City fence limitations - how to overcome?

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I live in Lebanon, OR. The city prohibits the constructing of a fence within 15 feet of the property line on any side of a property facing a street. I have a large square lot on a corner, and I want to put up a fence around my barkyard. Not being able to go to within 15 feet of my property line means I loose a big chunk of my back yard.
Does anyone have any experience on getting a variance from the city to do something like this, IE put a fence closer to the property line when the city rules/laws say you can't? How would you go about doing so, what are the chances of success?
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Measure 37 claim? (Its an inside joke for Oregonians.
Seriously, when did you buy the property?
When did the gfece regulation go into effect?
If you owned the property befoe the fence regulation went into effect you technically have a Measure 37 claim.
--
Jim McLaughlin

Reply address is deliberately munged.
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Yep, you can even put a pig farm there if you owned before the zone.....
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snipped-for-privacy@mailcity.com wrote:

whipped, or rather something they do to pigs. I think I remember a 22 behind the ear was quite humane, followed by a sledge hammer to the head if necessary and then a dipping in boiling water.
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Unfortunately, I just bought the property. The existing fence is actually on city property, and is welded wire located between my sideyard setback and the street. I assumed it was all my backyard, and even planted fruit trees in this "setback" zone, no knowing, and not having any reason to suspect, that nothing over 30 inches can be placed less then 20 feet from road (15 foot setback, 5 foot strip of city property between my property and the street.
However, there is a 4 foot welded wire fence, and a row of 7 foot shrubs along the street, can that be used as justification to allow me to put in a wood fence on the property line instead of 15 feet back?
"Jim McLaughlin" <jim.mclaughlin> wrote in message

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"Zootal" <nousenetspam at dead ice dot us> wrote in

Just plant a high hedge of shrubbery to act as a fence.
--
Jim Yanik
jyanik
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"Zootal" <nousenetspam at dead ice dot us> wrote in message

asked over at alt.legal or one of those NGs but here are some general thoughts. You are requesting an exception (variance) to a zoning ordinance (municipal law dealing with what and how you may build on a piece of your land):
Option A: Get a local lawyer to do it. Don't know the hourly rates in Lebanon, OR but you would be billed for executing the application, filing it, having exhibits prepared, appearance before at least one hearing of the zoning board, and, if required, the zoning board of appeals, city/town counsel, and, if you want to appeal if required to court.
Option B: Do it yourself. A much bigger investment in your time but only costs you the price of filing, probably the cost of preparing the notification to abutters and service by certified mail (if required), maybe publication in local paper, preparation of plans showing proposed fence lines, any visual aids you need in presenting your case, and anything else mandated by the zoning board. You trot on down to the Planning Division at 853 Main Street, plunk down your $700.00, and file the request for variance with the zoning board along with any other documents, plans, drawings, copies of deeds, whatever they require to take up your request, make any required notifications, get a hearing date, go to the hearing and present your case and answer and questions of the board or other citizens, wait for their decision and decide whether to appeal, if required. Usually every jurisdiction has a check list of some sort that they will give you.
15 feet is a pretty far setback in a city. In my experience, when I lived in cities which I never intend to do again for just such things like this, 5 feet is a pretty standard setback, most are only 10 feet for a building like a shed. Your city arrears to be anything but ordinary 15 feet, $700 application fee! You can calculate your chances for success by looking at how many variances have been approve before you. These are public records and you can get them from the city.
Have you considered planting a hedge instead of a fence? Most jurisdiction don't have setbacks for them and it would save you, from the way it looks on your city's website, at least a couple of thousand dollars!
Jay
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Ack!!! $700 fee! Where did you get this info? I browsed the city web site, but didn't find this, maybe I was looking in the wrong place?
The front and side yard setback is 15 feet - I live in a low density population area. In the medium and high density areas, it's 10 feet. The rules are that nothing can extend above 30 inches anywhere in the setback area. I bought the house 4 months ago, didn't have any reason at all to suspect that I could not put anything higher then 30 inches anywhere within 20 feet of the road (5 feet from road to my property line). I have 5 fruit trees there now. When I bought the property, there was a horse type fence of welded wire that is about 4 feet high, and a row of hedges about 7 feet high. These, however, are on the 5 foot strip of city property between my property and the street, so I don't know if I can use the excuse of a pre-existing hedge as justification for permission to put up a fence.
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"Zootal" <nousenetspam at dead ice dot us> wrote in message

http://www.ci.lebanon.or.us/files/active/1/fees.pdf
Are you a first time home buyer? The first thing a new homebuyer needs to do is find his property lines!
Sometimes, usually in a city, you are lucky enough to have a marker buried in the ground (or the guy on some side of you does) and as most lots are usually squares or rectangles you can measure from the known point using the legal description of your property. When you get further out in the boonies it's not so easy, I just bought 5 acres that goes this way and that, has easements, and wetlands, which have setbacks of their own, so I had a surveyor come out and stake the property lines and designated wetlands before I did anything to it. Yeah, it costs you some bucks but prevents the problems you now have with the trees and the other guy's fence.
By the way when you bought the land you didn't buy his mistakes so don't stand for the city trying to get you to remove his fence! They can go after him and should have when he built it which leads me to the part where I say, "remember nothing is wrong until you get caught at it!" He didn't ask anybody anything before he put up that other fence and the city didn't 'know from nothing'. You know they don't have folks going around looking for these types of infractions, they only know about it, and do something about it, when somebody complains. Just a little something to tuck away in the back of your mind along with the phrase, 'it's better to ask forgiveness for having done something than to ask permission to do something'. For example lets say you didn't want a fence but just wanted to use the city's 5 feet for an extended lawn or wanted to 'beautify' the community with a flower bed, they don't care, and wouldn't be at your door demanding that you remove the flowers from their property!
2 1/2 feet high is pretty short! Around here you can erect a 'not over a 4 foot' fence even without a building permit!
Jay
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Good advice above but before you get all excited, simply prepare a site plan and apply for a permit. Once you are rejected, you can ask how to appeal. You might even get accepted, who knows until you try.
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PipeDown wrote:

Around here the mere fact of getting a permit isn't any guarantee that the construction will be approved when it is inspected. Just last week a Tampa-area homeowner was forced to tear out his new home's rear patio area (at a cost of $60K) even though the city has approved the plans, issued a permit, and it had passed two building inspections. Turns out the patio was five feet over the setback limit. The city's building department said it was the responsibilty of the contractor to insure that the construction met all city codes. They did offer an apology for their own lack of diligence, but the homeowner ends up footing the bill (so to speak).
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wrote:

Why can't he tear out just five feet of it? If the removal and refurbish cost was 60K, it must have been a lot bigger than 5 feet, no?

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"Zootal" <nousenetspam at dead ice dot us> wrote in message

Do not confuse fence with wall. The ordinances are totally different for both. Go down to zoning and permitting and ask them. They are usually helpful, as this approach helps save them time and work in the long run. I have had them tell me how I can do what I want to do and still tapdance between the lines. Worth a try.
Steve
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I did. They kindly explained that *nothing* that is over 30 inches in height can go in this 15 foot setback area. Includes fence, wall, bushes, trees, etc. They also suggested I appeal to the city planner - which I think is the next step on my list.
What kind of things are valid reasons for an exception like this? I just want to put a fence around my yard so I can have security and privacy, and without loosing a 15 X 100 foot stretch of my property.
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do others have such a fence? thats one reason? any security issues like trying to keep young kids pets in yard? putting anything big in your yard you need more space for? will the fence screen something ugly or disruptive?
these are just the begining looking for a loop hole:)
If anyone nearby has a non confiming fence try asking them how they got around the rule:)
Find and meet your local councilman:) Stress how you want to beautify your home.... He MIGHT put a good word in for you.
been there done something like this
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One reason for having such a rule is to make sure line of vision for moving traffic isn't obstructed in anyway. Like at a corner. So if you're in the middle of the block, having a 6 foot tall fence won't interfere with line of vision. I'd say that is one reason to be an exception to the rule.
bonnie
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wrote:

Good point. As you drive into my n'hood there is a right-hand turn, and the HOA approved a 40 inch picket fence, with alternating picket and empty space, like most end of group homes have, and there is nothing about the fence that violates the rules. But if people had had a lot of foresight they might have suggested a rail fence instead, maybe with cross-boards |x| something like that. The owners didn't have a dog, and would probably have been just as happy.
Because when one looks across the yard to the oncoming traffic, and looks through 2 layers of fence, the motion makes the patterns almost dizzying, and one can't tell what is on the other side. Even though the fence is 50% empty space. And 40 inches is plenty high when I'm sitting down in my car, and the land the fence is on is maybe 6 inches higher than the road.
So if you're in the

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The city has specific rules about obstructions at corners blocking line of sight for traffic, seperate from the setback rule. I don't know why they have the setback rule - especially 15 feet!
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On Mon, 10 Apr 2006 12:24:16 -0700, "Zootal" <nousenetspam at dead ice dot us> wrote:

What do you want the fence to do, and how do they define "fence"? Does a hedge count? How about an earth berm? Or a series of concrete statues? (They're not going to give you a variance.)
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This information is published in a "fence building guideline" that explains that oh, by the way, there is a 15 foot setback along front and side lots where *nothing* can be more then 30 inches high.
I want the fence so I can include that area (about 15 X 100 feet or so) in my back yard, plant fruit trees and vegetables, and enjoy my property with security and privacy that a fence gives. If I can't do it, I'll have to rip out 5 fruit trees that I planted a few months ago, and put up the fence 15 feet into my current back yard area and basically kiss all of that property goodbye. There is little I can do with it if it's outside the fence.
The current fence is actually a foot or two into city property. The previous owner put it there - I did not know it wasn't on the property line until we started to research this. So I loose about 3 feet to the city since it's not my property to start with, then I loose 15 feet more because of their setback.
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