Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

We finally had some honesty at the Village commissioner’s meeting Monday evening (9/10/07). Mayor Bell admitted that the easement ordinance was more about aesthetics than safety. This was confirmed by Thelma Brooks who explained how she and Michelle Amin had lobbied the commissioners for the ordinance because they didn’t like the three landscaped easements on Gladstone. Amin had “confessed” her role in promoting the ordinance at the August meeting.

Obviously, people differ on what they think is attractive and everyone is entitled to their own opinions. I don’t like large showy tattoos, green hair, or nose rings. But I wouldn’t deny someone the right to decorate their own bodies as they wish. Similarly, I don’t think a few should dictate how others decorate their easements as long as they are not creating a public safety problem. In fact, I think one could better argue that promoting mowed grass/weed easements is a threat to both the environment and public health (see posting titled, Easement Ordinance is Bad Public Policy).

But back to the issue of beauty and aesthetics. I love the three easements on Gladstone! I walk a lot in the neighborhood. While I try to walk different routes, I found myself planning to pass these houses on nearly every trip because I thought they were among the most aesthetically pleasing easements and yards in the neighborhood.

But, you be the judge. Which set of easements do you find most attractive?
The the three easements below, are the "problem" easements that Brooks and Amin don't approve of and would be banned by the easement ordinance.

Here are the easements of the four commissioners who voted for the ordinance. From left to right we have Mayor Bell's weed filled easement, Janet Board's weed filled easement, Tom Bishop's browned out easement, and Marilyn Mitchell's browned out easement.

Here are some more easements that pass the aesthetics and beauty criteria mandated in the easement ordinance. The first one is Thelma Brooks easement. She is one of the two vocal advocates pushing for all easements to be “standards for our neighborhood that maintains [sic] uniformity.” Personally, I'm not into dead browned-out grass but Thelma seems to like it.

So, which easements do think are most attractive? Which would you want in front of your home or your neighbors' houses?


knwhy said...

As one of the landscaped easements pictured, my preference is evident. I would like to point out that our easement did not become browned out even during this terrible drought even though we did not water...

Anonymous said...

The ones with the plastic are a bit much, but if the people like it, who cares?

I am now driving down the area in question on a regular basis now, expecting any day to see washing machines with flowers planted in the tubs, trucks up on blocks, and refrigerators on their sides (with doors still on) for use on sitting on on porches and in the yards.

You cannot legislate class or good taste, so why even bother?

The Village Guy said...

I've heard similar comments about tubs, trucks up on blocks, and refrigerators. And all the sources for these comments were from the "anti-environmental, grass only people."

This is straight out of the Authoritarian Personality literature. People who cannot get their way turn to bullying and then to threats of disaster.