Q. City regulations prohibit residential fences from being solid. Why must fences be see-through?

A. Some fencing can be solid; the limitations apply only to the front parts of a property. City zoning coordinator Jon Barrett reports that this zoning “was adopted in 1963, so I can only speculate, but I believe it is to provide better visual aesthetics, avoiding walled-in corridors. Also, near intersections there are safety concerns when fencing could block driver sight.”

Many communities regulate fencing. The American Planning Association observes “our ancestors built fences because they wanted privacy and independence; [now] we fight fences because we want everyone to conform to new norms of sociability and neighborliness.”

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