Re: fences - immediate concern
From: Larry Landrum (
Date: Sat, 12 Feb 2000 15:42:20 -0700 (MST)
We haven't built yet and haven't settled on many policies but we were
actually working on pet policy this afternoon.  We seem to be leaning
toward a general policy of imposing only those restrictions that are
necessary for the general good of the community and to trying to impose the
least restrictive policy posible to achieve community needs.  We agreed
that dogs would not be allowed to roam free and that if they barked
excessively or otherwise created a problem outside, the owner would
probably have to keep the animal inside, but prohibiting fenced back yards
so that quite dogs would have to stay in side when not under the owner's
supervision didn't even come up in the discussion.

Yes, fences do reduce the interaction of community and I would hope that
they are held to a minimum, but I would strongly urge allowing them when
they serve the function of letting people enjoy their life style with out
harm to others.  Keeping a dog and allowing it to be outdoors in a manner
that doesn't harm others is important.  Fences would also be useful if one
resident wishes to sunbath au natural and other residents find that
objectionable or even if the sunbather just wanted the privacy.  

I am reasonably certain that we will end up with a set of principles that
will guide our decisions on many issues like this one and relatively few
specific rules.  Such a policy might defuse the precedent arguement
somewhat.  I hope the dogs win.  Please advise result off line.

Larry Landrum
New River Valley Cohousing
Blacksburg, VA

At 10:58 AM 2/12/00 -0600, Witten & Fitch wrote:
>Hi,  does any community out there (with communal land, not subdivided) have
>any policies around fencing of back yards.  We have an immediate concern.
>We have a design review committee meeting tomorrow morning (Sunday 9am), to
>hear a request for a fenced dog yard.  I personally would like to support
>it, but as chair of the committee I have already heard concerns about
>precedent setting.  The immediate neighbors in this specific case have no
>objections to the fence, but what will happen at the next request if the
>immediate neighbors don't want it, but we have already set a precedent for
>allowing them?!  Please help, immediately!
>Also, would appreciate any guidelines for size, maintenance, dismantling
>after dog dies, etc.  And of course fences for yard definition, privacy etc.
>I always assumed we would have tasteful fences long before now.
>Thanks,  Laura Fitch

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