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Jun 15, 2018 2:20 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Public Shows Support For Southampton Village Effort To Allow Eight Foot Deer Fences

Southampton Village Board members discussed increasing the allowable height of deer fencing. GREG WEHNER
Jun 19, 2018 2:39 PM

A proposal to allow deer fences up to 8 feet tall around residential homes in Southampton Village garnered overwhelming support at a public hearing last week, although most said a few tweaks should be made to the legislation.

The Village Board resolution is an effort to deter the growing population of deer from entering properties where they have been known to munch on flowers and, more recently, privet.

The proposal, which was last brought up in 2012 but never acted upon by the board, would allow homeowners to construct deer fences up to 8 feet high around properties, as long as they were screened from the public and adjoining property owners by hedges or other materials. It also would allow the building inspector to issue permits for deer fencing without requiring a property owner to go through a regulatory board review process.

The current code does not allow fences taller than 6 feet, and only in rear yards. It does not permit homeowners to install fencing in the front yard—even though some homes have fencing installed currently.

“Eight-foot is great, but many deer can jump over it,” Eric Winkler, a Southampton Village resident, said at the hearing on Thursday, June 14. “I support this. I feel it can be improved.”

Mr. Winkler said he was worried about some of the restrictions with the law, particularly the hedging requirement. He noted that requiring homeowners to hide the fence would be burdensome and pricey.

Despite the expense, some of the board members, like Trustee Nancy McGann, said the issue of deer entering properties and causing damage is a real issue.

In years past, members of the public have asked the village to implement efforts to restrict deer from entering properties by allowing taller deer fencing. “I feel it’s the least we can do for the moment,” Ms. McGann said.

But not everyone agreed.

Village Mayor Michael Irving said he was worried that installing such fences, which he has described as “obnoxious” and “unsightly,” would prevent other wildlife, besides deer, from going through their migratory patterns. For example, he said, it would restrict the movement of foxes and other smaller animals.

“While we’re looking to hide [the fence] in the hedge, you can hide them all you want, but you’re still restricting the ability of a lot of wildlife to move through that area,” Mr. Irving said. “I’m not sure that’s the way to resolve the issue that we have.”

Village resident Francis Adamczeski told board members he remembers growing up in Southampton and seeing deer populate fields, which are now covered with homes. Today, he said, the deer are being pushed out of their space and corralled into another.

“What are we going to do with them—eradicate them?” Mr. Adamczeski said.

If the proposal is approved by the Village Board, those who currently have deer fencing in the front yard that is covered by hedges will continue to be non-conforming until the proper permits are attained from the Building Department.

The public hearing on the proposed law was adjourned to allow the Planning Commission time to comment on the plan, and is expected to reconvene at the Village Board’s next meeting on June 26 at 5 p.m. in Village Hall.

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Is there a single problem that can't be solved with fences and/or walls?
By Aeshtron (410), Southampton on Jun 15, 18 2:33 PM
World peace?
By Fred s (3180), Southampton on Jun 15, 18 3:28 PM
Fences will push the deer onto the neighbor's property (who doesn't have a fence) or into the roadway causing other conflicts. Homeowners with severe nuisance deer problems, should explore participating in the Hunters For Deer "Need-A-Hunter" Deer Management program, which is free to all and runs from October 1st to January 31st. No need to eradicate all of the deer, just bring down the numbers to fit the changing habitat, so that the conflicts with property owners are reduced.
By Michael Tessitore (76), East Quogue, New York on Jun 15, 18 3:40 PM
Around pw Herman
By Fred s (3180), Southampton on Jun 15, 18 5:00 PM
1 member liked this comment
This whole chain had me in stitches
By Fore1gnBornHBgrown (8032), HAMPTON BAYS on Jun 15, 18 7:22 PM
Your charming pw.
By Fred s (3180), Southampton on Jun 15, 18 7:06 PM
Coincidentally, 8' is just high enough to block the views of the great unwashed masses passing outside the gates of these estates.
By Funbeer (272), Southampton on Jun 16, 18 12:06 AM
Fences make good neighbors... Eat my neighbors plants...
By knitter (1895), Southampton on Jun 16, 18 1:39 PM
since the Village doesn't allowing hunting, 8' fencing is the only other option there is to keep these critters out of our properties.
By bigfresh (4590), north sea on Jun 18, 18 6:16 AM
power tools, home improvements, building supplies, Eastern Long Island