EDITORIAL: A right neighbourly outcome in Sidney

As an example of neighbours acting in good faith, residents of Amelia Avenue in Sidney have decided to work among themselves first

As an example of neighbours acting in good faith, residents of Amelia Avenue in Sidney have decided to work among themselves first, to try and resolve a dispute over the size of a potential house renovation.

An email to the News Review prior to Monday night’s Sidney town council meeting made it seem like there would be all sorts of fireworks at the meeting. To the credit of the home owner and his neighbours — that didn’t happen.

The owner wants to expand his home. The neighbours don’t want anything he does to seriously impact their quality of life. It’s a typical scenario which can sometimes set neighbour against neighbour and put a municipal government in the unenviable position of having to adjudicate and often end up being the bad guy.

In this case, the respect shown by all sides in the matter is the ideal outcome early in this process. Sidney town council was able to facilitate the neighbours talking with each other by simply putting off debate for the time being. Town staff will sit in on the discussions, but on the sidelines. The main negotiations, it appears, will happen between neighbours. And if their discussion is anything like the civil discourse seen at Monday’s meeting, the home owner should be able to make the changes he deems necessary and his neighbours should be comfortable with how it will take shape.

The town, then, would be in a position to ensure local regulations are adhered-to without angering either side.

With the compromise reached outside of the political arena, folks can take ownership in the outcome and neighbourly relations can be maintained.

That is an excellent bottom line and an example that homeowners should learn from, should change come their way.