Mono refusing to act on unsightliness

November 3, 2016   ·   0 Comments

The past two issues of the Citizen have contained Letters to the Editor which have caught my eye.  The first, from Karen Scully, warning of tax increases because of the NEC expansion in our area . And then, Carl Tafel’s letter carefully explained the percentage of increase in our taxes because of this expansion. I wanted to learn more, for as an owner of property and taxpayer of Mono, I need to be better informed and am often not.

That such beautiful land existed an hour north of Toronto is not something I was aware of growing up in the west end of Toronto, for my corridor north was always Highway 27.  Prior to 28 years ago, when I moved from the city to the countryside of Mono, this area was never more than the birthplace of my late in-laws, Maude and Ed Small.  And I am still, years later, overwhelmed by its beauty driving the country roads, of its hills and valleys, of the seasons of the year, even winter takes on its own beauty in the silence of the countryside.  Yet, this past year, I have learned more about the present bylaws in Mono and have come to realize, with a disappointing reality that local municipalities here in Dufferin have not kept up with the changes and expectations of its present population. 

Last fall, new neighbours moved into the property to the south of us.  With them came an evolving collection of numerous used cars and trucks, all parked close to my property line.  With them, also came three very large boats which are stored but not used, again, close to my property line.   And with this, as assessed by two real estate agents, now a third, I have watched my financial investment in my home and property being devalued by a neighbour’s concept of what he is entitled to do on his property here in Mono.   And Mono, with their bylaws, allow this.   

I have spent $3,000 this past summer, blocking out the visual impact of my neighbour’s property.   Not only has it impacted on my financial investment, it has affected my bed & breakfast guests who come here to experience the beauty of our countryside.  And  I’ve since learned that Mono is not in charge of any lands that fall under the governance of the NEC, thus, as we are on the Protected Area of the NEC, I now depend upon the NEC to protect my investment here in my land. 

Dogs which are properly kennelled out-of-doors on the next property year-round, bark at night, to which my dogs respond indoors and after several sleepless nights, I am told by Mono to contact the OSPCA for any complaints I may  have.  It would appear that Mono downloads their responsibilities to various other organizations, which may be the way of the world these days. 

And so I ask myself, if I am paying taxes to Mono on a piece of property that is being devalued by the concept and condition of my neighbour’s property, which Mono’s present bylaws do not address, I wonder if any of Mono’s town councillors would appreciate finding themselves in a similar position to my own?  Those of us who live in Mono are aware of the various visual messes and appalling condition of certain residents’ properties.  One on the 3rd Line just south of the Hockley Road comes to mind, another, at the corner of the 4th line and 20th Sideroad.  The mess that I live beside is farther back off the road and not visible to anyone but ourselves.

Headwaters Tourism promotes Dufferin County as being “worlds apart and a perfect destination for a country getaway”.  I wonder how long this is going to be true.   

Thanks to the Citizen I am more aware of what is going on in my community, but without these letters to the editor, how am I to be kept informed?

Sandra Small Proudfoot

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