Springfield Resident Protests the Use of Electric Fence on Residential Property

fenceIn Springville, NY, several families are upset — and concerned — about the presences of an electric fence in their neighbor’s yard. Melissa Huber and her family are among those, as this neighbor’s property is next to theirs.Huber’s Main Street neighbor owns a nine-acre lot. The fence was recently erected there because their neighbors own horses and longhorn deer, and want to keep them within the property. Huber, though, sees the fence as a potential danger for anyone who happens to be near the lot. Although commercially supplied electric fences are designed not to kill humans who accidentally come into contact with them, they still do have the potential to injure, or even kill in rare instances.“What am I supposed to do, put up a ‘warning electric fence’ sign in my yard?” She says, adding that the neighborhood kids often end up gathering in her yard to play with her children. The electric fence is just six inches away from Huber’s property — this means it would be difficult for Hubert to put up her own fence in order to block it off.

Additionally, trees and a treehouse fort for her kids border the electric fence. Huber is concerned that it would be very easy for one of the children to accidentally walk into or fall into the fence. Part of the problem is that the current village code does not say what sort of fence is or isn’t allowed — it only limits their height and says they cannot interfere with public right-of-way.

Huber has submitted a petition, signed by other residents, that asks for the town to re-examining their fencing policies in order to regulate the use of electric fences. The petition asks for warning signs every four feet, as well as that the fence be at least 10 feet from adjoining lots.

She also filed a public complaint on July 14. However, she was told at that point that the fence has appropriate permits. Huber has also requested documentation on animal housing.

Springville Mayor William Krebs says that they are looking into the issue, but cautions that change would not happen overnight. “We told her we’d look into the local law and that’s what we’re going to do,” he explained to the Springville Journal.

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