Proposal to allow chain-link fences in front yards fails to gain committee support

The Pine Bluff City Council Development and Planning Committee voted Tuesday to recommend the full council reject a proposed ordinance that would allow residents to place chain-link fencing in their front yards.

Inspection and Zoning Department official Lakishia Hill urged the aldermen to vote against recommending passage of the fencing measure, which was proposed by committee member and Ward 4 Alderman Steven Mays.

“The Inspection and Zoning Department held a series of public meetings 10 years ago to establish an ordinance regulating residential fencing in the city,” Hill said. “It was decided that chain-link fencing in front yards would not be allowed. It was the general consensus then that chain-link fencing in the front yards of houses brought down property values.”

Mays said he brought the issue forward because several of his constituents asked him to.

“People are telling me that the decorative fencing that is allowed under the existing ordinance is too expensive,” Mays said. “They want to be able to install the chain-link because it is cheaper.”

Hill said options such as picket and split-rail fencing is not as expensive as the wrought-iron variety.

Committee Chairman Charles Boyd and committee member Lloyd Holcomb Jr. voted against recommending the item to the full city council, which will have its next meeting on Monday, Feb. 17.

If passed, the measure would amend Code of Ordinances section 29-138.