Friday, November 2, 2012

You Just Never Know – who your neighbours are – Gilmour Street Peterborough

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You Just Never Know – who your neighbours are – Gilmour Street Peterborough
What started as a fun thing for their son to do… maybe something to keep him out of trouble has now escalated into an all-out feud between neighbours. The neighbours that live beside each other and the entire neighbourhood are now fighting.  Anger is boiling over in a small section of our city – on Gilmour Street.

You might have heard of the story because it is now world wide.  A teenager is regularly playing basketball outside his home in the driveway.  Actually practicing over and over again… and the constant thump, thump, thump is driving his neighbour crazy.

No one will listen to the neighbour’s complaint about the noise factor she is enduring.

The family with the Teen is feeling that they have every right to do as they like on their property.

The lady that is having trouble with the Teen next door has contacted her city officials and they have done nothing… at least that is what was reported in the news so far.

Now our City of Peterborough is becoming a laughing stock of late night TV –etc. Wait till David Letterman gets this one.

For those outside our City – in the rest of the world – Gilmour Street is known for a huge garage sale that the entire street participates in once a year.  Lots of good junk to buy – people tell me.  The perception is that these people that have money have good junk… DUH – it is junk – stuff that people don’t want any more.  And people that scrape and bow to this kind of society are still junk pickers… sorry ‘garage-salers’.

The Gilmour People could just take it to a charity in our community and give it away – but they want the money instead so they sell their junk at the curbside.

There is more than one attitude on Gilmour Street.  It is not just the lady that complains about noise. She is an outsider that moved here from somewhere else. From what I have read she could be a “Renter” (God help us all – specially people of the Gilmour Street) she doesn’t even own the house for goodness sake.

The neighbours with the teenagers complained after they got a stupid letter from a lawyer’s office, from the offended lady, demanding $25,000 in damages for the noise she has endured.

As I have read the constant dribble and writing about this event taking place I shake my head.  No one is really thinking about what is going on here.

The guy is a teenager. Besides all the good things that he could do in his teen life he also does some really silly things. AND he does fun things as well… like a bounce a silly basketball – over and over again.  He likely can’t play basketball very well or he would be playing with other teens at the Basketball Court not many blocks to the east of where he lives.

But remember he is a teenager… and getting to someone and bugging someone is ‘game on’. It is plain fun to bug that poor lady next door. I imagine that he is smiling each time he dribbles the ball. If he was good there would be pauses in between the ball bouncing as he shot hoops… but this constant dribbling tells you more… thump, thump, thump…

Not only is he not very good he is alone now. If there is a girlfriend she has had no effect on him at all. For if he had one he would be hanging out at her house and driving her parents crazy… and eating all their food.

Now the Teen’s parents have shown the kid what it means to have your own way and make sure that you know your rights.  My goodness the next part of his life will be something else to see. Wait till he becomes a Parent ( and that will happen)!!! He and his wife will make even more demands on their neighbours and will be even a bigger problem – because his parents have taught him well.

How do I know these things about a family that I have never met?  I have worked with Teens as a Youth Minister for a long time. They are Teens and they all go through similar things. They do drive parents insane and they sometimes take it out on neighbours too. They are Teens.

I could go on about this situation and dig deeper… but best to move on.  For now I just shake my head… and wonder about Gilmour Street. I should thank them on behalf of Peterborough – you have us all looking like a bunch of loonies.

For the outside world – we are not all that way.  Gilmour Street is different.  Our street has more open space and we tend to respect each other. But yes I have had a basketball net right next door and I know thump, thump, thump… but the kid grew up and is a nice guy now... but back then he was a teenager… and well… a bit of an idiot!  If he sees me now – he comes over to greet me and tell me what is happening now. WOW!

For your reading pleasure I have copied in the comments from CTV’s Web Site below.  Enjoy.

By the time you read this the Teen will likely have a girlfriend and be at her house hanging out and driving her parents nuts… the Gilmour Street people will still be hating each other… and that is Peterborough!!

Addendum to this story – posted Nov 3, 2012 It is Important to read
After completing this post and publishing the things that I had gleaned to date, the local News Paper – “Peterborough This Week” published an article with more of the story. This new bit of information truly adds more to the story.  I could say that it adds a balance to the story.  BUT it might be just better to say that it adds more to the story.

This added bit of information reveals more of how the total community of Peterborough is involved now – everyone knows what is going on.

This added bit of information also adds more to the story about the tenant that has been bothered by the noise level. Her former landlord speaks to the media about what he experienced.

Please click on this link to read even more “Basketball dispute receiving national attention”

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Nov. 1, 2012
11:33 AM
Charles Knowlton This is the issue people will side with someone who wants no noise there has to be give and take by both sides.
Nov. 1, 2012
11:05 AM
I think my issue with this is that the adults in the two households couldn't have a discussion and set boundaries that accommodated both parties? They could have had acceptable times set out or length of playing time. This is this boy's driveway. He has a right to be a kid/teenager in his driveway but let's also teach our kids respect. Ms. Langdon also has a right to feel at home in her home. I'm appalled that it has gone as far as it has.
Nov. 1, 2012
10:42 AM
I wouldn't compare basketball to hockey or soccer. . The sound of that ball hitting the ground probably shakes that old wowan's house from the foundation. If these people could talk to each other - I'm sure that the kid could keep his playing to certain times . . and the woman could head to the library to work . . With some good timing - they could both live in peace.
Nov. 1, 2012
10:37 AM
it's all about respect for your neigbours. go anne langdon. basketball is played in a gym or a real basketball court? what if there is a baby or somebody who works the nightshift and he needs to sleep during the day? i hope you win your case anne and i'm proud of you for having the balls to do it. it's not just that, it's the same as those playing hockey in the streets. my car was once hit by a puck and they were upset that i interrupted their game. where is respect from these kids? no wonder a lot these kids end up as end up as bums. blame it on lousy parenting. go find a real court kid.
Nov. 1, 2012
10:26 AM
Ms Langdon has argued and presented her case very badly, but repetitive noise and lack of consideration to our neighbors are legitimate complaints of urban living. In Langdon's complaint, if moving the basketball practice to a public court satisfied everyone, why not demonstrate the greater kindness? My neighbor takes the same type of position as the Elliot's -- that her family can do whatever they want, whenever they want in their yard and no one should "dictate" to them. As a result, we have been subjected to more than seven years of her son playing basketball for hours on end (one weekend for over six hours non-stop – both days) on a moveable net that was positioned to face my patio table and chairs. When we asked ONLY for the net to be moved to face their own yard their response – with expletives – was that errant balls would inconveniently go into their pool. Instead, they hit my dinner table with such frequency that the player became too embarrassed to ask for them back and I had over a dozen balls to donate to the boys and girls club. We were eventually compelled to plant a massive hedge at considerable cost to us to protect ourselves not from the noise (which was unrelenting and brutal) but from the constant physical threat of being hit. My neighbor's first action after the planting? To report us to bylaw for obstructing her view (with cedars – she doesn’t like trees). Add to that the constant screaming from day-long pool parties, the incessant trampoline noise, the use of power tools well past dinnertime and most recently the application of toxic chemicals during the dinner hour on a long weekend that sent guests at my house into allergic reactions so severe they had to be treated medically. Living next to people who take a non-compromising, inconsiderate, bully-boy attitude to their “rights” at the expense of anyone else’s is not something that we should have to accept as a by-product of city living. Since you can’t legislate common sense, kindness, thoughtfulness or consideration, perhaps there has to be bylaw protection that enforces minimum standards of compromise to allow everyone to be able to enjoy their property in peace.
Disbelieving MikeYYC
Nov. 1, 2012
10:00 AM
Three words: noise cancelling headphones. Seriously. Went to one of those big box stores (the yellow and blue one) and there's a certain brand that sounds like boss; bit of a price tag but even muffles aircraft engines. Environmental Commissioner...haha! PS: No, you CANNOT do "whatever you want" on your property. There are these things called laws and bylaws.
Nov. 1, 2012
9:58 AM
Earplugs people! Very inexpensive, very easy to store, not difficult to use and voila! Problem solved!! If I were the kid's parents, I'd buy a case of them every few months to the neighbor! Infact, my neighbor's kids used to play basketball all the time!
Nov. 1, 2012
9:58 AM
This would never happen in the country. Let him play ball. He could be doing much worse.
Nov. 1, 2012
9:55 AM
Hello, I listened to an interview with this lady yesterday on a Toronto radio station. In that interview she said this young man plays basketball 4 or 5 times a day for about 15 minutes at a time. Do the math, that is an hour or an hour and a half. I imagine this boy attends school and other events so at those times not playing basketball. I am very fortunate that my neighbours go out of their way to make sure he plays basketball in our driveway. They miss him if he has missed a day or two. My son will play for hours on end in the evening or weekend. I always make sure that it is not before 10am or after 9pm. Also, I should add we live in a gated 50+ community. If anything you would think they would want piece and quiet since they don't have kids but they love seeing a young person out enjoying themselves.
Nov. 1, 2012
9:44 AM
She CHOSE to live in a City where thousands of other people will also be living, working and playing. If you want complete silence move to the country. This is absurd.
Andrina Schuit
Nov. 1, 2012
9:42 AM
Nov. 1, 2012
9:41 AM
Really? it's a basketball and a net. The fact that this kid enjoys playing so much and spending time at home is a good thing. I hope this lady realizes how insignificant this issue is before she's laughed out of court.
Nov. 1, 2012
9:40 AM
JP Its people that want no noise that are part of the probleam its not all there fault but there a factor.
Nov. 1, 2012
9:38 AM
If she wins this could really change things this would impact everyone for exzample you want to cut you grass sorry be done once a week in mid afternoon the list goes on.
Nov. 1, 2012
9:35 AM
Marcel Part of the issue is some don't want any noise at all there not willing to give and take.
Nov. 1, 2012
9:28 AM
So, now it is primarily a blocked window? For 2 years, it has been noise. Has she been advised to back off from the basketball playing youth? Langdon's story changes to suit her. Many inconsistencies in her story
Nov. 1, 2012
9:19 AM
This is why you don't build a house on top of someone else's. The planet is big enough to have at least an acre of property, yet people build houses within 10 feet of each other. I do not feel sympathy for the complainant. If a young child playing basketball is ruining your life, there is something seriously wrong with that persons head.
Nov. 1, 2012
9:12 AM
Where's the property line? It sounds as easy as building a privacy fence to cut down the noise.
Nov. 1, 2012
9:10 AM
This lady needs a big dose of major construction going on right in front of her house from 8am to 6pm daily for awhile. Is she going to complain then to the powers that be and sue the city? Time for people to get along!
Nov. 1, 2012
9:09 AM
Oh please. The kid is playing basketball. Get over it. The board is blocking her view, of what, the brick wall of the next house. Please. This is absolutely silly and a waste of government resources.

Nov. 1, 2012
8:55 PM
ok i got a idea why not change rooms there is more rooms then the one by the driveway,i hope there is is there? won't that be ease on everyone? i think so
Jack (Wpg)
Nov. 1, 2012
8:19 PM
Really? We are trying to encourage the youth to be more active. This person is annoyed by that? Ear plugs lady.
Nov. 1, 2012
7:28 PM
Bedrooms are for sleeping. Not working . Any health expert will tell you that. Perhaps that's why some people are so extremely irritable and are so easily annoyed. Sleep deprived because they work out of the room meant for sleep. With these houses so close together, not much light would enter anyway. Who needs light in their bedrooms? Based on what the Toronto landlord reported , this lady has a history of trying to make other neighbors lives miserable. Can't imagine what it must be like to harbour so much bitterness.
Michael from Toronto
Nov. 1, 2012
4:48 PM
IMO, if you want to play basketball you should go to the public playground, hang around the school or community gym. A person's home should not be subjected to constant street sport noises. When you look at the tiny space where this "basketball practice" is taking place it's no wonder the noise is intolerable. Good for Ms. Langdon. I wish her all the best in her quest for justice.
Melli MacMIllian
Nov. 1, 2012
4:09 PM
Come on man! You see where the hoop and neighbour bedroom window is?! I am all for a kid to play ball, but in an appropriate space...that space is soooo not appropriate.
Nov. 1, 2012
3:38 PM
Doesn't one's freedom stop where someone else's rights starts? What if I want to play loud music 24/7 from 9 am to 10 pm on my property, just because I can? Everybody has to compromise when living in a city. What went wrong here? Were the neighbours unsympathetic to this woman's pleas for peace and quiet? How did this situation escalate to this point? Erecting a wooden panel right in front of her window for months at a time wasn't especially neighbourly, maybe that's why?
Nov. 1, 2012
3:34 PM
To the people suggesting that the Elliott's are not being considerate of their neighbour: you have not read the entire story. I suggest doing so prior to making rash judgements. The Elliott's have over the past four years made several attempts at accomodating Langdon, who is, just to be clear, only a RENTER. She moved into the well-established family neighbourhood knowing that a) there was a basketball net and b) there were young children living on both sides of her. The Elliott's stopped parking beside her window becuase the smell of their car bothered her (sensitive to odour). They stopped using their porch light at night because the light bothered her (hypersensitive to light). This has nothing to do with the Elliott's and I am positive that even if the ball stopped, that Langdon would find something else to complain about. This is her problem. The Elliott's have taken several steps to accomodate. And now that she is demanding 25 thousand dollars, they are FINALLY fighting back.
Nov. 1, 2012
3:01 PM
Wow, i sided with the basketball player when first hearing the story but look at that net and window. Did you see the wooden barrier they constructed in front of the window too? hideous. I'd complain too and if you ask me the Elliots are jerks for erecting a net right outside the neighbours window and then erecting a big wooden barrier and placing it in front of her window. Summary: Elliots = Inconsiderate Jerks too!
Nov. 1, 2012
2:53 PM
D.K. Lindsay
Nov. 1, 2012
2:50 PM
Instead of the boy going to a park why does she not go to the library to work . It is quiet in there. Or she can move to a 50+ community. Very little basketball playing there.
Nov. 1, 2012
1:57 PM
it could be worse than this if the kids will be bringing his friends and having party just enough to be in the by-law for noise volume and maximum day time (this is a real problem) People just rather know the kid is out somewhere and doing whatever then knowing he's safe just outside the windows. People just think about themselves these days.
Nov. 1, 2012
1:51 PM
Symptomatic of a large scale human disease : noise is classified as a right not as a nuisance. Noise should be considered just as second hand smoking is. Don't they have basketball playgrounds in Peterborough?
Nov. 1, 2012
1:47 PM
A social repercussion of too much urban density. With many major Canadian cities becoming crowded with over priced too-small-per-square-foot dwellings, people naturally become overly sensitive and protective of their surroundings. A tipping point really. Living in Vancouver, I know this all too well. If this woman is suggesting the boy head to the public park to play basketball instead of his own driveway, maybe she should consider doing her work at an actual office rather than in an apartment zoned for residential use. I think that any court would say that basketball is a reasonable activity for a residential area.
Nov. 1, 2012
1:10 PM
Why doesn't she just put up a fence between the two gates.
Nov. 1, 2012
12:51 PM
A while ago Bridgestone made a super silent basketball as a promo item for a superbowl comercial...maybe with enough media attention they would make one for you I think it's called turanza basketball Good luck
Nov. 1, 2012
12:18 PM
Haha, re: Jordin comment for Langdon to move to the country...wait till rutting season or the wolves when they call out for their mates. She will call to have a cull on them for too much noise. Some People you can just Never please until every one else is as unhappy as ( Her).
Kevin Flack
Nov. 1, 2012
12:04 PM
100% she is going to lose this one and so she's just wasting her own money filing the complaint. She could easily get headphones, it's not like he's playing basketball at 2AM. Apparently this kid is only playing for about an hour a day anyway..... many many other worse things could be happening to this lady, she just needs to chill out!!
Nov. 1, 2012
11:56 AM
T2000 If she wins just be ready this will open the doors for even more complaints by people and were going to see many more issues.
Nov. 1, 2012
11:37 AM
I do side with the neighbor who put in the complaint. I can not tell how annoying it is to hear a group of high schools students bouncing a ball from 10:30 pm to midnight. My husband has gone out to speak to the neighbours. I also have called the police to see what we could do. The boys have grown up and are now not outside on a nightly basis but since the incident out families do not speak to eachother.
Nov. 1, 2012
11:35 AM
Mike When i was young we would play street hockey mid afternoon very little noise 3 times we had bylaw called on us they came and we were told we did nothing wrong but had to move to the park.

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