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Neighborhood Bans Kids From Playing Outside, And There's Nothing Anyone Can Do About It

Christa Howard

When you were a child, chances are you remember spending time outside whenever the weather permitted.

There was nothing better than gathering all of your friends and playing sports, making chalk drawings, or even laying on the grass just outside your house.

However, one neighborhood has banned kids from playing in the roadways - and their decision is legal.

Those who live in the Artisan Gardens, a strata community in Vancouver Island, Canada were told several activities such as hockey, baseball, basketball, skateboarding, chalk drawing, and biking are no longer allowed.

An executive council, who makes the neighborhood rules on behalf of the homeowners, decided to implement the bylaw after safety concerns over the children playing in the streets emerged. It was voted on 15 to four.

"Any use of a roadway for any purpose other than access to and from strata lots and, where permitted, for parking is prohibited," the bylaw reads. "Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, a roadway may not be used for play, including hockey, baseball, basketball, skateboarding, chalk artistry, bicycling or other sports and recreational activities."

However, several parents disagree with the decision, believing it'll negatively impact the close-knit community.

"I am extremely upset as when we purchased our home two years ago, this was a family-oriented neighborhood," Christa Howard told Global News.

"I have a four-year-old who is learning to ride a bike and draws chalk on the road all the time. I even feel kind of attacked," she added.

Vandy Noble is a 66-year-old grandmother who lives in the neighborhood and is the vice president of the strata council. Noble told the National Post that she voted against the bylaw because while a child's safety is her primary concern, it's too "harsh."

"There is a blind corner here, and so there had been a few near misses with cars with the kids riding their bikes," she said. "But the bylaw is a bit harsh. We're trying to calm down the situation and reach a compromise."

"Yes, there are a lot more seniors living here, but the kids are what gives this place life," Noble continued. "And if the older residents wanted a more adult-oriented neighborhood — maybe they should choose to live somewhere else."

What is a strata community?

For those unfamiliar with strata properties, it's easy to classify them as different than a private property, where the homeowner is in charge of making their own rules involving their residence and is in charge of its upkeep.  

Although families have individual living spaces in a strata, there are self-governed strata councils that set bylaws and "make spending decisions on insurance, cleaning and landscaping, among other expenses."

However, these benefits come with one drawback: all bans, including quiet hours and smoking bans must be followed.

"Under Ontario’s Condominium Act, boards of directors have the right to make bylaws that restrict the use and enjoyment of other people in the condominium, and how they make use of the common elements," Toronto lawyer Sam Presvelos said.

The self-governed communities have become a more popular choice for homeowners in recent years as they offer convenience, security and added amenities. They can be either apartments, condos, townhouses, single-family homes.

Sadly this isn't the only community that's been causing waves. A veteran was forced to sell his home for refusing to remove his American Flag.

[H/T: Global News, National Post]

Maya has been working at Shared for a year. She just begrudgingly spent $200 on a gym membership. Contact her at maya@shared.com