Town bans chain link fences in front yards

Published 9:00 am Thursday, March 26, 2015

COOLEEMEE – Keep those chain-link fences out of the front yard.

That’s the message town board members heard here last week – and they listened.

As they adopted an ordinance saying what types of fences residents can erect and where, they heard from several who said that chain link fences shouldn’t be allowed in front yards. They banned such fences before voting.

They hedged on picket fences. As written, they can be any color.

“Clubs and committees are trying to beautify our town. It (chain link) doesn’t look welcoming,” said K.C. Smith. “If you say no, you’re saying Cooleemee is going forward and we’re going to get better.”

“Why would anyone want to put a chain link fence in the front yard?” asked Tronia Gibson. “Fences … have them in the back yard.”

Brad Waller was the lone board member who said he had no problems with chain link fences, but that no one should have a six-foot high fence. Front yard fences can be no higher than four feet in the adopted ordinance.

“The whole thing is, it looks bad if they don’t keep it up,” Waller said. “This is the best draft of a fence ordinance we’ve ever had.”

Mayor Lynn Rumley said residents will have to get a permit to erect a fence, and will be told the rules at that time.

Board member Daphne Beck said she understood the concerns of residents. “I’m not that fond of chain-link fences, and I’m not sure we want multi-colored picket fences.”

“It doesn’t look good,” said board member Jim Szmanski of chain link.

Waller was the only member to vote for chain link fences in front yards. He later voted for the entire fence ordinance, with the ban on chain link in front yards.

“Good Lord, that only took us a year,” said Rumley of the town’s effort to adopt a fence ordinance. “Progress.”