unstable neighbourhoods

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The Town of Aurora’s strategic goal to “provide an exceptional quality of life for all” experienced a huge setback earlier last month when it was recognized the lack of setback between two properties allowed one neighbour to effectively fence in another.

The best part is it was all done to the letter of the law as reported in this January 30th piece by The Toronto Star.

Robert Frost is often attributed to the quote “don’t ever take a fence down until you know why it was put up”.  In this case, all parties know why the fence in question was put up, the real question is should it have been?

In this February 1st Auroran piece councillor Humfryes summarized the ordeal as “It has been a disaster. We’ve got to get through this. It’s not right”.

We then learn that a permit for a fence is not required by the town unless it is a fence for a pool enclosure.

Well, that’s a little fucked up, and likely something that in hindsight you would want to correct.

Clr. Abel brought forward a motion to do exactly that, and instead of being supported unanimously we learn in this February 8th Auroran piece that “Mayor Geoff Dawe and Councillor Paul Pirri said they had concerns that Council was responding to what could be a “one-off” situation with potentially new legislation”.

Could be, but did either of these members of council bother to investigate this assumption?

Let’s take a stroll down Marnee Buckles’ neighbourhood and see for ourselves.

Here’s the property line between 47 Wells Street and 39 Wells Street, the source of this issue taken before the fence was erected.

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Let’s move up one house and see the property line between 39 Wells Street and their neighbour to the north 37 Wells Street:

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Hmmm.

What’s stopping #37 Wells Street from doing the exact same thing to #39 Wells Street that they did to #47?

Walk up the street one more house and we can ask the same question of #35 Wells Street to their neighbour to the south #37:

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Not exactly the “one-off situation” Mayor Geoff Dawe and Councillor Paul Pirri are claiming.

If there is any integrity to council promoting the concept of stable neighbourhoods then yes, it appears new legislation is required.

Otherwise, council can throw up their hands claiming Aurorans by and large are incapable of being good neighbours, but that will require revoking the cheesy slogan “You’re in good company” that our Mayor seems to cherish, as much as his dated Mr. Rogers approach to our town.

Watts on your mind?

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