The Hate Fence

What do you do when a family moves next door and starts swimming at appropriate times of the day and at relatively appropriate noise levels?

Well, if you’re my bizarre neighbor to the east, you build a hate fence, or what I’ve come to find out Wikipedia calls a “Spite Fence”: “A spite fence is an overly tall fence, structure in the nature of a fence, or a row of trees, bushes, or hedges, constructed or planted between adjacent lots by a property owner who is annoyed with or wishes to annoy a neighbor.”

One day, without any warning to any of us, our eastern neighbor erected a privacy fence that was only adjacent to our neighbor to the north (we live on a corner lot). The eastern neighbor’s backyard extended east beyond that of the northern neighbor’s, but the fence ended exactly where the northern neighbor’s yard ended and didn’t block out us or the neighbors to their east.

The fence made a very clear “We hate you and only you!” statement. It was abundantly clear that the Hate Fence neighbors, as I’ve come to call them, were trying to block out the northern neighbors. The northern neighbors had just moved in and were getting a lot of use out of the swimming pool that the previous owners had ignored. Maybe the pool house neighbors were making too much noise for the Hate Fence neighbors, but my yard is also adjacent and I barely notice anything unless I’m outside. Even then, my pool house neighbors keep the noise to a respectable level. It sounds like kids are playing outside, which is what you would expect to hear in a neighborhood like ours. Maybe the Hate Fence neighbors didn’t want to see people in bathing suits, but the pool house people had a slatted fence that camouflages them pretty well from my perspective.
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I know, the fencing in our yard looks strange because the pool house neighbors have a different fence than ours and we just linked up to it to save money on fencing and hassle of mowing between two fences. Our neighborhood has land deed restrictions that say we must have split rail fences and nothing else. The original pool house owners got special permission to build their white fence because of their pool. Our deed specifically says that privacy fences or anything that blocks the view of the pond is not allowed.

Do you see a pond out there? No? Well, you used to be able to. It was only a retention pond so I wasn’t in love with it, but still. Thanks a heap, Hate Fencers!

If you think they were just trying to fence their yard piece by piece, they already spent big bucks putting in a split rail fence not a year beforehand. Why didn’t they do the privacy fence then? Why do half a side of privacy fence and leave the rest open?

None of it made any sense, but if you think it was weird at this point, just wait until tomorrow’s post. It gets weirder. And more hateful.

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12 Responses to The Hate Fence

  1. Can you report the hate fencers for an illegal fence?

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  3. JessiG

    Okay, I totally didn’t get the picture when you posted it last year but the blog piece makes it so much more understandable. Can’t wait for Part 2 (even though I’m pretty sure I saw the story but can’t remember a darn thing about it other than there was a fence.)
    BTW, I like “hate fence” better than “spite fence.” It has more bite to it.

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  7. deafgimp

    I assume you can make an anonymous call about the fence? I know that in my previous neighborhood they only acted on code enforcement if it was terribly egregious or if someone complained. For instance the neighborhood didn’t allow above ground pools and someone put one in knowing that. They also refused to put in a fence, to boot. They were made to take it down before some kid drowned.

    To make it completely anon, have someone responding to the blog make the call. They can’t trace it to you if you don’t use your own phone! ;-)

    That said, I don’t know how the Hate Fencers are going to know it’s you. You don’t have to ID yourself to the code enforcers if you call them. If the Hate Fencers accuse you, you can say “but your yard is gorgeous” and skirt the issue.

  8. Richard

    I enjoyed this. I actually have neighbors who did the same. At the end of their yard only they built a white fence, only to block off the neighbors behind them, similar to what you have here.

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