MARK KIESLING: Robert Frost aside, fences don't always make good neighbors

2012-08-06T00:00:00Z MARK KIESLING: Robert Frost aside, fences don't always make good neighbors nwitimes.com
August 06, 2012 12:00 am

From one point, Lisa Bombadetti's backyard looks idyllic.

Yep. If you look north in her Robin's Nest subdivision in Cedar Lake. But look south, and you will get an entirely different view.

North, you see greenery and trees. But look south and you get a well-purification station that has a kind of block of the charm of a federal prison.

"I don't have parties any more," said Rose, "It's too embarrassing."

She also has six grandchildren, which makes the presence of a barbed wire even more perturbing.

Rose and her her husband bought the house 10 years ago, but at that time, the station was covered in trees, some of which have been pulled out.

In February, the town added a fence around the station, which from one perspective is necessary but from another is annoying.

On one hand, the fence does discourage kids from messing with the station. On the other hand, it makes the place look like a prison.

And it may be in violation of a town ordinance, which reads that in a residential area "maximum height shall not exceed six feet."

According to the nurse during my last visit to the doctor, I was five feet and six inches tall. The fence way above my head by at least six inches.

But not only does the fence exceed the maximum height. There also is the problem of its construction.

It's a cyclone fence (which is OK in a backyard), but it is topped with the aforementioned barbed wire.

Cedar Lake town ordinance says residential fences should not be made out of hazardous material, such as barbed wire or electrically charged material.

An exception could be made in the name of "homeland security," but I don't see al-Quida terrorists targeting the Cedar Lake water supply.

Maybe they know something that I don't, though. You never know these days.

At any rate, the view from the house to the north is beautiful, and the view to the south is a little less so.

"Our value is ruined," Rose said. "It's garbage. It's got to be cut in half."

Town officials said all has been done according to law and within security guidelines.

And I have absolutely seen worse places to live by far. But that doesn't mean the town can't plant a few trees to cover up its back end.

The opinions are solely those of the writer. He can be reached at mark.kiesling@nwi.com or (219) 933-4170.

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