Thursday, July 24, 2008

Adults Located In Neighborhood

John and Deb Kunz didn't want a sidewalk running near their house. No matter to them that municipalities decide where sidewalks go, in the interest of the public good. They didn't like the sidewalk where it was, so they took it out.

Kids used the path to get through the subdivision on their way to school and a nearby park. All those footsteps, tromping near the Kunz's front door, was unbearable. All those children, and their parents, could....dear God, the horror...could see into the Kunz home!

In Lake Forest, Illinois, where all this took place, one doesn't put up with that which is unbearable when one has the financial ability to take action. Let the kids go around, the Kunz family decreed. Let Lake Forest put a sidewalk in someone else's back yard.

The city sued, claiming that the sidewalk was installed in the 1980's so that children could safely walk to the school and park. Legal representatives for the Kunz family claimed that the city didn't have an easement, and the walk was on their property. They're entitled, and Mr. Kunz didn't bust his ass at work earning enough money to buy that fancy house in Lake Forest so a bunch of local kids could walk in front of his house.

As it turned out, the kids kept right on walking where the sidewalk used to be. It was the shortest route to the school and the local playground. But they'd get their shoes muddy on wet days, so there. Take that.

After a lot of squabbling, a local adult has stepped forward. The city of Lake Forest will build a new sidewalk a few feet over, on a neighbor's lot. The family on the other side of the Kunz home has volunteered to host the concrete. They'll pay half and the Kunzes will pay the other half out of the proceeds of a lawsuit against their title company, which failed to tell them that the city sidewalk was on their property. Lake Forest will kick in $19,000, money that might have gone to repair some other sidewalk in town.

Not very neighborly, you might think, but when you can afford to pay someone to do all the little things that a neighbor might do to lend a hand, who needs neighbors?

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