Sunday, April 15, 2012

Fence By-law

On a walk through the neighbourhood, it has been noted that there a few front yard fences that are both too tall and are built of "closed or solid type construction", both features which do not comply with the existing City of Mississauga Fence By-law 349-83. We are not going to point fingers, but you will know who you are (or if it is your neighbour) simply by looking at the construction of the fence in your front yard.

To help out, we have added a PDF reference to the Fence By-law on the Resources page of the neighbourhood website (http://www.birchglen.com/). The By-law is too long and comprehensive to quote verbatim in this post, so we have tried to put the relevant section in plain English.

The section regarding front yard fences is Section 6 on page 4 of the by-law. It states, plainly that:
  • A front yard fence of solid type construction cannot be taller than 1 metre (39 inches) above effective ground level;
  • A front yard fence of open type construction can be up to 1.5 metres (59 inches) above effective ground level
  • The fence cannot be closer than 4.5 metres (14 feet 9 inches) to the nearest streetline;
  • If a rear-yard or side-yard fence is within 4.5 metres of a driveway on a adjoining lot, it must be of open-type construction to provide adequate sightlines for any vehicles existing said driveway, for the safety of passing pedestrians.
The By-law states that a "fence of open construction" means a fence constructed so that at least one third of its vertical surface area is open space, enabling motorists and pedestrians to have a clear view through such fence. (By-law 349-83).
        "Effective ground level" is defined as the mean level of the ground within a radius of 1.25 metres (49 inches) of the ground location being considered -- where the fence is located. This definition may affect the owners of those properties that have a retaining wall that raises the level of their front yard above the adjacent sidewalk. The Building Department might be able to offer some clarification as to how you decide the effective ground level of your property.
        A fence is defined as "a railing, wall, hedge, line of posts, shrubs, trees, wire, gate, boards, pickets, or other similar substances, used to enclose or divide in whole or in part a yard or other land, to establish a property boundary, or to provide privacy".

Please go to the Resources page of our website and click on the Fence By-law, or go to the City of Mississauga website and search the by-law.