Voorheesville officials said several complaints about one home’s front yard fence spurred a local law to tackle the problem.
The Village Board of Trustees held a public hearing Tuesday, July 22, before its regular meeting on proposed amend-ments to what styles of front yard fences are allowed and how non-conforming uses would be addressed. No one spoke at the public hearing.
Unlike typical code changes, certain types of fences falling outside of the new standards would not be grandfathered into compliance. This approach particularly targets the front yard fence on a Voorheesville Avenue property the law was drafted to tackle.
Local officials have described the offending fence as being a “chicken wire” style.
“There is a property in the village where somebody has erected what can only be explained as a temporary fence, and we have gotten a lot of complaints from neighbors,” Mayor Robert Conway said. “We just feel like if you are going to put up a fence, it has to be a more substantial structure.”
Village Code Enforcement Officer Glenn Hebert said one resident has complained about the fence several times since it was installed about a year ago, but has never filed a formal complaint. Hebert said the resident would come to the Building Department to “blow off steam” about it.
The revised law would require fences within a front yard to be made from wood, vinyl pickets, split rail or wrought iron. Wire or temporary fences would not be allowed on a front yard unless the site is under construction or for temporary snow control.
Hebert said the revised law would be returning it to the original intent on what fences are allowed.
“There are a couple different sections of the law that kind of contradicted itself,” said Hebert.
Conway said the current law is “vague” on what is allowed, so the change clarifies it. All fences already require a building permit.
Non-conforming fences would be allowed except for front yard fences on a residential district property that are not a permanent structure or involve a “substantial expenditure” for the homeowner to remove.
Any property owner with a non-conforming fence, with only one known, would have six months to remove it from when the building inspector notifies the owner of the violation.
Village board members are planning to vote on the local law at its Tuesday, Aug. 26, meeting. Albany County still has to review the proposal, which would occur before the village board’s next regular meeting.