By Nikki Jamieson
Westwind Weekly News
The Town of Magrath is considering increasing front yard fence heights.
During their regular Sept. 22 meeting, Magrath town council performed first reading of bylaw 1272, a Land Use Bylaw amendment for fence heights.
If passed, it would amend the LUB and change the requirements for fence heights and fence development standards by increasing the maximum front yard fence height requirement from 0.9 m (3 ft.) to 1.22 m (4 ft.); establishing an allowance for front yard fencing up to 1.98 m (6.5 ft.), at the discretion of the Development Officer, provided that the fencing is not less than 75 per cent transparent; and clarify that the existing allowance for 1.98 m (6.5 ft.) side yard fencing is not to extend anymore than 2.44 m (8 ft.) into the front yard past the furthest projection of a dwelling, after which any fence shall not exceed 1.22 m (4 ft.) in height.
The maximum fence height for all other rear and side yard fencing will remain at 1.98 m (6.5 ft.).
“One of the things the town has been dealing with a lot of is deer,” said James Suffredine, CAO for Magrath. “One of the things brought to council was a concern that three feet was not a height that was desired, and a change to potentially four feet as well as adding a discretionary use for higher fences were required.”
Currently, three feet is the maximum allowable height for front yard fences, the area from the furthest point of the house or attached garage forward, in town. Side yard and back yard fences can be up to six-and-a-half feet tall.
Suffredine said a main driver for increasing the height of front yard fences is the area’s deer population.
“It’s a lot more lively here,” said Suffredine. “There’s a lot more deer in Magrath than people kind of, maybe get in other towns. That’s one of the things that came in, making it so that if someone has a specific deer problem on the edge of their property, there will be a discretionary ability for fences in the front yard. It can be up to six-and-a-half feet, as long as they are transparent.”
Before second and third reading can take place, a public hearing for the bylaw will need to take place. One is currently scheduled for Oct. 13 at 6 p.m. Anyone wishing to make a presentation regarding the proposed bylaw should contact the Municipal Administrator by 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 12. Both written and verbal presentations may be given at the public hearing. A copy of the proposed bylaw may be inspected at the Town of Magrath municipal office during normal business hours or at http://www.magrath.ca.