I was wondering if anyone has had any experiences with The Ontario Line Fence Act. From what I can gather, I can make an application to have Fenceviewers come out and look at the issues/fencing type and they sort of arbitrate for the parties involved. Anyone used this? I know it costs 100.00 to make an application.
A couple of years ago I had problems with the kids next door climbing the fence/throwing stuff into the paddock/jumping out from behind bushes to make the horses run and etc. When I posted about it there was the usual gammet of responses from Call the cops to be a good neighbour and involve the kids with the horse care. I took a middle road. I spoke to the kids and their parents about safety, about horses being flight animals, all in a civil, polite manner. I also spoke to the township by-law officer, just to have something on file(due dilligence and all) I also talked to the neighbours about changing the fence to something better for horses and kids, but they were not interested in sharing costs or labour.
Fast forward to March Break. I heard the kids screaming, so went down toward the barn to investigate. Three kids in the paddock hith the horses 7-9 years old). When I called to them they made a beeline for their property without responding. I drove over and found that they had come over to retrieve an arrow from a compound bow they had 'accidentally' shot over the fence into the paddock.
Again, in a civil and polite manner I spoke to the Mom's of both families involved. The young lad with the compound bow ignored the whole conversation and continued to shoot his bow into the lawn and toward his Mother and me during our discussion. At one point Mom quipped"I don't think he's listening to a word we're saying". At that point, still leaving on a civil and safety concern note, I came home and called the police. The police came,(next day) we talked, the constable went over to talk to families, but no one was home. Police card was left for the folks to call. I haven't heard anything since. I also wrote a letter to the township by-law officer.
I now have 400 feet of fencing to change to something safer for my horses and ultimately for the kids. Ordinarily I would have foot the entire bill for the fence as it is my paddock fence that abuts their property(a one acre lot from the corner of my property). Now that I have to consider something more solid, taller, unclimbable(well, much less climbable) I feel like my neighbours should make some contribution to the added expenditure. Thus my question about the Ontario Line Fences Act. I am going to give them the opportunity to help voluntarily. A letter is drafted and ready to go out by registered mail on Monday. Although I feel uncomfortable about this formal process with my own neighbours, the OPP constable asked this pertinent question" Would you feel less uncomfortable to come home to a broken and hurt child lying in your field"? or giving your neighbours a heads up about the realities of livestock and trespassing? Good point Constable.
Long winded, but perhaps it makes the whole Ontario Line Fences Act scenario a little more reasonable rather than me as the Biatch Neighbour from Hell.