|Fences||<– Date –> <– Thread –>|
|From: Joani Blank (jeblankic.org)|
|Date: Sun, 29 Mar 1998 03:31:36 -0600|
My two cents on private fences: It's my belief that in cohousing "fences do NOT good neighbors make" If you are thinking of the front of your houses toward the common area, fences are a definite no-no, IMHO. I assume that your townhouses have the most public areas (usually kitchens) at the front and looking out onto the common area, so you certainly wouldn't want to put a fence between you and your neighbors on that side. As for private fenced areas behind each house, that is a somewhat different story. But in my view those should be for your special planting or somewhat private outdoor seating for your household. Still, I say somewhat private, because I would not like to see high fences that you can't see over even there. Perhaps a low fence to keep a pet or a toddler safely inside would be okay, but you will be surprised at how quickly toddlers get adopted by the whole community so that they rarely need a secure place to play in their own "backyard." If the units have "private" backyards, it is my opinion that that should usually mean that absent a specific invitation, folks from other households do not come into "my" private backyard, any more than they would come into my living room. However marking it off with some other landscape element or other indicator that "says" this is private property, is much preferable to a fence. What do I mean? Well, when you walk down a suburban street you know without there being a sign or a wall that people's front lawns are private property, and there is rarely a fence or gate to indicate that. It is simply understood--by everyone BUT toddlers. (Ever take a walk with a toddler and have difficulty keeping him or her on the sidewalk? I remember that one.) If you do decide to have private fences, it is essential to have the group come to consensus about the conditions under which they can be built, and on matters such as permitted maximum height and limits on building materials. Joani Blank Doyle Street and Old Oakland CoHousing, (neither of which has either back or front or side yards so what do I know)
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