we were all informed of the-pool-to-be prior to the work beginning.  I don’t understand why he didn’t voice his concerns before digging commenced.

With the government stepping in, matters are now out of the hands of those immediately involved and affected.  The paperwork and ill-will has begun.

Why can’t people simply talk to one another?  Initiate a civilized and reasoned discussion regarding such matters before resorting to government intervention?  Have we abdicated our own problem solving abilities to those of the government’s?  (Horrors!)  What about our own responsibility to deal with our problems in a rational manner?

Figuratively speaking, I am in the middle of this.  I have heard from both sides.  I’ve actually considered offering my services as a referee but I’m not sure they’d be appreciated.  Nor do I think it would be a particularly wise move to place myself in the midst of all that pumped up testosterone.

Gentlemen, start your engines - and may you find some common ground and a viable mutually satisfactory solution on the track…

24 comments:

Sherry Smyth said...

So go ahead, ask me if I'm surprised that this happened? From the first time you posted about this I figured it wouldn't be long before "someone" made an "official" complaint. As you said, you were all told of this work before it began which was the time to speak up. But there is always one neighbour who feels it important to be "high and mighty". Sure, I appreciate that he's worried about his tree. But get real...I would be more worried about getting on with my neighbours, people I will see every day or at least the possibility of seeing every day, rather than a tree.

Ugh. Speaks volumes about your neighbour and while I empathize that this is him protecting his property you are so right -- when did we stop talking about issues? That is the biggest shame of all.

Zhu said...

Issues such as this one between neighbours can easily turn nasty. One thing leads to another... and people take side, argue etc. It's too bad simple problems can't be solved normally, i.e. by talking and negociating.

I'm not surprised though... people are quick to make official complaints here, even though we sue less then our Southern neighbours.

The Bodhi Chicklet said...

Oh dear, I can smell trouble from here. You are in the middle of the sandwich, aren't you? Are you the pickle or the mustard? Maybe you are the sweet sauce that runs down the middle. I can see you as an ombudsman. But that would seriously cut into your writing time and then we, in blogland, would be deprived of your presence. It is too bad that people can't just "get along". *sigh* I think all this technology has encouraged a distance from even our neighbours. What? I haven't run out of space yet in this comment box? Better go before my words get cut of

Cheri @ Blog This Mom!® said...

Well . . . there is a perfect already-dug hole there for something . . . Never mind.

Maybe hand them both a book on meditation and send warm energy their way? :-)

Beth said...

Sherry:
It was certainly not a great way to start things off. I predict the next horror will be all the neighbours on the street taking sides. How sad. All due to lack of communication.
(Hey, want to be the mediator?)

Zhu:
I really hope they can negotiate – that common sense prevails. And that nobody even thinks of suing!

Bodhi:
Your sandwich metaphor made me laugh – I’ll be the mayo!
And I think you are spot on with the tech/distance thing.

wish your words hadn’t been cut off - would have loved reading more :)

Cheri:
Your mind is a wondrous, amazing thing - your suggestions go from one extreme to the other!

Sherry Smyth said...

Call me when things heat up and the going gets tough...I cannot abide it when people "gang up" and take sides and there is a split and division. What a way to start off in a new neighbourood. People don't like "change" so when change happens people's feathers get ruffled. Life is too short for this BS...so yeah, I'll mediate! :)

I think you need to bring that dollhouse outside and say "anyone wanna play with me?" that will go a long way to good community relations!

Beth said...

Sherry:
Done! You’re on call. And you can take on the city government while you’re at it. They’re not entirely blameless in this whole kerfuffle.

As for my doll house – do I want to be known as the crazy lady on the street? (Perhaps I already am??)

Gorilla Bananas said...

The English are famous for these kind of petty disputes, so it seems this aspect of their culture was exported with the British Empire. No, you certainly shouldn't offer to be the referee!

oreneta said...

I would seriously run away from getting in the middle of all that, civic duty or not....ugh

Beth said...

Gorilla Bananas:
Blame it all on the British, shall I?
Not to worry – no reffing - sanity prevails.

Oreneta:
No advice will be offered - when and if – there’s more knocking at my door.

nursemyra said...

Oh no.... I hate nastiness with the neighbours

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

You're right, Beth. It's horrifying to think we trust the government more than ourselves to communication with our neighbors.I'm so sorry.

Care to move to my neighborhood? We're having a friendly neighborhood block party (brownies included) this weekend.

xoRobyn

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

PS I meant "communicate" not "communication". Oh and the party starts at 5:30pm tomorrow.

Beth said...

nursemyra:
Yeah, and I thought having to deal with the nasty, garbage-scavenging raccoons in the neighbourhood was bad!

Robyn:
Thanks for the invitation – what kind of brownies are being served? ;)
Hey, perhaps I should serve my neighbours some special mellow out brownies!

Mark p.s.2 said...

No, you certainly shouldn't offer to be the referee! wrote Gorilla Bananas
I second G.B.'s comment.
"Why can’t people simply talk to one another?" you wrote.
Why? IMO because in oral agreements people hear what they want to hear, on purpose and by accident and by Evil. Agreements have to be written clearly on a piece of paper.

Beth said...

Mark:
Your advice sounds very lawyer-like!

Sherry Smyth said...

Beth, I say make a batch of the special brownies and take a gift box to each side. Then wipe your hands (and snicker behind your closed door!). :)

Beth said...

Sherry:
As well as the gift boxes, I’d have made my OWN batch of special brownies – wouldn’t have a care in the world!

Matters are moving along slowly – according to an arborist’s report, I’m the only one with a damaged tree! Figures...

laughingwolf said...

IF all codes were met BEFORE obstru... i mean, construction, began, NO ONE has a legal leg to stand on at this stage, esp the moron who waited til nearly the last minute to pipe up with his *concerns*... city, provincial and federal governments be damned!

as a youth in military cadets, i learned NEVER to volunteer for ANYthing that could, potentially, get my ass in deep shit....

Juliette said...

Stay away from testosterone Beth, it will end in tears.

Beth said...

laughingwolf:
Turns out the city issued a permit re: plans failing to show neighbouring vegetation. Thus, the city is at fault. Try getting anywhere with that!

Juliette:
Oh, yeah...tears of frustration.

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

Hi Beth,
It does sound as though your neighbors need special brownies in abundance.
Your current choco-addiction reminds me of the brownies we had at the neighborhood party. They included mini-marshmallows, carmel and chocolate fudge swirls. Mmmm.
Hang in there and keep munching.
xoRobyn

Barrie said...

Maybe someone should have a block party? Good will could be restored over a couple of Molsons ;) Yikes...or maybe fights would break out!

Barrie said...

Just thought of something my mother said years and years ago when we were growing up in the suburbs of Toronto. She pointed out how long we'd lived next door to our neighbors and how there'd never been an ill word spoken. Not that there couldn't have been. But everyone was careful to keep the peace and get along. It was a great atmosphere to grow up in.