WATCH: A fight over kids right to play in their own neighbourhood is brewing on a private Chemainus street. That’s where a strata property has just passed a new bylaw banning play in the street.
With three fun-loving boys aged nine and under, Brittny Townley’s front yard and street is a bubbly hive of activity. Yet she knows she could face fines for it since her Chemainus street’s strata passed a bylaw banning child play on the private street.
“Our kids aren’t allowed to bike ride,” said Townley. “They aren’t allowed to play any recreational activities on the street and they’re not allowed to play chalk.”
Word spread last week after the surprise vote at a strata meeting of Artisan Gardens. Several families on the street, who rent on it, say they weren’t aware of.
“And I was like pretty shocked,” said Townley.
“I didn’t understand why we hadn’t gotten any notices before. How we went from no notices, no problems, no warnings to it’s banned now.”
Her eight-year-old son is not impressed.
“They should just stop it,” said Michael Townley-Bergshoff.
Richard Ross and his wife just moved onto the street yesterday. He says the strata bylaw was a big surprise.
“Because when we first looked around there were kids all over and we thought it was kind of neat,” said Ross.
Artisan Gardens Strata Vice-President, Vandy Noble said the bylaw started innocently, after several close calls with children’s safety on the street.
“Their concern is for the safety of the kids,” said Noble.
“And I think it’s a little bit harsh in the wording on the bylaw.”
So Noble is trying to convince others on the board to make amendments to the bylaw and find some middle ground with the families who live here.
“Because it’s like parents against us seniors,” said Noble.
“And I feel like the liaison between the parents because I love the children.”
To keep the peace, Townley is spraying down any chalk art, once it’s complete and encouraging her kids to pick up everything quickly after play. She hopes that her neighbours will come around in the future.