Sunday, August 23, 2009

I received another letter recently regarding neighbourly conflict related to a new play house.

14 years ago, my husband and I purchased a home in a rural setting on a 3 acre property. The reason that we chose it was because it had a secluded, sanctuary of a back yard, complete with high shrubs, gardens and most importantly a 6 foot privacy fence which separated us from neighbors on both sides. Generally speaking you cannot see either of their properties (except for the roof lines from some parts of the yard).

We both work in service type professions and have to deal with many people their needs & complaints all week long. At the end of a hectic week we want nothing more than to get away from it all and relax in our yard (in solitude) working on our many flower gardens or just relaxing in a hammock and catching up on a good the weeks news.

Our neighbor to the left owns a 2 acre property. They have a little girl who loves to come over and look at our flowers. The occasional visit and subsequent tour is fine and she leaves with a handful of flowers to take home. Recently they decided to erect a play structure for her. Rather than placing it somewhere in their yard near their house or towards the middle - guess what they decided? Since she loves our gardens so much, they erected the 8 foot structure directly next to the property line to give her a perfect view over the fence and bushes. Now all weekend long she perches up there gawking at us and pestering us with questions and comments.

Nothing like encouraging the invasion of peoples' privacy as a life lesson.

This sounds unfortunate. Up until the play structure was built it seemed there was no conflict at all with your neighbours. This isn't exactly a unique problem either. There have been a couple big stories recently about neighbour conflict that revolved around a play structure. In 2008 a story out of British Colombia regarding a pirate ship themed tree house made international headlines.

A quick google news search finds plenty of other examples:

Treehouse dispute in Park City, Utah

Front yard treehouse dispute from Dallas, Texas

I think you will probably be able to take some consolation in the fact that most kids grow out of the treehouse phase pretty quick (even faster these days thanks to 21st century entertainment like the Wii), so hopefully this particular little girl doesn't have any younger siblings. In a few years she will be reading Teen Vogue and arguing with her parents about how much makeup is appropriate for someone in Jr. High.

- Editor

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