Michigan Township Mends Fences With Its Fencing Rules
|A township in Michigan is looking to mend fences with its fencing rules.
In April, Redford, MI will have a public hearing on proposed changes to the township’s rues on fencing, which include a new rule that would allow privacy fences to square off with the front of homes in some cases.
Privacy fences, as the name implies, prevent unwanted parties from spying or wandering in to a yard. They can even keep noisy neighbors from becoming distracting, because, when the materials used are sufficient, they can act as sound barriers.
In the past, any privacy fence in Redford that was four feet high could be constructed between the rear and front building lines on the side of the home “only to the extent necessary to include the side door to the home within the enclosure.”
This new, proposed rule, though, would allow citizens to line their privacy fences up with the front of buildings, so long as they’re partially concealed by plant materials, according to Nick Lomako of Wade Trim, a civil engineering consultancy that helped work on the proposed rules.
“We want landscaping to break up the mass,” said Lomako.
However, fencing laws are typically hard to enforce. Though many local areas have rather robust, restrictive regulations, nothing typically happens when a fence is too high. In fact, too-tall-fences are usually only an issue when someone complains. Even if someone were to complain, there’s no guarantee that anything would come of it.
While the rules and their changes might seem insignificant, the township has had a quarrelsome past with privacy fences. Higher enclosures become public safety issues when others aren’t able to see what’s behind them, Lomako explained, saying that the previous rules were put in place to make privacy fences “less impactful,” and avoid the “fort effect.”
Essentially, these new rule changes might seem inconsequential, but they do allow citizens to enjoy more freedom with their homes without compromising public safety.