Rarely are there conflicts between homeowners and municipal departments that result in such a positive outcome. The following is our experience we would like to share:
Bill and I purchased our 1977 home on 39A Ave in the summer of 2010. Our property backs onto a private little municipal park called Sterling Estates. There is a walkway to enter the park that is sandwiched between our home and the home next door to the east of our side yard.
Soon after we were settled, the Parks Dept. upgraded the playground equipment. However, since its conception in the ’70s, the park has never had irrigation. There had been a few ‘handshake’ deals with surrounding neighbours to water the park in the past. These residents had moved on and as a result the park remained parched for several years.
This spring, the plans to implement irrigation were put in place. Several options were explored; when through a land survey, it was determined that the mandatory 10′ width of the walkway was in fact not the case. Much to our surprise, the Parks Department, and the City of Vernon, we were informed that our fence line and raised bed landscaping encroached onto the mandatory 10′ width by 55′!
Keith Pinkowski (Parks Dept), Brett Bandy (City of Vernon), Bill and I entered negotiations as to the best way to work together to rectify the situation. In the end we agreed to move our original fence line and all landscaping back to our property line. Because of a 30′ elevation change from the walkway to our yard level, this created a challenge on how to detain the dirt from our raised bed that was now on city property. Keith came up with a solution of grading the dirt, planting shrubs, and installing drainage pipe to alleviate our fears of flooding our yard in the spring from snow melt etc.
We would like to extend a huge thank you to Keith for being so accommodating to our needs; he listened to our concerns and addressed each one promptly. Keith even provided us with a temporary snow fence to keep our dogs in the yard while we were under construction. The gentlemen from Swan Lake Nurseries who worked in the park were very respectful and pleasant. Thank you also, to Mr. Bandy who approved our new fence and was great to deal with.
The entire experience was fantastic, Keith Pinkowski had gone above and beyond with his service. We now have a new ‘legal’ back yard, a very pretty park and come away with a great sense of accomplishment.
Lara R Fitzpatrick
Bill Berube, Vernon