I am in CT. What is the process and procedure for putting a new fence on my side and rear yards? There is an existing fences, it is severely rotted, and owned by three neighbors (one on each side). My town's zoning laws is: "SECTION 360. REGULATION OF OTHER IMPROVEMENTS ON THE LOT 362. Walls and Fences
The yard requirements of these Regulations shall not be deemed to prohibit any fence or wall, including any necessary retaining wall, provided that in any residence zone no fence or wall shall exceed four feet in height in any required front yard, and six feet in height in any
required side and rear yard, measured above the finished grade, subject to limitation in Subsection 363 and pertinent requirements of Article VIII. A special privacy fence up to eight feet high may be erected on a portion of a residential property that is immediately
adjacent to a commercial zone. " Please advise how I should proceed to ensure neighbors are properly engaged and contribute as appropriate. Thx.
Good morning, I'm sorry to hear of your dilemma. Your town's Zoning Laws as regard fences do not mandate contribution by your adjoining property owners for a fence that you want to erect on your property boundary; separating the other three properties from yours. In most instances like this, while contribution is the neighborly thing to do, it is not legally enforceable. Do you know the history of your fence? You say that it is owned by the three neighbors, but you don't mention that you have any ownership in it. Have you determined whether the fence is exactly on the property line as opposed to an inch or more on your property--or theirs? My experience has been that it is very difficult to get all your neighbors to agree at the same time to replace a privacy fence--and the fact that the economy is in such rough shape you may find even greater than normal resistance to your proposed project. You don't mention whether you have approached your neighbors with your construction proposal yet. I suggest that you run it by them and get their initial reactions. Absent any clear support from your local regulations as to monetary contribution requirements, you may well need to reconsider whether it is worthwhile to construct the new fence if it will be at your expense, with little or no contribution. I wish you the best in 2009.
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Thanks I do not know the history of the fence other than the way it faces it appears that the ownership is my neighbors (the inside faces their property).Do they have any responsibilities to keep the fence in safe and decent condition?
Good morning,Your neighbors have an obligation to see that nothing on their property develops into a dangerous condition, however such a situation rarely applies to fences. If any of the fences enclose a swimming pool, you will likely find regulations requiring proper maintenance of that particular enclosure.Presuming that you do not live in a neighborhood controlled by CC&R's, as you would in a homeowners association, there is little you can do to force then to make repairs, I'm afraid to say.I wish you well.
I am a practicing attorney with more than 27 years of experience in the legal field.
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