Sunday, December 16, 2012

Neighbour Communications

I find the way that neighbours communicate with each other in this community (Mt Eden) infuriating.

During renovations, the builder had his ute parked in the driveway but his trailer partially over the driveway. Rather than knocking on the door and having a 2 minute conversation, one of the neighbours rang the council who then sent a representative from a company contracted to OSH. Given that the site was safe, he had no cause for complaint and really, checking a working site over a complaint that a footpath was partially obstructed feels a little over the top to me.

One of the immediate neighbours apparently complained about vege garden - at the time there was a fairly good crop of chilli plants - to the council. Apparently it was attracting rats... A 2 minute conversation there could have saved what has ultimately turned into a toxic relationship with the neighbour.

Mt Eden is essentially a whole lot of terraces. So our neighbour to the other side is looking to replace the rockery with a retaining wall. Rather than talk to them, my mother is threatening to call the council - full guns blazing.

When did we stop talking to people? Even worse, why does the council encourage this sort of behaviour? We're in constant fear that the relationship is going to go bad that we essentially throw any relationship with neighbours right out the window while trying to avoid problems leading to soured relationships with neighbours...

So while I'm looking at trading post as a way to meet the neighbours, concerns around boundary lines and liability make the effort effectively pointless.

I'm a big fan of "front lawn" solutions. That is, speeding traffic down your street can actually be reduced by having people doing stuff in the front garden - drivers have a tendency to slow down around people. When neighbours talk, a lot of those problems that the council are ever so keen to get involved with, suddenly disappear. Boundary issues are talked through and concerns are quite often alleviated and often work out to be beneficial to both parties.

The question is, how do you encourage more front lawn solutions?

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