Have you seen that fence Sarah Palin put up to thwart a reporter who it is said moved next door so he could keep tabs on the subject of his latest book?
Palin obviously lives in an area with no zoning restrictions on fence heights. Fences like this are called spite fences. It is huge, unattractive, and just pain spiteful. Fences like this are the reason zoning laws are created.
Being an Alaskan governor, and vice presidential candidate makes Palin a public figure. And as a public figure, Palin attracts the media. Every public figure has this problem. It can be a benefit when a public figure wants to be in the spotlight, promoting their view point and getting that much needed platform. Palin surely wanted the publicity when she was a candidate. Now she just wants to turn off the attention. Unless she is speaking out on some topic.
I can think of a lot more friendly and attractive ways to create privacy. A living hedge has some obvious draw backs. You must wait for a hedge to grow in, and it could be years before you have any real privacy. A wooden or metal structure with vines growing up them would be a very pleasant alternative to that wooden monster. I am sure we can think of many solutions.
The thing I like about my neighborhood is that there are few fences. The fences that do exist are very friendly, to the point of being invisible. The dogs enclosed by these fences are very sweet dogs. Fences provide a decorative element that complements the style of the home owner.
We have a split-rail fence that creates a break in the expanse of lawn and creates a partial division between us and the neighbor. Roses grow along the fence, and are accompanied by other flowering plants. The general openness of the neighborhood creates vistas to enjoy while sitting outside. Hawk and owl will hunt in the neighborhood, and an occasional deer runs through.
I have been thinking about what my neighbors see of us. We sit on the patio with our tea or coffee, and will wave at, and occasionally will get up to visit with, a neighbor walking by. You can see us pulling weeds, mowing, planting, raking, and digging. You might see us out with our grandkids, making smores, pushing them on the swing, or turning on the sprinkler for them.
I can’t think of anything I would need a huge spite fence for.
Well there was one neighbor. It wasn’t her taking pictures of us through the shrubbery while having breakfast on the porch that caused us to erect a six foot fence. I will admit I enjoyed her reaction when we took a picture of her taking our picture. It was her constant fussing at us about our 15 pound dog killing her trees, and kids other than ours cutting threw the yard. The kids never hurt anything. They were good kids. I saw no problem with them taking a short cut. I was not going to yell at the neighborhood kids. But to make my neighbor happy, and maintain peace in the neighborhood, we erected a fence.
The Palin fence makes we wonder, what are they doing back there?
Maybe I am naïve, after all, I am not a celebrity and really don’t understand their problems. I just know I would hate to live in a neighborhood with a fence like that.