The Dunwoody City Council is considering allowing those living on corner lots with side street yards be able to build privacy fences up to six feet rather than four feet currently allowed in the ordinance.

A diagram showing the proposed ordinance to change the height requirements for side street yards. (City of Dunwoody)

The city’s Zoning Board of Appeals “has heard a spate of cases” involving the height of fences on side street yards on corner lots, Planner Ronnie Kurtz told the City Council at its March 12 meeting. The city’s current ordinance treats side street yards as front yards, which only allows fences four feet high.

But some homeowners say a four-foot fence does not provide for enough privacy, Kurtz said, and the ZBA is asking the council to consider changing the ordinance. The ZBA has approved all variances for side street yard fences up to six feet, he added. Fences and retaining walls in backyards can be built up to eight feet tall, according to the city’s ordinance.

Mayor Shortal recommended not allowing eight-foot tall fences in the city and removing that portion from the ordinance.

“I don’t think there is any reason for an eight-foot tall fence in Dunwoody,” Shortal said at the meeting. “It doesn’t add to the aesthetic of the city. It looks like a stockade. If we’re going to keep the area nice for people to want to come here, we don’t want to make it look like a stockade.

“A six-foot fence is high enough,” he said. “I don’t think we need an eight-foot fence anywhere in Dunwoody, Ga.”

Other council members argued allowing eight foot fences and retaining walls in backyards does not harm the city’s aesthetic and sometimes an eight-foot retaining wall is necessary to protect a home from such things as storm water.

The proposed new ordinance would also require permitting for any fences or retaining walls built in the city to ensure the quality of materials meets city standards. The council is expected to vote on the proposed ordinance at its March 26 meeting.