The District of Kitimat has refined its fence bylaw, clarifying heights to allow for resident privacy and sight lines on corner lots for traffic and pedestrian safety.
A maximum height for a fence not on a corner is 2 metres while the maximum height for a fence on a corner is 1.2 metres. The new fence height bylaw was unanimously passed by council last month.
“This bylaw proposes property owners have greater flexibility in creating privacy in backyards while still maintaining a safe roadside environment for vehicles and pedestrians,” reads a summary staff report prepared for council.
The bylaw also sets out to eliminate confusion of the location of fences on corner lots by clarifying setback requirements. Advisory planning commission members did raise the issue of hedge heights in a discussion of the bylaw in August in that some hedges already exceed 2 metres and that some homeowners would want taller hedges than otherwise permitted.
“Staff noted that for purposes of public safety and visibility at intersections, the District is able to notify owners of the requirement to trim hedges,” read a comment in the report to council.
“Staff also noted that property owners may have higher hedges in the property’s ‘buildable area’, which does not encroach into setback requirements.”
The council report noted that hedge heights are also regulated by other regulations such a line of sight requirements and the District’s unsightly premises bylaw.