Small town living

There’s a saying that fences make the best neighbors — but in a small community like Milford, that isn’t always pleasant or possible. Milford also boasts a shoreline, with many residents enjoying beach views and homes that contain significant financial investments.

The Milford Mirror does not publish anonymous letters, but recently we received some thoughts worth sharing that were expressed anonymously by a longtime resident about what it means to be a good neighbor:

Know your property lines — Make it your business to take a survey of your property. Know what’s yours and what’s not before you trim or remove trees or vegetation. If you are unsure, communicate with your neighbors.

Know your neighbors — Though it is often easier to text or Facebook these days, it is not only nicer to actually introduce yourself and know your neighbors, it can also be helpful. With the last few years of storms, snow, and power outages, as well as any other emergencies that can arise, knowing your neighbors can save you a trip to the store for a cup of sugar, or sharing some heat or power in case of emergency.

Respect natural boundaries — If you share trees or sight lines with neighbors, communicating with that neighbor before making changes to those borders or sight lines goes a long way toward creating good-neighbor relationships. Working out compromises goes even further.

Respect your neighbors — Spring is finally arriving, which means more open windows and more time spent outside. With that in mind, if you are planning construction, advising your neighbors in advance is a considerate move. Additional noise and traffic, as well as possible concern over security issues, are things your neighbors will care about. Gathering your neighbors together to address concerns as a group could also create goodwill and foster ongoing relationships.

Be mindful of the environment — There are many properties that contain wetlands in Milford. Work on your property could affect the flooding or wetland issues of your neighbors. Talking about it in advance could possibly lead to a compromise that could benefit all concerned, as well as Milford’s precious wetlands.

People move to Milford because of its small-town feel and because of its proximity to New York City and other larger metropolitan areas. The best way to take advantage of and enjoy that vibe is to know, appreciate, be considerate of, and respect your neighbors. Because not doing so may move your neighbors emotionally further away from you, but it won’t move them physically — and there is nowhere you hope more to find solace and peace of mind than in your own back yard.