Update Sparta's, WI Fence Ordinance to allow Privacy Fences on Corner Lots

Update Sparta's, WI Fence Ordinance to allow Privacy Fences on Corner Lots

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Alayna McDonald started this petition to Kristen Gust

As some of you know, the house we purchased is on a corner lot. The city of Sparta has ordinances that prevent me from putting up a privacy fence in what would be anyone else's back yard. Meaning my fence would be approved no issues if my property was not on a corner lot. While I understand that this is for traffic safety my proposed fence location would be 75 feet from the intersection and not blocking any visibility for traffic. We have an extremely large lot for being in town. I was then informed that it is because it would be "ugly" to have a 6 foot privacy fence exposed to the public aka facing or up to the sidewalk. But also I was told that ugly is an opinion. I ended up on the agenda with the city planning commission to have a discussion about more inclusiveness to those who live on corners to have privacy in their street side backyards. In all fairness I could have one off the back corner of my house but the way my house is set I would have 10 foot of yard within the fence, no joke. Some cities that allow for corner lots to have privacy fences with use of setbacks (x amount of feet) off the sidewalk include: Greenbay, Madison, EauClaire, Chippewa Falls, and a quite a few others. While it is not the norm, many cities are changing their ordinance because times are changing. The meeting was last night.. I was informed during this meeting that 30 foot untrimmed hedges are more attractive than a vinyl 6 foot privacy fence and I should plant hedges. I was also told that a privacy does not equate protection. The current ordinance allows for a 4 foot fence with 18" of decorative on the top which has to be 50% transparent (lattice topping or similar), which is a total of 5.5', while the current ordinance is gracious it does not allow for privacy as the average adult walking down the sidewalk could watch my children playing in the backyard. My favorite part of the night was when they informed me that having a privacy fence was irrelevant because predator's will watch my children at school and walking home from the bus. In which I replied "I pick my child up from the bus stop and I hope that the teachers are protecting my children while at school. I would just like to know my children are safe in my backyard." In addition the cost of the approved fence (4' w/lattice) is $1400 more to fence my yard, if self installed. The current ordinance was set 10 years ago; times have changed in 10 years and I am very disappointed that the city fails to recognize that. Everyone deserves privacy in their own backyards even if they are on a corner.

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