The Westwood Plateau Community Association (WPCA) is disappointed with Coquitlam city council's decision to do nothing about a set of deteriorating fences along the so-called "animal streets" of the plateau.
Tom Cox from the WPCA appeared before city council June 18 regarding the replacement of a 16-year-old fence that runs along the properties of approximately 70 homes on Blackbear Court, Bobcat Place, Coyote Court, Bighorn Place, Pike Court, Grizzly Place, Cougar Court, Alpine Lane and Elk Place, just off Pinetree Way.
The fence, constructed in 1996 by an independent builder, was designed to give neighbours privacy. However, over the years the wood fence has deteriorated considerably.
According to Cox, there are discolouration and holes - mainly due to wear and tear - while other areas have become loose from bears that roam the area.
To further complicate matters, fence posts don't line up with property lines, making it impossible for individual residents to replace just one section of the fence.
A majority of residents on the nine affected streets agree the fence is in desperate need of replacement, Cox said.
"We strongly feel that with the lead of the city [and] creative thinking, a suitable decision can be found - to find a way around the current impairments that are hindering a solution," said Cox, noting that neighbours still want the fence to look uniform.
However, the fence was built on private property, so the city is not responsible for its maintenance or even legally allowed to replace it.
"This is a difficult situation because there are private property rights involved," said Coun. Mae Reid.
"Replacing it is their responsibility and their cost."
Of the 55 homeowners the association has spoken with, 53 are in favour of replacing the fence, even if they have to open their own wallets.
"It would have been a neutral expense to the city. They would hire a contractor to build the fence and then bill homeowners," Cox said.
Since that won't be happening, though, Cox said he hopes to move forward with the project without the help of the city.
"We'll talk to neighbours and see what they want to do," he said, adding that Coun. Selina Robinson's suggestion of replacing the fence in chunks is an option they will explore.
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