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Old 01.09.2011, 12:03
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A Playground Next to Our House - EEK!

We live in a lively neighbourhood with lots of children and plenty of noise. With 3 dogs and a cockatoo we are one of the quieter ones.

Now there are plans to build a playground on a small empty lot very near to our house. The sticks went up recently and the plans are at the commune office for viewing. The land is privately owned and is the balance of a lot where there is currently a house rented out by the commune. It is not in the village centre or near the school.

The two direct neighbours, who were sent the building plans as required, are objecting for a variety of reasons, the main one being the constant noise. They feel a playground will affect the value of their house. They have hired a lawyer to block the project.

Talking to various neighbours I get different opinions. The ones with young children are thrilled. They think a playground will add to the value of our house and help sell it. We feel differently but perhaps that is because we don't have young children. Our house was built with 5 others at the same time 22 years ago, we share a private road and at the end of that a small playset was built, but no one uses it anymore as the kids are all bigger now. There are lots of kids as the houses have at least 5 bedrooms and are very attractive to families with children. We have discussed with the neighbours to make use of the space with the playset for motorbikes.

While we don't object to the need for a playground, we just feel this playground is not going to be in the ideal location. Objecting is going to make us very unpopular with the neighbours. We are 3 doors away from the playground but we will hear the noise.

We worry how this will affect the sale of our house. What should we do?
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Old 01.09.2011, 12:06
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Re: A Playground Next to Our House - EEK!

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We live in a lively neighbourhood with lots of children and plenty of noise. With 3 dogs and a cockatoo we are one of the quieter ones.

Now there are plans to build a playground on a small empty lot very near to our house. The sticks went up recently and the plans are at the commune office for viewing. The land is privately owned and is the balance of a lot where there is currently a house rented out by the commune. It is not in the village centre or near the school.

The two direct neighbours, who were sent the building plans as required, are objecting for a variety of reasons, the main one being the constant noise. They feel a playground will affect the value of their house. They have hired a lawyer to block the project.

Talking to various neighbours I get different opinions. The ones with young children are thrilled. They think a playground will add to the value of our house and help sell it. We feel differently but perhaps that is because we don't have young children. Our house was built with 5 others at the same time 22 years ago, we share a private road and at the end of that a small playset was built, but no one uses it anymore as the kids are all bigger now. There are lots of kids as the houses have at least 5 bedrooms and are very attractive to families with children. We have discussed with the neighbours to make use of the space with the playset for motorbikes.

While we don't object to the need for a playground, we just feel this project is not the ideal location. Objecting is going to make us very unpopular with the neighbours. We are 3 doors away from the playground but we will hear the noise.

We worry how this will affect the sale of our house. What should we do?
You might find that you would never find a buyer for your house if it's only being looked at by retired or childless couples but your house would probably be snapped up by a family with young kids.

I agree with you that it might be noisy but most kids are hauled off home in time for dinner, bath and bedtime and you'd probably get your peace again at 6 or 7 in the evening. Not a great solution but may not be as bad as you think.
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Old 01.09.2011, 12:15
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Re: A Playground Next to Our House - EEK!

Think of it like this: instead of having the kids play on the street in front of your house they'll be three doors down on the playground.
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Old 01.09.2011, 12:15
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Re: A Playground Next to Our House - EEK!

Well I dont think its the end of the world for your property value. And if it is? You can always petition to have the thing taken down in the future (lest it accidentally get doused with 95 octane just as youre lighting a cigaretto).

But my suggestion would be to find an alternate "better" location and see if thats more popular with the neighbors. I have kids and from my perspective a nice park anywhere within 200m of the house is comfortable.



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We live in a lively neighbourhood with lots of children and plenty of noise. With 3 dogs and a cockatoo we are one of the quieter ones.

Now there are plans to build a playground on a small empty lot very near to our house. The sticks went up recently and the plans are at the commune office for viewing. The land is privately owned and is the balance of a lot where there is currently a house rented out by the commune. It is not in the village centre or near the school.

The two direct neighbours, who were sent the building plans as required, are objecting for a variety of reasons, the main one being the constant noise. They feel a playground will affect the value of their house. They have hired a lawyer to block the project.

Talking to various neighbours I get different opinions. The ones with young children are thrilled. They think a playground will add to the value of our house and help sell it. We feel differently but perhaps that is because we don't have young children. Our house was built with 5 others at the same time 22 years ago, we share a private road and at the end of that a small playset was built, but no one uses it anymore as the kids are all bigger now. There are lots of kids as the houses have at least 5 bedrooms and are very attractive to families with children. We have discussed with the neighbours to make use of the space with the playset for motorbikes.

While we don't object to the need for a playground, we just feel this playground is not going to be in the ideal location. Objecting is going to make us very unpopular with the neighbours. We are 3 doors away from the playground but we will hear the noise.

We worry how this will affect the sale of our house. What should we do?
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Old 01.09.2011, 12:20
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Re: A Playground Next to Our House - EEK!

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While we don't object to the need for a playground, we just feel this playground is not going to be in the ideal location.
Can you suggest a better location? and explain objectively (i.e. without any reference whatsoever to your own property value) why the first location is non-ideal?

If you want to register an objection and still have a prayer of retaining your philoprogenitive neighbors' goodwill, that is what you will have to do.

Good luck
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Old 01.09.2011, 12:23
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Re: A Playground Next to Our House - EEK!

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You might find that you would never find a buyer for your house if it's only being looked at by retired or childless couples but your house would probably be snapped up by a family with young kids.
I suppose. Even though we have a fenced yard where kids can play safely, it would be impossible to install the kind of equipment planned for the playground. Many of our neighbours have swing sets and trampolines.

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I agree with you that it might be noisy but most kids are hauled off home in time for dinner, bath and bedtime and you'd probably get your peace again at 6 or 7 in the evening. Not a great solution but may not be as bad as you think.
The plan is to have a sign with usage times. But this will not be monitored and there won't be a locked gate. On the weekends it will be from early morning.
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Old 01.09.2011, 12:24
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Re: A Playground Next to Our House - EEK!

I live next to a playground and love it. It gives the neighbourhood a roomy feeling, kids don't play that much in the playground so it's basically quiet and it's a great place to sit for a moment.

Negatives: Yearly costs for maintenance
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Old 01.09.2011, 12:33
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Re: A Playground Next to Our House - EEK!

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Can you suggest a better location? and explain objectively (i.e. without any reference whatsoever to your own property value) why the first location is non-ideal?
When I looked at the plans I met with someone from the Gemeinde and asked about all the alternate locations, including the former location of the playground near the village centre, behind the post office. That structure was taken down a few years ago. Apparently that location is not an option anymore. The direct neighbours are thinking very hard about other locations.

Perhaps we will not object but just ask for some conditions, like a mandatory 30 zone on the street, and a parking ban. We already have loads of kids playing near the road, with a playground there will be more. We already live on a busy road and parked cars are a problem for other motorists, cyclists and the horses.

I had completely forgotten, but the kids reminded me of something. Years ago when the kids were very small we lived next to a park with a playground. There was a wall between our house and the park and lots of trees.

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If you want to register an objection and still have a prayer of retaining your philoprogenitive neighbors' goodwill, that is what you will have to do.
Good luck
Amongst the 6 houses we have a total of 17 kids! Perhaps there is just one who is still not too old for such a playground. The rest of the neighbours on the street have many kids....so many families with twins for some reason.
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Old 01.09.2011, 12:38
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Re: A Playground Next to Our House - EEK!

maybe i haven't understood, but if the direct neighbours are already objecting, can't you just sit back and let them get on with it?
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Old 01.09.2011, 12:44
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Re: A Playground Next to Our House - EEK!

Because your house is so obviously a family home, I think this will ... if anything .. increase the desirability of your house (but not necessarily the value .. having had our house recently valued and having tried to understand the formula they use for valuation here, there does not seem to be much of an uplift for things like amenities, pleasantness of the area or .. in our case .. a stunning view stretching for miles and miles across the Jura hills ... unbelievable but true..).

I find that good parks in CH are few and far between .. far better provision in France and the UK for example .. although places do seem now to be catching up .. so I think a good park would be a definite plus for a family house. We take a bus to the lovely new park in the next door town .. it is a spacious and beautifully constructed garden and shady tree area. We take a snack and the children love playing in the little (artificial) stream and the climbing frame etc. I love lazing under a tree. It really is most tranquil and pleasant, with for the most part, just the sound of happy children. So as regards the noise, I reallly would not worry in the slightest.
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Old 01.09.2011, 12:46
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Re: A Playground Next to Our House - EEK!

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maybe i haven't understood, but if the direct neighbours are already objecting, can't you just sit back and let them get on with it?
We could. As we are 6 houses together (3 + 3) and close by, since the houses are attached, I think they were expecting our support. They know we are not the type to just sit quiet. We have been very vocal about other problems, the main one was the horse owners not clearing up after their horses and thanks to us the situation is a lot better. We wrote letters, and cited the law, and finally the commune called a meeting of the owners of the 14 horse farms nearby and then they were sent a letter informing them that there will be fined for not cleaning up the horse poo.

I guess you could say we are not the sitting back type.
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Old 01.09.2011, 12:50
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Re: A Playground Next to Our House - EEK!

I wouldn't object - largely because the ensuing neighborhood war could have an even worse effect on property values.

Instead, I'd try to turn this into a positive.

Can you think of something that could be added to the proposal to make the playground more of a neighborhood asset, for families who would use the space as well as those who would not? Equipment, regulations, etc.? If so, try to get those things added into the proposal as a condition of your support.

Sandgrounder has an excellent point - a large house like yours is likely to be bought by families with children, a playground in the neighborhood will be an added attraction for such buyers. Truly family-friendly neighborhoods are in great demand - and short supply; a playground would clearly advertise prevailing neighborhood values to a prospective buyer. I do think it would add to your home's value.

Even childless folks like me would be thrilled to have a lively, noisy playground in the neighborhood - the silence here gets me down; the sound of kids having a good time is something very much missing from too many neighborhoods here, IMO.
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Old 01.09.2011, 12:53
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Re: A Playground Next to Our House - EEK!

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I agree with you that it might be noisy but most kids are hauled off home in time for dinner, bath and bedtime and you'd probably get your peace again at 6 or 7 in the evening. Not a great solution but may not be as bad as you think.
But then starts the problems.

A playground not far from where my in-laws live is regularly taken over by yoofs after the kiddies have gone home in the evening and they sit there until very late at night talking loudly, playing music and sometimes smoking pot. They don't control their dogs and sometimes these can get loud and there is always dog poop and broken bottles in the morning (and on one occasion there were bloodstains all over one of the benches), which is a reason many parents don't let their children play there (and what's the value of a playground that children can't use?). I can imagine that that is something people are more worried about than little kiddies playing and that it is something that can devalue a property.

Are any measures planned to prevent that? Remember the sweet little kiddies of today can be the ill-educated anti-social yoofs of tomorrow and will that put off the next generation of parents moving in with little kiddies?

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Old 01.09.2011, 12:55
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Re: A Playground Next to Our House - EEK!

The problem as I see it from bitter experience is not kids in the day, but teenagers in the evenings.

Oddly such playgrounds are a magnet for teenagers who will smoke and drink there and generally make a noise.

Thus I would ensure there are some rules posted as to age of those using the playground and hours when it can be used. And if possible have it locked at night - but the problem is who would do that??

If you don't have children, I'd object...
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Old 01.09.2011, 13:04
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Re: A Playground Next to Our House - EEK!

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But then starts the problems.

A playground not far from where my in-laws live is regularly taken over by yoofs after the kiddies have gone home in the evening and they sit there until very late at night talking loudly, playing music and sometimes smoking pot. They don't control their dogs and sometimes these can get loud and there is always dog poop and broken bottles in the morning (and on one occasion there were bloodstains all over one of the benches), which is a reason many parents don't let their children play there (and what's the value of such a playground for families?). I can imagine that that is something people are more worried about than little kiddies playing and something that can devalue a property.

Are any measures planned to prevent that? Remember the sweet little kiddies of today can be the ill-educated anti-social yoofs of tomorrow and will that put off the next generation of parents moving in with little kiddies?
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The problem as I see it from bitter experience is not kids in the day, but teenagers in the evenings.

Oddly such playgrounds are a magnet for teenagers who will smoke and drink there and generally make a noise.

Thus I would ensure there are some rules posted as to age of those using the playground and hours when it can be used. And if possible have it locked at night - but the problem is who would do that??

If you don't have children, I'd object...
Yep, that's the problem right there. Even in the sleepy suburbs of Lausanne, our local playground is often littered with empty beer cans and cigarette butts from the local teenagers that hang out there at night. These days, I hardly see any actual children playing there because of it.
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Old 01.09.2011, 13:14
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Re: A Playground Next to Our House - EEK!

I agree with the teenager thing I don't mind little kids playing so much, as in a few years I hope to have some of my own. If this concerns you I would take that up with whoever is in charge. Maybe like a few others said, suggest it would be locked at night, maybe by local police who can give it an air of authority. I dunno....I've made it clear before, the teens here really irk me!
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Old 01.09.2011, 13:24
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Re: A Playground Next to Our House - EEK!

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The problem as I see it from bitter experience is not kids in the day, but teenagers in the evenings.

Oddly such playgrounds are a magnet for teenagers who will smoke and drink there and generally make a noise.

Thus I would ensure there are some rules posted as to age of those using the playground and hours when it can be used. And if possible have it locked at night - but the problem is who would do that??

If you don't have children, I'd object...
Exactly, the children are the least of your concern. It is the drinking/smoking/drug teens that will be the problem.

Our village recently put in a playground, in the center. No real problems for the playground, but the people living around there complain all the time about the smashed bottles, plants thrown in the fountain, general derelict activities of the teen youth, etc.

You should see how they plan to 'police' it, ie. strictly closed after X hour, surveillace by video, private security checks, etc. Even in the smallest quiet villages, these public places become a magnet for trouble.
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Old 01.09.2011, 13:28
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Re: A Playground Next to Our House - EEK!

This is getting me thinking, and sorry if this is off topic of the OP, but does anyone here have teenagers? How do you prevent them from turning into problem teens such as described above? I want to have kids but I am almost scared...
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Old 01.09.2011, 13:34
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Re: A Playground Next to Our House - EEK!

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This is getting me thinking, and sorry if this is off topic of the OP, but does anyone here have teenagers? How do you prevent them from turning into problem teens such as described above? I want to have kids but I am almost scared...
There's no magic formula and most teens rebel and become unruly, at least for a while. It's part of growing up and getting used to the new cocktail of hormones coursing through their bodies.

They reckon that giving a child stability, love, support and proper consistent boundaries is key to teaching them to work out what is right and wrong. The rest you have to muddle through and make it all up yourself.

I'm under no illusions that I will be somehow immune to making some whopping mistakes with my son as the years go by but I don't think I am alone in that thought.

For all other eventualities there is red wine and a moan to friends.
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Old 01.09.2011, 13:38
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Re: A Playground Next to Our House - EEK!

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This is getting me thinking, and sorry if this is off topic of the OP, but does anyone here have teenagers? How do you prevent them from turning into problem teens such as described above? I want to have kids but I am almost scared...
I spend lots and lots of time playing basketball here in Switzerland. Thats not normal for some one my age. But since I hang out at the parks here a couple of evenings a week I do get a chance to meet these "problem teens" all the time and have made friends with most of them.

In my experience they are almost all the children of foreigners. In my area all yugoslavians, Algerians and a couple of Polish kids. They are not bad kids. In particular the Algerian kids take care of their brothers and sisters very well.

But you cant expect a child to raise its self.

In all of the years I have lived here and known all of these kids not once have I met any of their parents. From talking to the kids their parents all work one or two jobs in order to have 2 cars and an apartment. They spend almost zero time with their kids. Do you know who talks to these kids about smoking? Me.... Im not their fuking mom. Yet Im the only one who has ever addressed that issue with them. These kids are 15 years old.

I made one Albanian kid (Who I know his father very very well) return stolen porn mags from the local BP. These kids arent criminals, they are just bored out of their minds. I personally think these kids dont get the love they need. Mom and dad dont get home until 9pm most nights.

But thats just my experience. Many of these kids dont drink or smoke or do drugs. They just get bored and want to show off for friends. They have no life inside their house. The job of parent is the most important in the world. You cant expect anyone or anything to raise your kids for you.
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