Guideline No. 17 – Fencing

An Exterior Alteration Application must be submitted for all fence construction.

Application Requirements

The application must include:

  • A site (plot) plan showing the location of fence and gate(s).

Note: Applications without a diagrammed plot plan will not be accepted.

  • A description, brochure, drawing, or photo of fence and gate style.
  • Materials to be used.
  • The architectural style and color of the house.
  • Fence dimensions on the site (plot) plan which shows the relationship to adjacent houses, open spaces, and property.
  • A description of the style of other fences in the immediate area.
  • A description of how the fence will be secured.

Approval

Your fence application will most likely be approved if it meets the following criteria:

  1. The fences  matches the style and height of existing, approved fencing on adjacent properties and in the general vicinity.
  2. The fence set back is a minimum of 4 feet from the edge of a walking surface and is on the owner’s property.
  3. Fence posts are secured or placed in concrete to prevent sections from blowing down.  Fences not adhering to these stipulations will be considered in violation.
  4. Staining is clear. If staining is not clear it must be applied for or requested as part of the exterior alteration application process and will be considered on a case- by-case basis.
  5. Fence gates match the fence in style, height, color, and materials and do not swing onto neighbor’s property.
  6. Have a finished side facing out i.e. if necessary fences must be finished on both sides.
  7. The fence comes off of the back edge of the house.

NOTE: Front yard fencing is not allowed (except where builder-installed as part of an original design concept.) Rear yard fencing, which would create front yard fencing for a neighbor, will not be approved. The Committee will not approve chain link, wire, wire with hedge fences, or privacy fencing of the basket weave or stockade styles (except where it conforms to the originals builder-installed design within the same development.) If welded wire mesh (sold as “hardware cloth”), galvanized, or vinyl coated welded wire mesh is used, it must of durable material, black or green in color, not readily visible. Wire must be applied to the inside only and may not extend above the top rail. Poultry and chicken wire is not permitted and will not be approved.

Acceptable fence styles:

Single Family:

  1. Transparent (e.g., 3-board or split rail) should be 42″ or 48″ at the height of the top rail for a 3-rail/board fence. These fences should remain natural.
  2. Semi-transparent, such as picket fences, can be property line fencing in certain cases. These fences must remain natural, should be uniform in height e.g., either 42″ or 48″ from grade, must be installed in a vertical manner, and should be of a simple style such as dog eared, standard gothic picket, or French/Colonial gothic picket. The tops of the posts must be level with the pickets and the post caps should match the fence finish.
  3. Opaque/ Privacy– (ex., board-on-board and panel, 5’to 6′ in height) shall be visually attached to the house. Due to their solid nature and the potential for impact on the Columbia concept of open space and adjacent properties, these fences should only be designed for a specific purpose e.g., to screen hot tubs, pools and patios, be used sparingly, and have minimal impact on neighbors. Special attention should be given to construction of solid fences to avoid wind damage. In areas of sloping terrain, the fence sections should be stepped and any horizontal rails be made to match in the same plane. These fences should remain natural.
  4. Iron and Aluminum Fences – open wrought iron or aluminum fences will only be considered for pools and not along property lines. They must be a minimum of 3-1/2 feet from the property line.

Townhouses and Condominiums:

  1. Fences shall match builder-installed as to style unless the individual associations and/or the Architectural Committee have approved alternative styles.

NOTE: Invisible fencing should be on your own property or property line. On shared property lines or corner properties invisible fence should be 4’ inside the property line.

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