Safe Fencing Regulations Engagement

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The Development Services Department (DSD) is seeking your input on code requirements that address dangerous fencing.

Background:

The Austin City Council recently passed Resolution No. 20211104-039. This Resolution initiated amendments to the City's Technical Codes to address dangerous fence design including spiked pickets, spiked bars and other spiked decorative elements that protrude above the top horizontal bar of a fence.

To develop final code recommendations, DSD is working with the community to explore options, including:

  • Requiring flat top styles on new fences of all lengths
  • Applying flat top fence requirements to all new fences of six feet tall or lower
  • Applying flat top fence requirements to substantial fence repairs or remodeling of 50% or more of an existing fence

Community Input:

We want to hear from you! DSD is hosting a series of engagement opportunities between April 25 and June 5, 2022.

There are four different options for providing feedback:

  1. Online: Use the comment box below to send us your questions and/ or comments between April 25 and June 5, 2022. Questions and responses will be provided weekly.
  2. Virtual Engagements: Development Services will host two virtual meetings on this topic. To register, click on the link at the bottom this page.
  3. In-Person Engagement: Development Services will also host an in-person meeting on this topic. To register, click on the link at the bottom of this page.
  4. Email: Email your questions and comments to dsdcommunications@austintexas.gov

For those who would like to attend one of the virtual or in-person sessions, please select the date and format that works best for you. The information provided during all sessions will be the same. Please only register for one session. Registration will be limited to provide attendees the best engagement experience possible.

Additional Information:

Additional information, including a copy of the presentation, a video of the presentation, the resolution and a project timeline will soon be posted to the right side of this page. All responses to questions asked online, at a virtual or in-person session, or via email will also be posted on this site.

Once the engagement series is complete, DSD will develop code amendments informed by the feedback received. The proposed amendments will be presented to City boards, commissions and the Austin City Council.

Please continue to refer to this page. It will to be continually updated throughout the life of the project.

Thank you!

We welcome your feedback and interest in the proposed changes. Please contact dsdcommunications@austintexas.gov if we can provide any additional information.


Virtual Meetings
Tuesday, May 1010 am to NoonREGISTRATION CLOSED
Monday, May 16
10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
REGISTRATION CLOSED


In-Person Meetings
Saturday, May 7
10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
REGISTRATION CLOSED
Permitting and Development Center
Event Center
6310 Wilhelmina Delco Dr.
Austin, TX 78752
Thursday, May 266 pm to 8 pmREGISTRATION CLOSED
Permitting and Development Center
Event Center
6310 Wilhelmina Delco Dr.
Austin, TX 78752


Español | English

The Development Services Department (DSD) is seeking your input on code requirements that address dangerous fencing.

Background:

The Austin City Council recently passed Resolution No. 20211104-039. This Resolution initiated amendments to the City's Technical Codes to address dangerous fence design including spiked pickets, spiked bars and other spiked decorative elements that protrude above the top horizontal bar of a fence.

To develop final code recommendations, DSD is working with the community to explore options, including:

  • Requiring flat top styles on new fences of all lengths
  • Applying flat top fence requirements to all new fences of six feet tall or lower
  • Applying flat top fence requirements to substantial fence repairs or remodeling of 50% or more of an existing fence

Community Input:

We want to hear from you! DSD is hosting a series of engagement opportunities between April 25 and June 5, 2022.

There are four different options for providing feedback:

  1. Online: Use the comment box below to send us your questions and/ or comments between April 25 and June 5, 2022. Questions and responses will be provided weekly.
  2. Virtual Engagements: Development Services will host two virtual meetings on this topic. To register, click on the link at the bottom this page.
  3. In-Person Engagement: Development Services will also host an in-person meeting on this topic. To register, click on the link at the bottom of this page.
  4. Email: Email your questions and comments to dsdcommunications@austintexas.gov

For those who would like to attend one of the virtual or in-person sessions, please select the date and format that works best for you. The information provided during all sessions will be the same. Please only register for one session. Registration will be limited to provide attendees the best engagement experience possible.

Additional Information:

Additional information, including a copy of the presentation, a video of the presentation, the resolution and a project timeline will soon be posted to the right side of this page. All responses to questions asked online, at a virtual or in-person session, or via email will also be posted on this site.

Once the engagement series is complete, DSD will develop code amendments informed by the feedback received. The proposed amendments will be presented to City boards, commissions and the Austin City Council.

Please continue to refer to this page. It will to be continually updated throughout the life of the project.

Thank you!

We welcome your feedback and interest in the proposed changes. Please contact dsdcommunications@austintexas.gov if we can provide any additional information.


Virtual Meetings
Tuesday, May 1010 am to NoonREGISTRATION CLOSED
Monday, May 16
10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
REGISTRATION CLOSED


In-Person Meetings
Saturday, May 7
10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
REGISTRATION CLOSED
Permitting and Development Center
Event Center
6310 Wilhelmina Delco Dr.
Austin, TX 78752
Thursday, May 266 pm to 8 pmREGISTRATION CLOSED
Permitting and Development Center
Event Center
6310 Wilhelmina Delco Dr.
Austin, TX 78752


CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.
  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    There is no need for that type of fence ,intended it seems to kill or maim innocent animals and potentially humans,in a suburban family oriented neighborhood. I've witnessed the damage and was left with nightmares for weeks. Please help us put an end to this type of endangerment!

    PDG NW asked 26 days ago

    Thank you for your feedback.

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    Per the Resolution, existing fences are addressed as follows: •Applying flattop fence requirements to substantial fence repairs or remodeling of 50% or more of an existing fence. The issue surfaced due to existing fences. Why does the Resolution not require 100% of existing fence be updated to the proposed 'flattop' requirement?

    COA_RG asked 29 days ago

    The Council Resolution directs the City Manager to explore a number of options of which one is applying flat top fence requirements to substantial fence repairs or remodeling of 50% or more of an existing fence. Other options identified for evaluation include requiring fIat top styles on new fences of all lengths and applying flat top fence requirements to all new fences of six feet tall or lower. Overall, it is a common practice of building codes to allow structures that were legal at one time to be brought up to current standards in increments to mitigate any potential burden on property owners while ensuring movement toward long-term compliance.

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    There must be exceptions allowed for projects where security is required such as data centers, all federal facilities where they contract commercial buildings like VA ADmin Bldg on Metropolis and the VA Hospital on Metropolis, Ercot, Amazon faclities, etc. Point is that some facilities cannot have a flat top fence.

    Ron Thrower asked about 1 month ago

    Thank you for your feedback.

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    Does the city of Austin require any permits to build a new fence in our backyard? We live in 78758, with no HOA Thanks

    cref asked about 1 month ago

    Any residential fence above eight feet in height requires a permit.

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    I support this ordinance. It is not causing current fence owners added expenses by requiring change on current fencing. It is asking newly installed fences to abide by this safety measure. The cost of flat top fencing is comparable to spiked fencing. So this doesn't create additional expenses for a property owner to install flat top fencing. I agree that the situation that prompted this ordinance proposal is extremely rare, but there are many instances that have proven spike topped fences to be unsafe for animals and humans. I urge you to pass this ordinance because it will make a difference in lives and doesn't seem like too much to ask for installation of new fencing.

    Ashley S asked about 1 month ago

    Thank you for your feedback.

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    I would like to support the fencing code changes. There is clear evidence that low picket fences are a danger to wildlife and humans. There are alternatives that provide safe fencing. Communities in our area have recognized the need, as have communities across the country and internationally, and have enacted laws to address the problem. Austin should do the same.

    Triana288 asked about 1 month ago

    Thank you for your feedback.

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    Please support the safe fencing regulation! This should be a no-brainer; safety should always trump aesthetics. This is not just about one child who died, but about all the many children who won’t have to. Please ban unsafe fencing!

    Lindar62 asked about 1 month ago

    Thank you for your feedback.

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    I strongly support adopting the Safe Fencing Regulation. Picket fences are a design choice that can be fatal for humans and animals. It’s an easy fix going forward, ensuring that living beings can’t become entrapped, gored or strangled. I know someone whose young child slipped out of their view for moments and wound up strangled on a metal picket fence. I mourn that sweet child every time I see a picket fence. It’s a design aesthetic that is fatally flawed, and updating code to reflect our new understanding is an obvious decision. Please update fencing regulations to be safer for children and wildlife.

    RS asked about 1 month ago

    Thank you for your feedback.

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    If I saw equal measures/resolutions to stop/fight crime in Austin I would support this. But living in an area where people often jump my fence (they are 6ft and flat topped btw) as they run from the cops and swat I don’t see what this really addresses. I oppose this resolution.

    N/A asked about 1 month ago

    Thank you for your feedback. 

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    I strongly support amending the city code to address dangerous fencing. These spiked bars and pickets on short fences have been clearly shown to be dangerous and sometimes deadly to wildlife and children. There would be no excuse for allowing another "rare" fence tragedy to occur when it is so clearly preventable.

    Tasca Shadix asked about 1 month ago

    Thank you for your feedback. 

Page last updated: 05 Jun 2022, 11:50 PM