Council orders widow to remove husband’s tribute
A COUNCIL has ordered a north Brisbane widow to dig up a section of her garden path which was built in memory of her husband.
Jane Blake of Kedron said Brisbane City Council seemed to be turning a blind eye to similar paths extending onto the council verge in neighbouring streets.
She believes she was targeted because someone complained to council.
Mrs Blake said her path was concreted in and was much neater than some people's driveways.
"It's beautiful and it's in memory of my husband," she said.
Mrs Blake's husband died about 18 months ago and some of his work friends helped her landscape the garden and built the path from the front door to the kerb.
"The path was installed about Easter this year and council contacted me after it was finished," she said.
"They knocked on my door and told me I didn't have a permit to have a path to the kerb and I had to dig it up."
Mrs Blake said she asked about applying for a permit but was told "you can't even get a permit".
"Garden paths just aren't allowed even though they are everywhere," she said.
"Apparently they turn a blind eye to them. They told me to report all the other ones if I wasn't happy.
"It's unfair if I have to pull mine up and no-one else has to, and no-one else does because they haven't been reported."
Mrs Blake has been given a number of extensions and has now been told she must dig up the path on the council verge by the end of November.
Council was contacted with a number of questions about the path, council guidelines on paths and what they would do if a resident refused to dig up a path.
The only response was, "For safety reasons, residents are unable to construct paths on Council land."
A quick drive around Mrs Blake's neighbourhood revealed two paths in the next street and another around the corner.
Mrs Blake said, as well as being a memorial for her husband, the garden path was needed as their block was quite low.
"We live in an overland flow area and the water used to run through our house like a river," she said.
"We asked for another drain in the road and council said they couldn't do that.
"When we get a lot of rain the grass gets so soggy you can't walk on it."
Mrs Blake said she was told that if there was a concrete footpath on the kerb, hers could extend to it.
So she contacted the Northgate Ward office but was advised there was no funding available in the current year's budget.