City Officials Provide Fence Ordinance Update

Reports says 400 fences in town are not in compliance with the city's fence ordinance.

Quote: "It is the staff’s opinion that the clear sight triangle is the best means of protecting the pedestrian."
Quote: "It is the staff’s opinion that the clear sight triangle is the best means of protecting the pedestrian."
The Royal Oak City Commission will review a report on the vision obstruction provision in the city’s fence ordinance when it meets at 7:30 p.m. Monday at City Hall.

At its June 17 meeting, the Royal Oak City Commission asked city staff to look at alternatives, including parabolic mirrors, audio signals and signs, to address vision obstruction issues, after residents complained violations got out of hand.

Don't Get Out Your Chainsaw: City to Research Fence Safety]

400 fences are not in compliance

In a memo to commissioners, City Engineer Matt Callahan and Building Official Jason Craig report that the administration’s recommendation is that "the sections of the Fence and Zoning Ordinances defining and prohibiting sight obstructions should not be modified."

Convex mirrors, beepers, alarms and signs are "not as effective or safe as a clear unobstructed view and should not be allowed as an alternative."

"It is unfortunate that these provisions have not been uniformly and consistently enforced since they were adopted. If they had, we would not have approximately 400 properties which are not in compliance with either ordinance today. This creates for us the problem of bringing these properties into compliance," reads the report.

Callahan and Craig say commissioners will have a potential problem if they choose to relax the city's standards.

"Many property owners, including almost all of those who complained about this provision at public comment, have already brought their property into compliance. If we were to now relax this provision, what do we say to those property owners who may seek compensation?" reads the report.

To read the complete report click here.
The Duke of Royal Oak December 13, 2013 at 02:28 PM
I'm urging that those people that were affected by this or may be affected should attend the City Commission meeting Monday 16 December 2013 at 7:30 p.m. at city hall. This fence campaign enforcement was estimated to cost $600.00, by a professional fence company, to modify 1 section of fencing (one side of a driveway). If a homeowner is now forced to modify both side of their driveway that would double to $1200.00 This issue has been MISHANDLED by the city and the city bears the responsibility and cost. This is nothing more than a BOONDOGGLE!
The Duke of Royal Oak December 13, 2013 at 02:35 PM
There are buildings throughout the city that OBSTRUCT sidewalks and pedestrians, such as the Taco Bell on 11 Mile road, that sit right up to the sidewalk. Where was code enforcement and the building inspectors then? Will these buildings be moved for safety issues?
Rat Haven December 14, 2013 at 11:59 AM
I agree, the ordinances should not be modified. But why weren't they enforced? Additional time is now being used to work on this problem that could of been corrected immediately. The owner of the property should bear the cost to fix the problem since they didn't look into the codes to start with. Every single new home construction here has a new cheap wooden fence on the sides and in the back with a tree on the lot line therefore the fence stops at one side of the tree and than starts on the other side so when the tree grows it will destroy the fence. One particular home has the fence in back on a angle so those 2 trees on the lot line did not have to be cut down therefore the five feet of land between this homes fence and the home's fence behind them, no one can get too except the rodents. Seems to me this is not right. If the homes have to set back a certain amount of feet than the business's on the main roads should too.
Laura Harrison December 16, 2013 at 10:03 AM
does tis ordinance include shrubbery too?


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