Most of us don't want a neighbour like 657 Turner Rd., the subject of an unsightly property order by Parksville council Monday.
The piles of junk are decreasing property values in the otherwise nice residential area and selling a home would be difficult for some neighbours, nigh-impossible for those next door.
No official health concerns have been expressed but as a neighbour you'd worry about what's in those buckets and barrels, tubs and jugs.
A closer examination, however, reveals that a lot of work went into this collection of rubbish. Piles have been stashed under trees, tarps cover several objects, including a smartly tied one over some pieces of mannequins scattered on the ground.
Another tarp covers an old travel trailer, with what looks like the remnants of a barbeque set up outside the rotting door.
An old pickup has a hood up, perhaps signs of repair or a raid for parts.
The point is, as crazy as it sounds, the person who lives here may not consider it unsightly.
They may know where everything is, and like it that way.
In this case, the inhabitant is a tenant and the absentee landlord doesn't seem to care, so why should anyone else?
At the end of Monday's meeting, two men complained to council about the number of large boats, trailers and oversized $100,000 motor homes parked in their neighbourhood. They also objected to the semitrailer rigs parked in the area, framing it as an incursion of commercial use in a residential area.
Such rigs, which seem to need to warm up for an hour starting at 5 a.m., have been banned elsewhere and these men urged council to take action on these matters.
Mayor Chris Burger noted that it's a matter of balancing public good versus private-property rights but pointed out under questioning that civic action is complaint-driven, so you can imagine the message the men took away.
If we actually had private-property rights, neither the rubbish piles nor the oversized RVs would be anybody else's business. All we buy is an opportunity to be judged acceptable by our neighbours.
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