Fallen fence irks neighbours
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Sep 04, 2008  |  Vote 0    0

Fallen fence irks neighbours

Stratford Gazette

Tori SuttonStaff ReporterAn Arden Park homeowner is frustrated he'll have to pay to repair a fence which borders a nearby parking lot.Just over a month ago, the fence, which stands between the Williams Coffee Pub parking lot and an emergency access lane backed onto by a row of Arden Park townhomes, fell down.Concerned about an increase in noise and light pollution, along with security fears, Arden Park homeowners Brian and Marilyn Kicks began investigating who owned the fence and what they could do to go about getting it fixed.After weeks of phone calls and research their final answer wasn't a good one, at least in their opinion. Even though they were sure their property line ended at their back fence which closes in their rear yard, they've been told it is up to them and their neighbour to repair the fallen fence."The developer who owned it went bankrupt and no one wants to take claim to it," said Brian, in an interview last week. "The onus is then on us to have it repaired because Williams doesn't want to and the city doesn't want to have anything to do with it either."He said that since the fence has fallen, he and his wife have felt they've lost their privacy. Last week, in an attempt to get it back, they finally caved in and called someone in to give them a quote on the repairs.But it leaves a sour taste in the mouth of his wife, who fears that neglect on the part of drivers and snow removal contractors will see them spending more money down the road.Marilyn said the snow removal contractor who plows the coffee shop lot was the one who originally damaged the fence and she's seen at least one car run into it as well. Snow from the coffee shop lot often gets piled against the fence during the winter."In other words, the fence will be impossible to maintain and we'll always be on the hook for fixing it," she said, in an email to the Gazette. Last winter, Brian attempted keep the fence upright by bracing it, only to have someone steal the piece of wood he used in the temporary repair. The day it fell over, he attempted to repair it himself, but didn't have the tools to sink the posts into the ground, nor the strength to hoist the fence upright by himself.The Kicks said that the owner of Williams Coffee Pub told them her lawyer had advised the coffee shop was not liable for the fence.Last week, Marilyn hung a sign on their back fence to let those parking in the lot know exactly how they feel. It read: "You can be right and still be wrong. Good fences make good neighbours.""We don't want this to go on any longer," said Brian. "We could take it to court but it would just drag on and cost us more than fixing the fence."However, chief building official David Carroll said the fence is on the homeowner's property and is not the city's responsibility."Our understanding is there is an easement that goes through there," said Carroll. "We've been doing some research and it appears that the fence is on the Arden Park property. It would be the responsibility of the homeowners."Drawings consulted by his department indicate the outer fence is adjacent, or very close to the property line and that the access was created to allow people rear-yard access and to allow them to get from one lot to another to cut grass. There is also a gas line that runs through that section of land.The owner of Williams Coffee Pub could not be reached for comment by press time.PHOTO: Arden Park homeowners Brian and Marilyn Kicks are upset they're on the hook for replacing a section of fallen fence which separates an access lane behind their back yard from the Williams Coffee Pub parking lot. (Tori Sutton)

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