Privacy fencing legislation removed but new proposal forthcoming

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By Andrea Cordle
Grove City Editor

Legislation to define and restrict privacy fencing in the city of Grove City has been withdrawn.

At the May 3 meeting, council voted to remove the ordinance from the agenda at the request of the city’s administration. According to Grove City Mayor Richard “Ike” Stage, a new ordinance is in the works.

Stage said the new legislation will include a clear definition of a privacy fence, how a privacy fence should be maintained, and what would happen if the fence were not properly maintained.

“Social media did not convey the message or the intent of the (previous) legislation,” said Stage. “There was so much misinformation.”

In April, council introduced an ordinance that would deal with privacy fencing. According to Stage, a privacy fence has not been defined in the city’s code since it was adopted in the 1970s, leading to challenging zoning issues.

“This is an attempt to give clarity,” said the mayor.

Chuck Boso, the city’s administrator, said the goal of the legislation is to allow residents to have privacy and pet control but to have fencing that is not detrimental to the appeal of a neighborhood.

City officials received many comments about the proposed legislation through social media channels. Many were not in favor of the legislation stating it was limiting and would prohibit residents from having a fence around their entire property on larger lots. Others supported the measure and said too many fences in the area are not properly maintained and could pose a safety hazard.

The city does have a current code that deals with deteriorating fencing. Stage said residents have told city leaders to enforce the current laws.

“We heard them loud and clear,” said Stage.

Still, the mayor would like to see more overall clarity on fencing within the city boundaries.

He said council would likely see a new ordinance on the matter in July.

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