Conroe residents fighting new fence ordinance rules

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The biggest point of contention is the height restriction, which says fences can be no higher than 4 feet. (KTRK)

Some people in Conroe are upset over a new ordinance that may make them tear down their fence. The biggest point of contention is the height restriction.

City Council voted to require front fences be no higher than four feet. But people with fences that stand about six feet tall are trying to stop it before it hits the books and their wallets.

"This ordinance is chaotic to our city. We keep our fences for protection and to be safe inside our houses. We spend money to keep our houses looking nice, and pretty," Conroe resident Patricia Arteaga said.

And if this new fence ordinance is taken literally, people like her could be forced to spend money to replace their fences if they're higher than four feet.

"Having to remove everything, because we can't just chop it. We have to remove it. Take all these things out, build it again, buy new material, the time and all that is consuming," Arteaga said.

"I believe a man's home is his castle. People who have had fences in their yard for years, five foot and six foot fences, they're OK. They give people protection for their animals and their children," resident Randy Smith said.

Smith doesn't have a fence of his own that would have to be changed. But he is concerned for his neighbors and friends who do -- so much so that he and a small group picketed the last City Council meeting.

"If it's in disrepair, we would want it replaced," Conroe City administrator Paul Birgadamo said.

The ordinance requires fences be four feet high or less, and see through. Birgadamo says this is merely an attempt to help make the city look better. And he says there will be some exceptions.

"I believe as a staff that we're going to take a look at everyone that comes up. They'll call us. We'll take a look at it and say, 'You know what, if it's in good repair, and it's a little higher right now, just leave it alone.' That would be my suggestion," he said.

City Council plans to talk more about this at its next meeting.

Smith plans to be right there, sign in hand.
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