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harvest 05-08-2012 10:07 PM

How to trick the by-law?

I am planning to build a board fence, but I got advised by the City that I am not allowed to have a fence higher than 3 feet in my front setback yard. From my house, I can see 3 other houses the same as mine, with fences in their front setbacks higher that 3 feet (they look like 5-6 feet fences) and I don't understand why the by-law doesn't allow me to build the same fence as my neighbors..Is there in way or advice on how to trick the by-law or make the regulators/inspectors allow my build this 5 feet fence that I like to build?
Thanks in advance for your answers!

jaydevries 05-08-2012 10:14 PM

depends where the neighbors fences put up before by laws and in the bylaws does it stipulate grandfather clauses
isn't it amazing you own the house but the neighbor hood owns you:furious::thumbup:

Ironlight 05-08-2012 11:31 PM

Also if you're on a corner they usually half the height of the allowable fence. The reason is for safety, so that cars and pedestrians have a better view when entering the intersection.

If you're not on a corner there may be some other local code that applies to your property that does not apply to your neighbors.

And personally, I would not try and trick the by-law no matter how much you disagree with its fairness. In my experience people who do that end up regretting it.

mae-ling 05-09-2012 12:13 AM

Some will allow a see through fence like chain link

Bondo 05-09-2012 05:26 AM

Ayuh,.... Build up a 3' dirt berm, 'n put yer 3' fence on top of it,....

Ya get a 3' fence, 6' high...

creeper 05-09-2012 05:30 AM

Sometimes the by-law will allow for a lattice style extension on top of the fence. You see it in sub divisions all the time. Ask first

RCrosby257 05-09-2012 07:44 AM

Tricking the Bylaw
Sounds like a true DownEast solution. The Moxie can't be a coincidence!

harvest 05-09-2012 07:49 AM

Actually, I am thinking how to convince the city to allow me build that fence... The by-law says the height should be 3 feet, my neighbors have 6 fences, same position as my house. My fence will be the continuation of my neighbors fence (rear setback, not front setback position as mine), which is 6 feet high, so why the heck the by-law stops me by building the same thing? Do you believe that the city will close one eye and let me go with it? What reasons should I present to them in order to make them allow me?

Thanks again for your opinions!

bondo, my yard is already 1 feet higher than my neighbors', but I will consider your idea :) Thanks!

md2lgyk 05-09-2012 09:22 AM

Are you in a development with a Homeowners' Association? You keep saying "bylaw." City rules are typically called building codes.

There are a couple of possibilities here, both of which I've seen in my area. The obvious one is that your neighbors are outside the city limits and you are not. The less obvious (and more complex) reason may be that you're in a development with an HOA. Those are common here, and many are quite large. Their streets are privately owned, and some city rules do not apply because of that. But if your lot is near the border of such a development and any side of it is next to a public street, you would be subject to the city's codes while your "interior" neighbors would not.

joed 05-09-2012 09:30 AM

Could be that they enforce it only on complaint and no has complained about your neighbour's fence.

cortell 05-09-2012 09:58 AM


Originally Posted by md2lgyk (Post 917780)
Their streets are privately owned, and some city rules do not apply because of that.

Oh, I don't know about that. To my knowledge, the HOA can set "rules" (these are not called bylaws, BTW--they're called restrictions) that are more restrictive than city ones, but they can't have less restrictive ones.

E.g., if the city says "max fence height is 6 ft", the HOA can bind its members to a max fence height of 4 ft if it wishes. It can't, however allows them to build 8' fences.

In my neighborhood, HOA restrictions are violated left and right. No one reports the violation to the HOA, and the HOA doesn't actively look for and react to violations.

illnastyimpreza 05-09-2012 12:09 PM

you're getting a permit for a FENCE ??? :no:...........:wheelchair:

mae-ling 05-09-2012 12:28 PM

Here no permit is needed for a fence

woody4249 05-09-2012 02:29 PM

I used to live on a corner lot and applied for a "Variance" to the code.
The city send out a letter to all the surrounding area homes and give them a chance to object. They have a hearing date and you can show up if you want. Your disapproving neighbours may be there also.
All you have to do is talk to your neighbours before they get the letter from zoning.
You have a valid reason to pursue this.
A fence permit is like $40 here in Florida, but they may ask for a survey as well.


tony.g 05-09-2012 03:32 PM

Strictly, it wouldn't be a case of 'tricking' the bye-laws, but flouting them.
We have similar rules (1m on the highway and 2m to the side and rear) but people regularly put 6ft fences/walls up at the front and get away with it. A lot of it is down to whether neighbours complain to the council, and if they don't, usually nothing is done. After 4 years it is time-barred from enforcement.
Presumably you have an appeals process; if other neighbours have fences and you can't, it would seem unreasonable. Sometimes in these cases, people just do these things without first drawing officials' attention to it, and more often than not get away with it. Surely the local authority has more pressing problems to attend to?

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