The City directed that the building project have a ‘split rail fence…five and one half feet from the building envelope on the North and East sides, meeting at the intersection of the two fence lines.’ This fence is designed to keep us IN, and this allows us a five and a half foot wide deck of pavers at the rear of the home and a paver patio of approximately 15 feet by twelve feet where the fences ‘intersect.’ This is our outdoor living space, 200 square feet of “free and full use” out of our acre and a quarter, plus twenty feet of front yard and the driveway. That could be normal, were we living on a tight urban lot, but we are not, and so we sit in our sleek, contemporary home and look over our very rustic rail fence and long for some room to roam.
But the fence was built long before the home was finished, and the patio was one of the last things completed–after inspection, in fact, and so the fence follows the slope of the land and where it ought to create a ‘safety rail’ along the patio, it terminates at about 15 inches high. Not good. But I am not going to argue safety railing code with split rail confinement regulators. I have to have a fence…and I can’t plant a vegetable garden…I am going combine the two, and have it be tall enough so people won’t tumble off the patio and dent my sensitive dirt.