I am new to this forum and this will seem like a really dumb question, but here goes. I bought my house 17 years ago (new home) and it had an ugly retainer wall that is only a foot high in one spot and the depth of three feet and it is large enough to put plants there, but it then continues along the back wall rising to a height of three feet and a depth of only 1/2 inches, making it useless for plants. I think it was put there as originally the yard had only a wood fence seperating my yard from my neighbor's yard behind me. There is no huge slope from my neighbors yard to mine, but maybe the city code required the builders to put one up. Since then, I added a beautiful block wall (around 5 feet to 6 feet) around my whole back yard. The ugly retainer wall is still there and I hate it. Do I still need to keep the retainer wall since I have a nice block wall? It is an eyesore. It's made of concrete with a brick cap. Can I get rid of it? I have a small back yard and would like to utilize the space.
How much of slope and the lateral loads with it is the retaining wall holding back? It does sound ugly but you really don't want to be casual about pulling it out and having things race to the base of your new fence.
Do you know the angle of the slope of your property and what you would have if you took the retaining wall holding some of it out? If the change minimal and the retaining wall is just ornamental or a landscape terrace element in the eyes of the prior owner? Get rid of it. And regrade the backyard.
People, even the dumbest and most design and aesthetic challenged, usually don't put in retaining walls without a reason.