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Old 10-15-2015, 08:23 PM   #21
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Sorry to hear that Sean. Looks like Austin has as many busybodies that love to mess with other people as San Antonio has. My best advice is to build a screening fence that is in 100% compliance with the city code - to the letter. Make it a nice one, nothing ratty, everything up to snuff. Then, let the neighbor know, very kindly, that you are in total compliance with the city code. Mention your Attorney, and that you will treat any future raising of the issue as harassment, and sue aggressively. Carl's right - these kind of folks are about power and control. Once she knows you won't be pushed around, she'll move on to an easier target.
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Old 10-15-2015, 08:26 PM   #22
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Maybe she is a Ranger fan, and is upset with the Jay's butt kicking.
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Old 10-15-2015, 08:47 PM   #23
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Wait....I lost it at...the sun was reflecting off the window..could you move your truck!

Your neighbor seriously needs a hobby....one that doesn't include you or anything in your backyard.

I'd zip the guidelines back as a reply. As for relocating the trailer....no way...as soon as you start complying with the requests......you're a pawn!
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Old 10-15-2015, 09:14 PM   #24
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Another gambit would be to inform the neighbor you plan on building a 6 ft code-compliant fence that will not cover up the whole trailer. Have a quote in hand for a code-compliant carport with solid walls, and offer to build that if the neighbor will pay the difference.

If they go for it, get the difference in $ up front even if you need to put together a legal contract.

That's a win-win!
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Old 10-15-2015, 09:36 PM   #25
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Would bamboo be considered "wood"? If so, perhaps one of those rolls could be put up with stakes at each end for easy ingress/egress.
(I know it's a grass.)
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Old 10-15-2015, 09:42 PM   #26
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Daubsy,
The operative language in the quoted code is "screened from public view".
If a person standing on the sidewalk or street can see the Escape over a six foot fence, you would have to go higher---as high as necessary to screen from public view.
I'd get something cheap from Lowes or Home Depot and put in on wheels or stabilize it with ratcheting tie-downs like we do with awnings.
Just an old lawyer's opinion.
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Old 10-15-2015, 09:51 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bisonbill View Post
The fence has to be only 6ft tall? A 19ft Escape is 8 1/2 ft or so. Even when you're in compliance the top of the trailer will be visible.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tractors1 View Post
Another gambit would be to inform the neighbor you plan on building a 6 ft code-compliant fence that will not cover up the whole trailer.
I don't think it says that at all. What is says is the fence must be tall enough to hide the RV from public view (about 8 1/2 feet in this case) and at least 6 feet tall - note the part which I highlighted with bold text:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daubsy;114809"
Up to two vehicles that are either antique or recreational vehicles may be stored on the premises, if the storage area is not a health hazard and is either in an enclosed building or screened from public view with a solid wood or masonry fence at least six feet high."
So if you storing car that's only four feet tall, your fence still needs to be at least six feet high. If you're storing something taller than six feet (such as an Escape), the fence needs to be high enough to hide the vehicle... 12 feet for many RVs.

Another issue to consider is what "public view" means. If it means anyone other than you, the fence would need to go around all sides; if it means anyone standing on public property (not, for instance, your neighbor's private property) it would not need to be as extensive. If it means anyone in a public space, that would include those flying over your property, which would be impossible to block with a fence, and (in my legally worthless opinion) a wildly unreasonable interpretation.

Laws are always a challenge to read properly. Poorly written laws - which are very common at the municipal level - are worse.

I would build the fence... or a garage, if that is allowed and if it were worth the extra expense to me.
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Old 10-15-2015, 10:05 PM   #28
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The "screened from public view" is the troublesome part of that language because as others have said that would mean a 10 ft min fence all four sides. An rv garage would be a better solution if code allows, because that would increase resale value of the property. A big fence, not much help on resale, maybe even negative.
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Old 10-15-2015, 10:43 PM   #29
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The language is troublesome, but Austin city ordinances read pretty much like San Antonio's do, and much of it has to do with how the code is normally interpreted. 'Screened from Public View", at least in SA, means not visible from the public right of way - a sidewalk or a street. The city code compliance department has better things to do than splitting hairs, as they are busy dealing with gross violations of the code most of the time.
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Old 10-16-2015, 01:18 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by rbryan4 View Post
'Screened from Public View", at least in SA, means not visible from the public right of way - a sidewalk or a street.

This is pretty much exactly what the code officer I spoke to earlier said. I described several scenarios, but he refused to offer any interpretation of the code language. The most troublesome part of the verbiage is that the fence has to be "at least" 6ft tall. I can't also make the assumption that "screened" means completely concealed from public view, even if the RV is a few feet taller than the fence. There are also rules about constructing a fence over 8ft tall, but since the RV is far behind the property setback it shouldn't be a problem. I have some more reading to do.

Even if I construct a fence that is compliant, by any interpretation, my neighbor will still see the top of the RV from her backyard, since her fence is only 6ft. The end does not justify the means. She is clearly a blockwart with a personal agenda.
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