Ugly properties dog neighbours

Author wonders why some people should be allowed to bring property values down for others because of their unsightly properties.

Dear Editor

Are there different neighborhood priorities concerning “unsightly premises” in the Village of Ashcroft?

I think the answer to that question is a decided affirmative.

For example. If a potential real estate buyer, new to Ashcroft, sees property on an older side of town, that looks like it might be a promising investment, is it simply a toss of the dice that the investment will be protected by Village by-laws?  Well, yes. Because enforcement of by-laws might very well have a lot to do with the neighborhood one has chosen to invest in. The old part of town adjacent to the railroad track could be considered, if it is considered at all by Village Council, not worthy enough to be looked at as Council might look on other areas of the town. For instance, the Mesa Vista subdivision.

I can recall, not too many years ago, that area of north Ashcroft including the Battel sub division being labelled, “Dogpatch”. Now, “Dogpatch” today, with its well appointed homes and considerable financial investment made by property owners, can scarcely fit that epithet.

Why was this section of the village considered less desirable than others in years past? Well, nearness to the rodeo grounds, and the multi family dwelling probably had something to do with the label.

The point is, why are some areas of the Village not considered valuable enough to enforce bylaws that deal specifically with Unsightly Premises?

Our area villages have been embarked on projects that are meant to enhance and attract. Communities in Bloom for example. But we all know that there are areas of our villages that have lots with mud filled holes, roads without walkways. All the evidence of neglect to which tourists must be all too aware of. What is the good to have some of the main avenue areas flanked with flowers and trees, when just beyond, a few feet away, lies a quagmire which no self respecting person would enter?

Tingley Street is named after one of our most distinguished pioneers. Steve Tingley, of BX fame, who bought the Hat Creek Ranch stopping house and improved its interior with wall paper from France, and provided nourishing meals in the dining room to travellers, barns and livery stables for horses. Descendents of the family are still around.

Why are some Ashcroft neighborhoods allowed to become weed infested jungles, scrap yards for every kind of metal object, – conditions that would not be tolerated for one nano second by dwellers of other neighborhoods?

The question is, are our Councils willing to see their villages as a whole, instead of a series of parts, differentiated only by priorities?

Esther Darlington MacDonald

Ashcroft