“Good fences make good neighbors.”
—Robert Frost, from Mending Walls
The majority of Loveland residents live in town. For those of us who do live in town, a fence is a way to define our property and maintain some privacy. Fences also keep our children and pets safely at home, preventing them from straying into someone else’s yard or into the street.
Wood fences are the most popular within town, although you can also find wrought iron and vinyl fences. Often the type of fence is dictated solely by your personal taste and budget. In some cases, if you are in a commercial development a home owners association, or even a Planned Unit Development (PUD) your choices in the height and style fence you can choose may be limited.
One of the first steps before building a fence is to be sure what zoning will allow on your property. It is also good to keep in mind that hedges, although shrubbery, may also be categorized as fences by your PUD or the City.
In Loveland, both fences and walls fall into one of two categories according to the City Current Planning Division: limited solid material and solid material. The difference is in the ratio between the solid material and open space in the fence or wall.
The City generally defines a wall as having a continuous foundation where a fence consists of posts with material suspended between the metal, vinyl or wood fence posts.
Within City limits there are some restrictions the material used for fences, particularly for residential properties. You are not allowed to use barbed wired fences, or electric fences or fences with sharp-points. You may be permitted to have these fences on commercial properties, but there is no guarantee, and you proposed fence design must be approved by the City.
Beyond the basic materials, there are limitations on your fence if you are close to a street corner so that your fence does not interfere with drivers’ ability to see. The City also has height regulations for fences. Generally your fence may not be more than 6’ 3” high, excluding the posts, but fences or walls in your front yard may have a lower maximum height, depending on where they are located and what they are made of.
Once you know what style fences are allowed for your property, be sure to have the utility lines located before you begin any digging. You may have to adjust some of your setbacks or posthole locations based on their report.
Other considerations for fence location include how your land drains after a rain or heavy snow. Knowing how your property drains may influence the style of fence you erect. If you are looking at fencing in an area on a slope for example, a split rail fence would allow for significant water runoff, whereas a solid fence would trap the water, which could create a marshy area or result in a shorter lifespan for your fence.
You will also need to determine if there are any easements or right-of-way areas on your property. These easements may not dictate whether or not you can build a fence, but it is important to know that often if repairs need to be made to utility boxes, for example, that you have fenced in, you will be responsible for costs for removing and replacing your fence.
Hiring a professional when building your fences can eliminate a lot of the regulatory headaches. Call us today to discuss how a fence can enhance your property.