Good fences make good neighbors, or so the old adage goes, but a Sunday walk recently nudged Cheryl Tougias, who chairs the town’s Planning Board, to think that perhaps lower fences might make even better ones.
Tougias said she took a walk down Canton Avenue near her home and said it was “not a very pleasant pedestrian experience.”
She said she encountered several solid, six to eight-foot-fences that have been installed along front yards on Canton Avenue and other streets that have been delegated as scenic roads in town.
Tougias said that in addition to fast traffic and difficulty crossing the street safely, many sections of the sidewalk felt too narrow to be safe, especially since this is a route students use to walk to Milton High School.
“I also noticed a lot of fences right on the sidewalk,” she said. “These sidewalks aren’t very wide.”
A few days later, resident Michael Moran of Canton Avenue contacted the Planning Department to ask if the town would consider a bylaw to limit the height of the front fences that he described as “ugly.”
In an email to the Planning Board, he wrote, “It is my opinion that these structures, regardless of their composition, are ugly and greatly deter from the beauty of our neighborhood.”
Moran attached a copy of a zoning bylaw from West Hartford, Connecticut, that limits front yard walls or fences to not over four feet in height and not more than half solid construction.
During a Planning Board meeting on Oct. 10, several members of the board asked Town Planner Bill Clark to look into what other communities have done regarding fences along front boundaries.
Clark said that Milton currently has few restrictions on fences in its bylaws.
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