From: Deborah Behrens (debbehAuto-trol.COM)
Date: Sat, 14 Jan 95 16:55 CST
I'm rather torn on the issues of privacy.
I grew up in New England, in an area where the only use for fences was
something decorative to put roses on.  Kids ranged thru most of the
yards, even of the childless families.  We never even locked our doors.
It was quite a shock when I moved to the 'wide open' west to find 
everyone fenced in.  

Ironically, when I hit the walking paths around here (Denver), I feel
the least safe in the areas where back yards have the highest fences:
if one were mugged, nobody in the houses next to the trail would be able
to see what was happening.

> from robsan:
> I bring up these two examples to give the viewpoint that when neighbors 
> know each other well, know each others lives, and care about each 
> other, strangers are going to get noticed and talked to.  Not because I 
> have any particular fear of any particular stranger but because I care 
> about my neighbors and I want to look out after them.

One of the reasons I'm moving into cohousing is because, by knowing my
neighbors, I would know who didn't 'belong' - a safety issue.
I have no problems with challenging (nicely) strangers in the neighborhood,
Like Rob was saying about checking on strangers at an unoccupied house,
I think that's just neighborly, but you can't be neighborly if you don't
even know your neighbors. 

But we also don't want to isolate ourselves from the greater community.  
However, at this point our immediate neighborhood is mostly office parks.

We are next to a small park, and extensive walking trail system.  
We will probably define the border with a hedge, 
since the other option the town design board has given us is a solid wall, 
and we don't want to be 'walled in' (besides it's much more expensive).  
Our 'private' backyards are postage stamp sized, and 
without some definition, people using the park would likely be 
wandering thru our backyards and peering in our windows, as others 
have mentioned.

We don't expect to have gates in our hedge, only openings.  We're 
not striving for a 'gated community' feel.

We are also concerned about keeping toddlers and dogs 
from straying too far. The only ones we expect will want to fence 
in their individual back yards are some of the ones with dogs.  (Has anyone 
tried a doggie-daycare area, where all the pooches can be put together, or 
is that asking for trouble?  It might make pooper scoopering easier...)

However, we won't start moving in till March/April, and our attitudes
will probably change over time.

                            (0 0)
 |  Debbie Behrens              debbeh [at]   (303)252-2215 |
 |  Highline Crossing CoHousing                        (303)457-4184 |
 |      All opinions expressed are mine, and do not necessarily      |
 |       reflect the opinions of Highline Crossing in general.       |
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