Hurlburt Park shelter invading neighbour’s privacy

LETTER: Resident upset with City of Vernon actions, pushing shelter next to neighbour’s property

Who wants to spend their day at the beach up against someone’s private home?

The Hurlburt Park plans to incorporate an additional public activities shelter in their park design that will bring the public from the beach up to a private home. Why wasn’t the closeness of the private home considered in this plan? Public activities areas have thus far, been built at a respectful distance away from private homes. If this close placement is successful, it will have an impact on the homeowners, plus this can happen elsewhere in the future and private residents will not be able to stop them. Is this OK for our Vernon elected city officials to deny these Vernon taxpayers their rights to privacy? The homeowners have lived there for over 50 years, and they are being very supportive of the public park and they will use it as well and the homeowners have not minded the public noise at the beach. But there is no need to make this park an unnecessary unpleasant experience for them or the public by drawing the public up against their home. The noise will infiltrate into the house at such a close range. The area is a great beach and lake access so that is its main natural attraction and reason people have been going to this lake area, so why bring the public away from the beach and up too close to a private home? This does not make sense and it deliberately imposes an impact on the residents. The argument that they are omitting this resident rights to privacy so that the public can have a gathering area is discrimination.

When going out to have a look we saw this planned area is not just too close to the house but in comparing it with the preliminary plans they made the house outline look further away then it actually is. Therefore the public and the city council members are not aware of the real closeness in proximity the planned public activities area is to the home. I have included a photo. The fenced area beside the house is where they plan to have the public activities area. It is also worth noting the resident is handicapped so they are vulnerable as they can’t just get up and leave their home if the noise becomes too loud. That is placing this person into a very uncomfortable situation. The planner’s claim that this was the only flat area in the park for an activities area, is debateable as the other photo demonstrations there is plenty of flat land away from the home and flood zones. The people who frequently use this beach say there is really no need for a public gathering area here, as it is a perfect natural beach and lake front section.

It is ironic that our community officials say they want more access for the public to the lakefront, but they want to concentrate people around a private home! This makes no sense as we go out to this sort of natural beach park to be amongst nature and not to be up against someone’s house. Granting undue power to people who think these privacy issues do not exist or count is civic bullying and is no better than school yard bullying, it is all discriminative actions, and is this what we want to portray as a community! If this part of the plan succeeds I will take my family elsewhere for our beach experience, as I will not teach my kids that this is OK, to be a part of something that is knowingly negatively effecting the home life of a fellow private citizen, as they will think this form of bullying is OK.

I do not want to be put in the involuntarily position of making these peoples lives difficult. This Machiavellianism attitude should not exist or be reflected in our community or elected Vernon City council. Surely our Vernon council does not intentionally wish to send this type of negative message to the Vernon community, because this is an example of discrimination against these homeowners no matter how they dress it up. I am pretty sure they would fight against it if it were next to their home. Concentrating on the beach area to accommodate the public will not only enhance the park’s natural gifts it will save taxpayers money. This park could be a jewel for the public and the park’s neighbourhood if the park design is revised and incorporates the consideration of the wellbeing of existing residents as well.

Concerned Vernon citizen

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