To that end, I am focusing today's entry on a local issue which could have national ramifications - Just how much government do we need running our lives?
Today's Kitchener Record has kindly provided a front page story and pic about the recent controversial decision of Kitchener City Council to ban the building of semi-detached houses with double garages in front, starting Jan. 1.
As you can see from the photo on the link, the semis appear to be all garage, with few windows to monitor the street. This has caused some complaints of esthetic and safety problems. Some people have even labelled them "ugly".
The homeowners are insulted that their homes would be regarded in this way. Dakota owner Carolyn Nesseth loves her home. Regarding the safety concern, she points out that their living room is situated on the floor above the garage and therefore affords a fine view of the street.
The Globe quotes Mayor Carl Zehr as protesting that he never used the word "ugly". It is more about aesthetics, he maintains. Sounds like political double-talk to me.
Of course the builder is livid. This has been a huge seller. The units are extremely affordable and of great value, considering the amenities.
Since beauty is indeed in the eye of the beholder, I really don't see the problem here. The free market will prevail. If people hate the appearance, nobody will buy and the houses won't sell. Period.
A further advantage to these homes is smaller lawn space, so the environmentalists should be happy - less pesticide use to argue about.
I also feel that city council should be trying to solve much greater problems such as the many downtown issues (drugs, crime, vacant stores and lots, etc.)
Can't help wondering, though, how those people in the "ugly" homes will be voting this fall.
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Hey, you even get to vote on the Record site. Register your opinion here.
Update @2:44 p.m. - Was Kitchener council right to ban double garages?
Yes - 41%
No - 59%
Are you listening Carl Zehr?
Update @ 7:44 p.m. Yes - 39% No - 61%
Read it and weep, Mayor Zehr! Why would you do this in an election year???