Because I said so!

Will someone please remind me why I moved to the city and not the country?

We’ve been getting around to fencing our yard, and it’s not the easiest thing when you have such a large, hilly, heavily wooded lot to enclose.

We decided to go with a more naturalistic approach to fencing materials, and we were going to use cedar posts with a woven farm fencing.  Aside from the tremendous difference in price, in my opinion, it just looks better.  It is also much easier to install with such a contoured lot.

Fast forward, all supplies have been purchased, the property has been surveyed and prepared for the fence.  We installed the cedar posts and the following day we get a notice from the city that we need a permit to complete the work.  Go figure.

I go to the city to apply for the permit and am sternly told that we are not allowed to use farm fencing.

At the moment, I am quite perturbed with the city officials, and am not looking forward to working this little kink out of the process.  Question after question were fired off from my end, and the only answer that was given to me was that “those are the rules, it’s been that way since 1993, no deviations.”

Never mind that the fence is made from the exact same material, blends into the landscape better than a chain link would, and would look 100 percent better, “THOSE ARE THE RULES!”  Never mind that nowhere in the code does is say specifically that farm fencing is prohibited.  Or that we have over an acre and our zoning is that of ‘rural urban farming’ and we are actually allowed to have cows, horses, chickens, rabbits, yet we can’t have a type of fence that was created solely for the purpose of keeping those types of animals corralled.

I was so upset the first time that I actually had to walk out to calm down and then go back in to discuss the issue further.  It didn’t change anything.

Derek went in there with specs and pictures of the fencing, explanations, more questions and was told the exact same thing.

So now we have to pay $150 to file a variance, prove our case and hope that they allow what we want to do.

The inner workings of the city still baffles me, and in my line of work, I’ve dealt with some very interesting city officials.  But this, THIS! just doesn’t make any sense to me.  I mean, if the only argument they can come up with is “because that’s just the way it is”, maybe it shouldn’t be that way after all.

So, we will suck it up and do what needs to be done, and I will try to do it with a smile on my face.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Meg
    Apr 15, 2009 @ 09:24:00

    Grrrr….how frustrating for you. I hate dealing with the beauracracy(sp). It seems lots of people just don’t care. Really? that’s too bad. Good luck with your variance!


  2. emily
    Apr 15, 2009 @ 13:03:11

    How frustrating!! Doesn’t it just seem like we have a bunch of idiots running things sometimes? I hope they’ll see things your way.


  3. caprik
    Apr 20, 2009 @ 06:20:19

    I had a fence conversation at our old house. I lost too.


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