I wondered if the only way to create some privacy was to build my own fence , since the gas station obviously had no intention to. I found some plans online about how to attach fence panels to a chainlink fence, which seemed doable, although the 4′ height of the fence was a problem:
Then I wondered about whether the posts on the chainlink fence could be extended, and how much that would cost. I called a reputable local fence place, with professional chainlink fence experience, and a guy came out for a quote. The posts could be made taller, and new chainlink screening installed. I got a quote for just the backyard section (42′), and a quote for the entire length of the retaining wall (61.5′). This was close to $1400.00 for the backyard, and another $ 500.00 for the front portion. Hmm. This plus the cost of wood to make a privacy fence attached to the chainlink was pretty expensive. Then I wondered about buying canvas that was rot resistant, used for outdoor furniture, awnings, etc. for more durable privacy screening. The better quality 100% acrylic canvas cost about $ 30.00/yd – and I would still need to piece it, sew it, and attach grommets. 20 yards of 54″ wide canvas, plus an additional 10 yards to be pieced to make it wide enough = 30 yards = $ 900.00 before tax and shipping. This canvas was fade and rot resistant, but realistically had a lifespan of about 5 years of steady UV exposure.
$ 2900.00+ for a fence I should not have to build.
The City of London’s fence bylaw states that I could build a 7′ fence. However – since I was on a lower elevation by over 3′, my 7′ fence would be as tall as the 4′ chainlink fence, which was useless. I could build a 10′ privacy screen – but this had to be 48″ away from the property line. This would eat up a bunch of my backyard, and create a strange dead zone behind the privacy screen, by the retaining wall. Building a 10 foot privacy screen that was stable in a windy place like London would be trickier, and would need expensive 16′ 6 x 6 posts to support the span and weight.
I asked the fence guy if he knew of any fence bylaws that pertained to businesses next to residences, or gas station fences. He said he did not.
I had observed that all the gas stations I passed, when I rode the #3 bus to the Argyle Mall, had fences next to residences. Even the fast food places had tall fences by residential neighbours. Some even had masonry walls, and many were taller than 7′.
Another issue was that I was assuming where the property line is. I did not have a survey and could not find the markers from a previous survey. I sure didn’t want to take down a fence that didn’t belong to me, or put up my own fence improvements on property that was not my own. I spoke with someone from the City, who deals with surveys. He told me that a new survey would cost $ 1200.00 or more.
I spoke to the former car lot owner, who thought he might have a copy of his survey, but then he couldn’t find it, so it was gone. No survey.
$ 1200.00 survey plus $ 2900.00 fence extension and sun proof canvas = $ 4100.00
On the new dumpster – which sat in the parking lot, with no enclosure, perfectly visible from my front yard, “Mobil” was written. There was no branding on the gas station but I had seen the scrap of garbage with the Esso label in my yard. I wrote Esso, who owns Mobil, an inquiry, regarding fencing.
This is the reply I received:
Reference # 658492
Thank you for your reply and the additional information.
We have forwarded your comments to BG Fuels, the branded wholesaler that is responsible for this station. At this time, the branded wholesaler is to assume the responsibility to action your complaint.
Please be advised that the retail site in question is supplied and owned by a Mobil Canada-branded wholesaler, as Mobil Canada does not own retail service stations within Canada.
The branded wholesaler is an independent business that sets their own operating practices and procedures, based on clear expectations of high customer service and operational standards when representing our brands. As such, we have impressed upon our branded wholesalers and their resellers the importance of providing prompt, courteous and reliable service at all times.
Your feedback is very important to us. Please rest assured that we have shared it with the branded wholesaler responsible for the retail site. Thank you once again for contacting us.
Consumer Care Specialist”
So Esso doesn’t own this station, Mobil doesn’t own this station, it is a “branded wholesaler”. This absolves Esso or Mobil from even issuing design standards to the businesses that sell their product. Shameful.
Edit* : A couple of months after the canopy was installed, signs reading Mobil went up. But this Mobil station isn’t “really” a Mobil station ?