Fence height regulations under debate in Kyle City Council

Six-foot-tall residential fences will remain the maximum height in Kyle after city leaders Jan. 16 chose to avoid making substantial changes in what is allowable. 

That decision, which came via a 6-1 vote approving a handful of amendments to the city’s fence regulations ordinance, closed a nearly 40 minute discussion on the matter. Kyle City Council member Daphne Tenorio voted against the amendments.

City staff proposed changes to the city’s fence regulations in order to clarify maximum heights, building materials and locations of fences for property owners.

One of those changes extended to raising the required height for residential privacy fences from six-feet to 6-feet, 5-inches.

“Really there’s nothing revolutionary about these changes, they’re evolutionary,” Director of Planning Howard Koontz said. 

Council members, as well as Kyle resident Lila Knight, debated over the relation of these ordinances to historical properties within the city. 

Koontz suggested that historical property owners apply for variances separately through the board of appeals.

Tenorio suggested that it might be an undue hardship on property owners to pay the variance fee, which could be as much as $428.06. 

There was a question if historical properties should have an exception written into the amendments, if there should be a waiver for the variance fee, or if it should ultimately be up to the land owner on whether or not to apply for a variance. 

Another issue debated was the standardizing of fence heights. Several city council members cited potential issues for residents if they replace their fences, as many home improvement stores only sell 6-foot high fences.

The action passed on first reading 6-1 Jan. 16 with Tenorio opposing the measure.

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