Saturday, September 24, 2011

Webster Groves Approves new Fence Restrictions

 It took two more readings than normal, but the Webster Groves City Council passed a bill establishing new standards for the design and material of front-yard fences.

Not allowed under those standards are what are commonly called 'stockade" fences. That's in part why Councilman Ken Burns voted Tuesday against the bill. He said the fences were attractive, affordable and readily available through home improvement stores.

The law applies to fences in front of a main building, and in front-yard areas, in residential areas. It requires the fences to be "decorative or ornamental, and constructed of wood, wrought iron, ornamental wire, brick, stone, or like materials." It outlaws chain-link fences and wire-mesh fences, among others.

The bill had languished before the council. Tweaks to it eventually led to five readings, rather than the typical three.

Also, what two weeks ago appeared to be a contradiction between the bill and current city law turned out not to be so, according to City Clerk Katie Nakazono. The bill appeared to limit fences on an entire lot to 4 feet in height. But Nakazono said current law exempted backyard fences, which can be as high as 6 feet.

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