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Saranac Lake village to revisit fence law

Saranac Lake Board of Trustees

Saranac Lake Board of Trustees Photo by Andy Flynn.

The current fence law “is far too vague,” Evans said. “In the end, it causes more confusion and resources to administer than a law that’s written a little bit more definitely.”

Trustee Paul Van Cott said there needs to be some reasonable fencing regulation in the village.

“You don’t want 30-foot-high fences just because neighbors don’t get along,” Van Cott said. “And you don’t want people throwing up just fences made out of anything, just because they can. We’re trying t

Provide for a village that is welcoming and attractive to people who might want to live here. And the more you can be specific about it the better, because then people know what is possible.”

Village Board members tabled the motion to approve the fence law pending revisions of the law, specifically regarding garden fencing, and will discuss the amended law at the next meeting. In order to approve the amended law, they’ll need to hold another public hearing.

Proposed Fence Law

Key points of the proposed fence law, as presented to the Village Board on May 29, include:

•Prior to the construction of any fence or wall, a building permit shall be obtained.

•All fences shall be constructed of a common type such as split rail, picket, chain link, or stockade. Fences shall have the most pleasant or decorative side facing adjacent properties.

•Fence height shall be measured from the lowest point of the natural grade of the property.

•No fence over 4 feet in height shall be erected or maintained in the architectural front yard. The “architectural front yard” shall be defined as the yard facing the side of the building containing the architectural main entrance to the house. For a waterfront lot, the “architectural front yard” shall be defined as the yard facing the street.

•No fence over 6 feet in height shall be erected or maintained in any rear yard or side yard; no fence over 5 feet in height shall be erected or maintained in the front yard not considered to be the architectural front yard.

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