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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Angry Can a Neighbor's Fence Put a Pre-Existing Fence Out of Compliance

    My question involves real estate located in the State of: New York

    Hello all - I have a neighbor that isn't the best - wont bore you with details.

    Long story short - I have a pool that is surrounded by 4' high chain link fence as per NY state code for my pool. I had the code guy out - and as of right now, my fence is 100% code compliant.

    However, my evil neighbor has threatened to build a stockade fence along the side of his property - and give me the 'good side'. Knowing that there are specific codes relating to stockade fences and who has the 'good side' when dealing with pools. (In the picture see the red arrows - this is where he would build the fence).

    My current chain link fence runs down the side of my property, so anywhere from 4-8 inches away from the line at any given point. His fence would have to be offset by a minimum of 3 inches for his concrete posts if he were to build a stockade. So this would mean less than a foot of separation between the two fences.

    My town code guy thinks that this would put my pool out of compliance - BUT he doesn't seem really confident about numbers and figures (e.g. how far away the fence needs to be etc).

    So my question is this: Can my neighbors fence, which is NOT on my property - effect MY code compliance? I am looking to see if there is an answer to this in the NY Codes themselves, as my town (Clay. NY) defers to the state codes for a lot of the little issues - and if I can get pointed in the right direction - it would be great to present the code guy with something in writing!

    - - - Updated - - -

    PS - here is the picture that I forgot to post before: http://www.aaa-computerrepair.com/zip/poolfence-question.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Can a Neighbor's Fence Put a Pre-Existing Fence Out of Compliance

    How would it make your installation non compliant?

  3. #3
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    Nov 2013
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    Default Re: Can a Neighbor's Fence Put a Pre-Existing Fence Out of Compliance

    My first response is that your neighbor's fence will not make your fence non-compliant. To suggest otherwise is ludicrous.

    The question of code compliance is one of zoning performance standards which are spelled out in the township's zoning ordinance.

    The only statement mentioned about fences around swimming pools is:

    (e) Fences surrounding swimming pools must comply with section 230-20B(3).
    But I can't find that section in the ordinance. It refers to a Lot: structure dimensional exemptions. And

    (d) Perimeter. A perimeter of at least four (4’) feet around all edges of the pool shall be maintained between the edges of the pool and fence erected around the pool.
    Section 230-20B deals with parking so you will have to ask your code official why he thinks your neighbor's fence will somehow make your fence non-compliant.

    I don't think you will find any state code that applies. This is a zoning performance standard matter in your township.

  4. #4
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    Apr 2012
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    29

    Default Re: Can a Neighbor's Fence Put a Pre-Existing Fence Out of Compliance

    Thank you very much for your quick responses!

    I mentioned 'good side' specifically for the code part - but I guess I should have been a little more in depth.

    When a wooden stockade fence is made, the wooden planks that form the 'good side' are usually only on one side of the fence, leaving the wooden support arms uncovered on the 'bad side'. These wooden support arms can be climbed. For this reason - if a wooden stockade fence is made around a pool, the 'bad side' must be inside facing the pool, so only the FLAT side faces neighbors properties (cant climb it).

    My neighbor has specifically threatened to build a 6 ft stockade fence where the good side would face my pool - and theoretically, a kid could climb the other side, and hop over into my pool - since it would be within a foot of the 4 foot chain link.

    I personally think this is preposterous how something he would do could impact my compliance. However, I can't just go to my code guy and say: This is preposterous! - so I am trying to find something... anything......

    (If you look at the picture in the OP, the wood fence behind my horribly drawn arrows shows the 'bad side').

    And yes - I just looked at the town codes too: I found 230-20B - and it says the same thing you quoted: "(d)
    Perimeter. A perimeter of at least four feet around all edges of the pool shall be maintained between the edges of the pool and fence erected around the pool."

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Can a Neighbor's Fence Put a Pre-Existing Fence Out of Compliance

    If the good side is facing your pool then how will someone clime up on the rails and gain access to the pool from the other side of the fence? Does your neighbor also have a pool? Then it becomes his problem. Your pool is fenced in by a legal chain-linked fence.

    Think about it. It is not your problem. And if your code official says otherwise, have him give you the authority for his decision. Like I said, ludicrous.

  6. #6
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    Apr 2012
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    Default Re: Can a Neighbor's Fence Put a Pre-Existing Fence Out of Compliance

    I found the NY State Code which is the one that deals with the stockade fence good side/bad side. Here is the link - the section is at the bottom of page 3 and continues onto page 4.

    "Where the barrier is composed of horizontal and vertical members and the distance
    between the tops of the horizontal members is less than 45 inches:
    o - the horizontal members must be located on the sw
    imming pool side of the fence;
    o - the spacing between vertical members cannot exceed 1.75 inches; and
    o - the spacing within any decorative cutouts in vertical members cannot exceed 1.75
    inches. See Figure 3109.4.1.3 below." Then the figure shows a picture of what they are talking about - which is what the neighbor would build.

    http://www.dos.ny.gov/dcea/pdf/PoolsumUC0708.pdf

    "how will someone clime up on the rails and gain access to the pool from the other side of the fence"

    If a kid climbed up the bad side from his property, and made it to the top of his 6 foot fence, they could simply hop down into my pool because my 4 ft chain link would be so close to the 6 ft fence.

  7. #7
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    Nov 2013
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    Default Re: Can a Neighbor's Fence Put a Pre-Existing Fence Out of Compliance

    Yes, most zoning codes that deal with fences will say that the good side faces away from the property. But how does that change the fact that your pool is fenced in by a legal fence? Your neighbor's fence is not fencing in your pool.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Can a Neighbor's Fence Put a Pre-Existing Fence Out of Compliance

    "But how does that change the fact that your pool is fenced in by a legal fence?" On this we 100% agree!

    I mean this is a slippery slope right? What if my neighbor has a tree, and builds a tree house, and that tree house has a rope attached to it, and the kid could tarzan himself into my pool area...... lol

    Anyway - my issue here is that my code guy seems to think that my neighbors fence would be grounds for making my pool non-compliant... I need to get together something (preferably in writing) that is sound, and looks good - so I can present it.

    Ahh - I think I may have found what my code guy was thinking. Right at the end of the fence section there is a line: "Barriers shall be located so as to prohibit permanent structures, equipment or similar objects from being used to climb the barriers. " - He may be interpreting the neighbors fence as something that can be used to 'climb the barriers'.

  9. #9
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Can a Neighbor's Fence Put a Pre-Existing Fence Out of Compliance

    Quote Quoting budwad
    View Post
    Yes, most zoning codes that deal with fences will say that the good side faces away from the property. But how does that change the fact that your pool is fenced in by a legal fence? Your neighbor's fence is not fencing in your pool.
    the concern is exactly the reason you put the "bad side" toward the pool. A kid on neighbors side could use the horizontal members as a ladder and climb the stockade fence. The the code guy is somehow extending that due to the proximity of the two fences is close enough a person would be able to use that situation to be able to access the inside of op's fence.

    i understand the thoughts behind the situation, unless code guy can show something to support his guessing it might not be code compliant he doesn't have the authority to claim it does.

  10. #10
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    Apr 2012
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    Default Re: Can a Neighbor's Fence Put a Pre-Existing Fence Out of Compliance

    jk - exactly - you nailed it.

    I am trying to put together something to present to my code guy where I can stop the issue BEFORE it starts. e.g. I don't want to have to fight this in court.

    My next thought is to call the NY State Code office, and run the situation by them. If they can give me something definitive and in writing - I MAY be all set.

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