Good Fence Ordinances Make Good Neighbors

If you have thoughts on how tall rear fences in University Park should be, bring yourself and your thoughts to City Hall tomorrow. The Planning and Zoning Commission will consider a proposed amendment to the ordinance governing those fences’ heights. Curious about what exactly the ordinance says? Here it is.

(a)     Any fence or wall constructed along the rear property line, where such property line adjoins an alley easement, shall not exceed eight feet (8′) in height.

(b)     Any fence or wall constructed along any rear property line, not adjacent to an alley easement, shall not exceed eight feet (8′) in height.

(c)     Every portion of a fence must be located a minimum of two feet (2′) away from the edge of the alley or on the rear property line, whichever is further away from the edge of the alley pavement.

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5 thoughts on “Good Fence Ordinances Make Good Neighbors

  • August 8, 2011 at 1:08 pm

    I’d love to raise the height. Our neighbors across the alley just built a 2nd-floor addition and deck enabling them to see our every move.

  • August 8, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    I do hope they don’t plan to raise the height. That would be ridiculous when there are so many more attractive solutions to screening out your neighbors. Try planting a row of crepe myrtles. They are far more attractive, allow air circulation, and won’t grow tall enough to interfere with the electrical lines.

    When I first moved to UP in 1985, these sinister stockade fences were rare, and most of us still lived in the original cottages with chain link fences. We actually had decent breezes and could see green backyards everywhere. But with the building craze of McMansions came these ugly stockade fences, and we lost our breezes, green viewpoints, and connection with our neighbors. Plus your poor dogs are driven to insane barking because they can’t see out. That’s so very cruel.

    This week a new kind of chain link fence will be installed at my house, and I can’t wait. At the traditional 4 foot height, the links have long floral lace-like designs woven in. This will be appealing to anyone driving down the alley, allows all to enjoy the soon-to-be-installed sun garden, and my dogs will stay be able to greet the neighbors who walk by with their pets. And I don’t think it will upset a single neighbor as long as I remain fully clothed while taking out the garbage.

    If you’re curious to what this fence may look like go here:

  • August 8, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    Perhaps there is a different solution. Rather than allow higher fences, change the setback requirements so that structures can’t be as close to the property line. While this doesn’t prevent someone from seeing into your yard from their second story, it does make it harder. And why would anyone want a second story deck in the Park Cities??? It’s not like you are looking out onto a lake or other desirable view…

  • August 8, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    Add this one to the fence being 2 ft. from the concrete alley and you see the reason why the alleys have turned into a “dirt patch”: (b) No vegetation greater than eight inches (8″) in height is permitted within one foot (1′) of the edge of the alley pavement and a minimum height clearance of fifteen feet (15′) must be maintained over that area.

    I received the delinquent notice about my ivy being to tall in the alley. Part of their “Go Brown” initiative.

  • August 8, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    Problems with crape myrtles: they lose their leaves in winter and they do grow tall enough to interfere with power lines. Oncor butchered ours two summers ago. We’ve considered many options, but it’s difficult because our garage and walkway to the alley don’t allow us to plant a tree or shrug that will cover the area. I agree about the set backs, but with 140 foot lots, there just isn’t much room. We allow three-story houses on our tiny lots–why not give us a few extra feet of fence for some privacy?


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