Beaconsfield city takes liberties with private property


by Rhonda Massad


The emerald ash borer is causing trouble EVERYWHERE it seems.  In the city of Beaconsfield the council has taken a “take no prisoners” approach to the nasty little critter that will kill all our ash trees – no matter what we do.


The primary concern is for the beauty of our tree canopy.  We have quite the canopy in Beaconsfield, second to none in my opinion – one of the primary reasons we stay and pay the ridiculous taxes.


To better protect the canopy the city took an apparent legal approach to taking inventory on private property.  They have the right to come on our property and take inventory when they feel the need and do not even have to ring the door bell to do it.  I was a bit concerned when this decsion was made.  I sent a little note to the council expressing my concerns that my two large dogs would not be too pleased to have an unexpected visitor.  They cannot tell the diference between a stranger and well a stranger!!  I warned the city that I would prefer they knocked, which is not required but a courtesy  and in my opnion not too much to ask.


The town of Baie D’Urfé is also  taking a similar approach to inventory of private trees, however, in the case of this town they offer the residents a chance to opt out.


I came home today, after leaving my son home alone for the afternoon, to find that the city had not rung the bell as I had requested.  They simply walked onto my fenced property and did as they chose.


Now, I know it doesn’t sound like a big deal, but when I had realized they had trepassed I felt really uncomfortable.  No permission required? Really?  What makes my city feel so entitled?  What makes it ok for anyone at anytime not ring the bell and be invited onto the property?  My son was alone and had he walked up on them he would have been startled.  Not fair.  Not in his own home.


The city has a great challenge on its hands to get a grip on the inventory of trees that will die no matter what they do.  It is simply a matter of delaying the inevitable.  The jury is still out on whether it is worth the trouble and expense to find out how many trees will die in any event.


But I would hope in a democratic society to have at the very least had the doorbell announce the presence of an intruder.  It may be legal but it is far from courteous.


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