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InsuranceLawyer, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
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Experience:  Twenty-six years of litigation experience including many contract cases.
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I need to put up a privacy fence. How far fromthe property ...

Resolved Question:

I need to put up a privacy fence. How far fromthe property line do I need to put it?
I live in eastern north carolina.
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Marc replied 9 years ago.
HiCustomer Thank you for asking your question on Just Answer. The other Experts and I are working on your answer. By the way, it would help us to know:

-Which county and city do you live in, if you don't mind. I want to be sure I am not missing a municipal code that may be in effect.

-What type of fence are you considering constructing?

-How high were you planning to make the fence?

-What is your relationship like with your neighbors?

Thank you again for trusting us with your problem. Please reply as soon as possible so that we can finish answering your question.
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Hi, I live in Jones county in the city limits of Maysville.

I am looking at a privacy fence from the front corner of my house to the back of my property, and from the front corner to the state right of way a split rail fence.

The privacy fence will more than likely be 6 feet tall.

I have lived here for 11 years and my neighbors have lived next door for 5 or 6 years.
They never had their property surveyed but mine was when I built my home.

The lot between us is owned by them and they cleared it off about 4 years ago and I helped him seed it and we have had a good relationship as far as he was allowed to use my ndrive to axcess his property and he allowed me to use the lot to turn around in and such, I mow the grass on the lot half the time.

My wife planted some bushes a week ago about 4 inches on our side and he said I had them planted on his side and I showed him the survey stakes but he was persistent that they were on his side.

So Im having the original surveyer come do it again and place stakes every 20 feet, property is 256 feet deep and then I plan to put my fence up.
Expert:  Marc replied 9 years ago.

Hi Fireman!

So, you’re in Maysville. That’s great, you’re about 60mi N of where I grew up.

Now here is something and this I do not submit as an answer but just an idea:

Plant Bamboo.

I wish I had a photo handy of the wall I made where I used to live in NC. It was great, it was natural and when the gentle winds blew, it made a nice peaceful sound.

I found my bamboo in NC behind a business and inquired about getting some cuttings, they said, TAKE ALL YOU WANT. They did not have anyone taking care of their forest and it was taking over everything. I did a good job of thinning their culms and had enough to make a good starting wall. I also planted them around this time of year so it had a good summer to grow.

My house was at the end of a main road in my subdivision and thus I had little privacy in line with the road. Within a year of planting, I had a suitable privacy wall. With pruning, I could have kept it at that density. Within a few years, it was solid and maintenance kept it from taking over my yard.

The negatives of bamboo, where you are and due to frost are leaf drop. Now, you can protect the plants with burlap but that is time consuming and it will not die because of the frost you have there. The other problem is creep with the running bamboo. I was able to keep mine well mannered. Simple ‘spade pruning’ a couple times a year and you will not have any problems. After 10 years, the stand of bamboo was incredible.

Now I live in Arizona and I am again using Bamboo in my landscaping, this time to block the sun. I just bought a half dozen 5 gal. golden bamboo over the weekend. With the climate being so arid here, you do not find wild runs and not many people have enough that you can ask them for some cuttings. So I had to find some at the local nursery.

I mention the bamboo because:

1) It is inexpensive and easy acquire. If you look around, it might be next to or even free, mine was. Installation is then just some good ole diggin.

2) Some cities and counties may have ordinances that regulate fence height. Even on proximal locations of your property. A natural plant barrier typically will not be regulated in height (although sometimes regulated by species). The city could require that you prune it into a pleasing display.

3) If you change your mind, a chainsaw and some RoundUp will get rid of the wall in very short time. [Then you have wood for patio furniture!]

4) Actual offset on your side of the property line can be ZERO. You can’t dig beyond your line but it can be on it.

[As an addendum, for what ever purpose you may be manipulating the ground at the property line and even within the borders of your own property, you should seek the services of one of the free, local “Call before you dig” companies]

5) [Lastly, I am not a tree hugger but…] Bamboo is an environmentally friendly plant that is actually a grass. Thus, it is an easily renewable resource and its use in place of dimensional lumber reduces the harvesting of old growth wood.

American Bamboo Society - Promoting the Beauty and Utility of Bamboo

[ ]

As I mentioned in the beginning, I am not submitting this as your answer. I have been researching your question and I am glad to investigate further about the split rail fence offset for you if you like.

However if this is something you had not considered and it has grabbed your interest please feel free to accept this as the answer to your question.

thank you,


Customer: replied 9 years ago.
This is not the type of response I was looking for nor does it answer my question
Expert:  InsuranceLawyer replied 9 years ago.

The best and most reliable source for your answer is the building department of your local municipality. No matter what anyone else tells you, your building department is the one who will have the final say on whether your fence meets code.

If you have a well-established local fence company, they also usually know the codes.

In most cases, you can put a fence right on the property line. Be sure you have an accurate survey. Local ordinances and utility easements may affect your right to put a fence right on the property line.

Also, in developed areas, there is usually a limit of four feet height for fences facing the street, and six feet for all others.

I hope this helps.

InsuranceLawyer, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 1033
Experience: Twenty-six years of litigation experience including many contract cases.
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