I was planning to put a privacy fence up in my back yard to shield the neighbors and passers by from my occasional early morning nudity. You see, my kitchen and living room are unfortunately eye level with the back alley, and my cats occasionally like to wake me up in the wee hours of the morning, in which case they need to be locked in the basement for a couple of hours. I usually pull the blinds before bed, but I do not always remember. I do however insist on sleeping in the comfort of my own skin. You do the math.
So you can see how a privacy fence sounds like a good idea. However, it seems that I do not actually own my house or the ground it is on. Between Federal, State, County and Township governments, we are sharing it. I almost just put up the fence after looking through the Township's website and not being completely clear on whether I needed a permit. I decided to call just to be safe. Sure enough, they sent me an application packet in the mail. I filled it out, found a survey of the property in my records and drew a line where my fence would protect my neighbors' innocent eyes. I got a call a couple of days later asking me how high the fence would be. I told them 6 feet per the regulation. That was all they needed; we are all set.
Last weekend I received my denial in the mail. Privacy fences are not aloud in the front yard it said. I was surprised to say the least but assumed that it was some sort of mistake. Clearly my address is on the other street, and my house faces that way. It was Sunday so I emailed the Township asking for clarification. They were very responsive, but unfortunately, there was no mistake. What I consider my back alley, they consider a street. This means that I have two front yards in the eyes of the Township. Lucky me! Poor neighbors.