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Jun 6, 2018 11:07 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Village To Look Into Allowing Taller Deer Fences In Residential Zones

Jun 6, 2018 11:10 AM

A proposal to allow deer fences up to 8 feet tall to be constructed around homes in residential zones in Southampton Village is back on the table, in an effort to deter the growing population of deer from entering private properties.

The proposal, which came up most recently in 2012 but was never acted upon by the board, would allow deer fences up to 8 feet high to be installed as long as they are screened from the public and adjoining property owners by hedges or other materials. It would also allow the building inspector to issue permits for deer fence applications without having to go through a review process.

“Currently, the village code does not allow fences greater than 6 feet in height, and that’s only in the rear yards,” Southampton Village Attorney Wayne Bruyn told Village Board members at a meeting on May 22.

But the code does not currently permit homeowners the ability to install deer fences in the front yard—even though some homes have installed them

“There are some out there that are not legal currently, and some that you can’t see at all,” said Mr. Bruyn. “They are effective because they are almost embedded in the hedges.”

He explained that deer can penetrate hedges, but when the fence is embedded in the hedge, it makes breaking through to the other side more difficult.

Village Trustee Kimberly Allan said she has seen the deer population increase over the years, getting so bad that at times her yard looks like a petting zoo. “I feel so badly, but in the wintertime they are starving [and] they’re eating plants they really haven’t eaten before,” she said.

Village Mayor Michael Irving said he was concerned that owners of smaller properties would erect “obnoxious” and “unsightly” deer fences.

Although the proposed modifications currently pertain to all residential zones, Mr. Bruyn told board members that they can have it only pertain the larger lots if they choose.

A public hearing on the proposal is scheduled to take place on at Village Hall on June 14 at 6 p.m.

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