Time for a Chain-ge: Thumbs Down In Wheeling To Front Yard Chain Link Fences - Journal & Topics Media Group

2022-04-24 07:29:35 By : Ms. Butterfly Huang

Journal & Topics Media Group | Serving Chicago's Great Northwest Suburbs

By Karie Angell Luc | on September 30, 2021

A residential chain link fence in Wheeling on Sept. 25, 2021. (Karie Angell Luc/Journal photo)

Thinking of putting a chain link fence in your Wheeling residential front yard? Think again.

Think white pickets, or vinyl, or decorative split rail fencing to doll up your front lawn and fence permit.

Front yard chain link fences will no longer be allowed in Wheeling, that is, after the Wheeling Village Board on Sept. 20 banned new chain link fences for front yards.

Those department store chain link fences that were commonly installed decades ago, and now may be rusted or bent with a squeaky front gate, are no longer preferred for front yards.

However, if you currently have a chain link fence in your front yard and it gets damaged, yes, you can replace it with what you had before.

“You can replace like for like,” said Ross Klicker, the village’s director of community development, adding if an existing front yard chain link fence section was impacted due to a car accident or a tree falling on it, the property owner could replace it with the same chain link fencing.

At the Monday evening meeting, the Wheeling Village Board heard what the village’s planning division had analyzed regarding the zoning code for fences allowable for corner side yards.

More homeowners have sought zoning variance, seeking to install privacy fences within the front yard setbacks on corner lots.

This prompted discussion by the board about chain link fences in front yards, and concerns over plastic slats that are sometimes inserted between the links.

The slats can crack over time, creating a front yard eyesore, said Mary Papantos, village trustee.

“They tend to break and they really look bad, can we prohibit those?” Papantos said of the slats.

“You can, we currently do not have a prohibition on that,” Klicker said, replying to Papantos, adding that is a property maintenance issue.

“I mean,” Papantos added, “It’s something to look at.”

Mesh material was also indicated as not being desirable to plug holes in chain links.

The village board did a poll before voting on the ordinance to amend. Who would be in favor of having new front yard chain link fences placed in a legal category where they would not be allowed?

Village Trustee Joe Vito and Village President Pat Horcher felt residents might need the chain link option for their front yards and said no.

“I think it negatively affects poor people, that’s twice the cost,” Vito said.

Horcher said, “I have to admit I am a no on that too.”

Per the majority of the board, chain link fencing for front yards was moved to the alternate regulated category, so that chain link adjoined fence sections would not be allowed for front yards.

“I’m okay with chain link fences on side yards, backyards, but where I have a problem is when a chain link fence is the whole perimeter of the property,” said Wheeling Village Trustee Jim Ruffatto.

“I just don’t think that looks right in our neighborhoods.”

Chain link does what a fence is supposed to do keep people out. If you can’t keep them out with a proper fence the put in plants with barbs or needles.

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