GENESEO – The Town of Geneseo has adopted new fence regulations that specify sizes and types of fences that are allowed on properties on the shore of Conesus Lake.
According to a notice on Aug. 20, the Town has adopted Local Law No. 1 for 2015, the “Fence Law,” after holding a public hearing on June 11 and voting 4 to 1 on July 9.
The law specifies that ‘all fences shall be made only of wood, chain link, stone, rock, brick, masonry brick, wrought iron, vinyl, or aluminum. Fences cannot be made of cast-off, secondhand, or other items not originally intended to be fencing, plywood less than 5/8 inches thick, low-grade plywood, particle board, parer, foam board, plastic, tarps and similar materials, razor wire, and other dangerous materials, sheet metal, roll metal, corrugated metal, or concrete block.’
The law says that any fence on a lakeshore property must have the decorative side facing the neighboring property, be under 4 feet high from the structure to the water, be under 6 feet in side yards, and be comprised of materials which make the fence 60% see-through as viewed from an angle of 90°.
Two Geneseo residents attended June’s public hearing to voice concerns and submit a letter saying that that the regulations do not allow residents and visitors to the lake enough privacy for their backyards.
“Isn’t a lakefront homeowner entitled to take a nap in a hammock without being on display for the whole town?”, said Marianne DiLaura at the public hearing. “Some of this talk about preserving the visibility on the lake is about people being entertained by watching their neighbors. I think you can find a middle ground.”
Joe DeLaura added that the low number of complaints received by the Town do not warrant in increase in fence regulation.
“I spent 4 years in the Navy to preserve our freedoms, and I resent those freedoms being encroached upon,” said Joe DiLaura. “If you compare those two complaints you have received to the number of properties in Geneseo, I don’t see the need for the new law. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
The law passed the Town Board by 4 to 1, with Town Supervisor William Wadsworth and Board members Jerald Wrubel, Felicisimo (Hop) Manapol, and Patti LaVigne voting for the law, and Deputy Supervisor Roberta Irwin voting against.
Residents can apply for a variance with the town Zoning Board of Appeals. Upon a showing of an unnecessary hardship, the Zoning Board of Appeals may grant the minimum variance necessary to grant relief from the hardship.
“Notice is hereby given that the Geneseo Town Board has adopted Local Law No. 1 of 2015 adding Section 64 to Chapter 106 of the Code of the Town of Geneseo to provide fence regulations for the Lake Shore District. This local law has been filed with the Secretary of State and will take effect immediately.”