Corner-lot homeowners in Palos Hills now need to seek permission from the city council before making changes to their fences.
Amendments to the city’s fence ordinance went into effect after a vote during Thursday’s city council meeting, altering the ordinance wording slightly, yet significantly.
The changed portion of the ordinance pertains only to front and side yards of homes and says the constructed fence must still remain six inches inside of the homeowners’ property line.
Alderman Joan Knox (2nd Ward) said the phrasing being changed in the ordinance pertains solely to corner-lot exceptions. “The property owner must now appeal directly to the city council before any construction of an otherwise permitted fence takes place,” she said.
Prior to the change, a homeowner was allowed to make the change with permission from his or her neighbor, by having them sign the permit request indicating they had no objections to the changes as long as the homeowner already previously obtained a permit for the fence.
“The major change to the fence ordinance is now a homeowner needs to come before the city council before making any changes to an already permitted fence,” Mayor Jerry Bennett said. “Before they were able to do so with just the permission of their neighbor; however, now any changes must first come directly before the city council.”
Knox added that nowhere in the ordinance is there a legal written description on what constitutes the front of a house. Ald. A.J. Pasek felt not determining what constitutes the front of a house may cause future problems for the city.
“We need to eventually determine what the front of the house is and include it in the ordinance,” he said.