- Our Town
Island views that attract us here are worth protecting
To the Editor:
On a recent episode of the TV show “ Love it or list it “ from Vancouver, the commentator mentioned that the first question asked about coastal communties is “What about the view?”
We had a house by the sea in Italy and the neighbours living on the slope of the hill behind us had the right to maintain their view of the sea. The municipality insisted that no trees could go above a certain height to protect every citizen’s right to enjoy the view and safeguard the value of their home. It was calculated that each window with sea view added the equivalent of $100,000 to a property.
In a small island such as ours, where residents rightly consider the welfare of their neighbours a matter of civilized behaviour, there should be no occasion of refusing to accede to a neighbour’s request to maintain their original view when the growth of evergreens starts to block it.
Simply allowing qualified arborists to trim some branches during the most suitable months, to avoid disturbing nesting birds, would resolve the distress caused by the gradual encroaching of a green barrier that obliterates the joy of an open view to the water and/or mountains.
As one cannot rely on every neighbour’s sense of fair play, surely one could expect that our local council would be able to enact a by-law to protect the rights of residents to keep their original view (proven with photos or videos and at their own expense) which was often the reason they bought or built in the first place.