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Old 02-03-2010, 09:54 AM   #1
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Fencing setbacks/regulations-what are they like in your town?


Since I can't seem to get a straight answer from the zoning department in my town I thought I would ask here about a specific issue I'm having. My back yard is approximately 100' x 75' and I need to fence it because we just got a chocolate lab puppy who the vet says will probably reach 90-100 lbs as a fully grown adult. Needless to say a 6 foot fence is in order all the way around the property if I expect to keep him in. The regulations in my town read that a 6 foot non-transparent (basically anything other than chain link) fence must be set back 2' from the property line, which is perfectly reasonable. However, I have neighbors on both sides with two different fences. On one side is a 6 foot stockade fence which belongs to my neighbor and runs nearly the length of my property line. This is a bonus for me since it's about 80' of fence that I don't have to buy, but the way the 2' setback rule reads it doesn't seem to follow that I could butt my fence up against his (for instance at the corner of the property) in order to create an unbroken barrier for the dog.

On the other side is a four foot chain link fence which belongs to my other neighbor. That fence is fine for now but will not serve as much of an obstacle to the dog once he is fully grown. I want to run 6' stockade fence down that side of the property, but again, reading the 2' setback rule literally, it sounds as though I would end up with a 2' gap between my neighbor's chain link fence and my stockade fence which would first of all be unsightly for my neighbor and second of all be nearly impossible to mow making it even more unsightly. Am I reading too much into the rules? Has anyone here dealt with a similar situation in their town?

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Old 02-03-2010, 10:41 AM   #2
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Fencing setbacks/regulations-what are they like in your town?


You need to find out where your property lines are located
Here we can put them on the property line

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Old 02-03-2010, 11:04 AM   #3
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Fencing setbacks/regulations-what are they like in your town?


Varies by locality. Here you can put any fence on the line, but if concrete is used, 8" setback.
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Old 02-03-2010, 11:11 AM   #4
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Fencing setbacks/regulations-what are they like in your town?


around here, it's 6" inside your property line in the city and out here in the boonies, it's 6'.

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Old 02-08-2010, 12:13 PM   #5
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Fencing setbacks/regulations-what are they like in your town?


I think you've summed it up exactly. However, I do believe that if you can work something out with your neighbor...like them letting you "tie in" to their fence....no one is going to bother the situation even though it is not "literally" to code. The code is there to set ground rules, address differences that can't otherwise be worked out, etc...which can lead to the "no man's land" between two fences that are 2 to 4 feet apart. Fences and neighbors often combine for more drama than most soap operas....If cool, rationale heads prevail then life is good...it just doesn't happen as often as it should. Good luck.
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Old 02-08-2010, 03:02 PM   #6
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Fencing setbacks/regulations-what are they like in your town?


I can put my fence right on the line but it must be finished side out. No matter what is on the other side.
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Old 02-08-2010, 05:40 PM   #7
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Fencing setbacks/regulations-what are they like in your town?


Here it's inside of the property line, including all concrete.

They used to have a two foot setback, but there were too many problems with access, and safety when there was four feet between privacy fences.

Would you want a four foot x six foot high of hidden access between you and your neighbors property?

I was in the fencing industry for years. We always told the client that it was his responsibility to find his property lines and to tell us where he wanted the fence.

One customer pointed to the ground and said to, "Put the fence on this line right here", and that he lived there for over ten years and he "knew where his property line was!". When my customers neighbor came home from a two week vacation, we had to go back and move the fence three feet to be back on my clients property. That was an expensive fence.

Never ever put the fence on the property line. It doesn't matter how well you get along with your neighbor, one day one of you will move. If you are paying for the fence, make sure that it's on your side of the property line, then it's your fence.

It doesn't matter what the code was, unless someone complained.

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Old 02-08-2010, 07:23 PM   #8
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Fencing setbacks/regulations-what are they like in your town?


I think 4' of fence is fine with that breed of dog that is trained properly, you may even use a training wire down that side for training purposes. if you and your neighbors are on good terms draw up a contract giving them the ability to have your attachment removed at any time with a weeks notice. tell them this is for their peace of mind so they dont feel locked into anything in case they have a change of mind down the road
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Old 02-08-2010, 07:32 PM   #9
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Fencing setbacks/regulations-what are they like in your town?


BF,
I've got an 80# female yellow lab. I put up a decorative vinyl fence that is arched between sections (scalloped) with the max. ht. at 4', probably 42" in the middle of each section. My dog has never tried to jump it at all.
In our city, they either want a 3' setback, or you can put it on the line if you get the neighbors to sign off on it, which is what I did. I would recommend you spend a couple hundred bucks for a surveyor to mark the lines out for you. What I ended up doing instead of putting the fence on the line was to put the outside edge of the posts right up to the line, so the fence is basically on my property.
We have places where adjoining neighbors have been too lazy to go through the trouble of putting them on the line and end up with a 6' devil strip between the properties. Dummest thing I have ever seen.
What you might do is end your basic fence where the 2' setback would be and then attach a separate 2' piece of fencing that could be removed easily in the future if there was ever a problem.
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Old 02-08-2010, 08:45 PM   #10
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Fencing setbacks/regulations-what are they like in your town?


I figured it went without saying...but since it's been touched on here I'll strenghten the point. Under NO circumstances would I install ANY fence without first having a property survey done...AND getting copies of all local ordinances in writing and adhering to them. Don't rely on ANYTHING other than a survey YOU order and YOU pay for. Don't assume ANYTHING that's in place today anywhere near what you think is the property line represents ANYTHING to do with where the line actually is. Property lines are a very simple concept yet some of the stupidest stuff I've ever seen people do relates to property lines. Unfortunately there are people walking the planet who think it all belongs to them and the rest of us are here at their leisure. Most issues are totally avoidable and purely 100% nonsense. For some reason I guess it's human nature for people to get really really WEIRD when it comes to property lines. They choose to create avoidable, unnecessary, petty animosity and adversarial relationships with the person they live right next to. Are you getting the sense I have some first hand experience with this?
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Old 02-09-2010, 09:37 PM   #11
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Fencing setbacks/regulations-what are they like in your town?


Cmon Piste,
Tell us how you really feel. I agree. People will spend thousands on a fence, but don't want to spend a few hundred to make sure it goes where it belongs.
I had a job one time moving a brand new garage over 3' from where it stood. The schlep never had the property surveyed and the garage ended up 7" on the neighbor's property. It was a fun project and we made pretty good money on it since the contractor skipped out and the city invoked his $10,000.00 bond. Needless to say I priced the job at $9995.00
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