General Area in Portland>Question Details

Dennis Lake, Home Buyer in Phoenix, AZ

What is the deal with all of the 3-foot-high chain-link fences around the front lawns of portland homes?

Asked by Dennis Lake, Phoenix, AZ Fri Aug 21, 2009

They don't seem very secure or decorative or useful (other than keeping those pesky kids off your lawn...) Do new owners generally keep them?

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All great answers! But off the mark.

You will see those in certain areas of the city and some of the suburbs. Many of us are concerned, or downright fearful of Leprechauns. My sister's friend's friend was actually allergic to Leprechaun bites, and one day while searching for the end of the rainbow, she barely avoided being bitten while hauling off her pot of gold. :)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 22, 2009
I think new owners more often than not keep their chain link fences. However, three-foot-high chain fences might be a little shorter than you'd desire. If you were to keep your fence with it being that short, I'd honestly upgrade your chain link fence to be more like six-feet-high. That would also help with curb appeal along with the resale value of the home. Hope that helps, Dennis!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Mar 13, 2015
Dennis, its because of the giant hook toed salamanders. Because of our weather, moss grows on everything to a depth of several feet, making a perfect breeding ground for the giant salamander. Over time they developed hooks on the toes for scaling wooden fences. For some unknown reason they do not like metal, especially galvanized. Though they grow to over 9 feet in length, their legs are short and a 3 foot chain link is adequate. Chain link is easier to see through so you dont meet one face to snout when opening a gate early in the misty mornings. They cant swallow a man but can get up to your hip and leave nasty gashes.

Other than that, all the other answers are good, especially papasloths. When looking for a home in Portland, be sure to read the police reports for number of incidences of giant salamander attacks. Its the prudent thing to do. Be sure to have a pest control report to see if any are living under the dwelling.

No---I do not drink!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 2, 2011
In some areas, typically eastside, these fences are common. I think that it might not be Lepruchans, as Phil suggests. but real life pets. Portland is very dog friendly, and I know some people put up the fences so their little pooches can romp.

I've actually worked with some buyers who liked the fully enclosed yard. So it's a matter of choice, and taste.

Chain link also have a very long life-span compared to wood fencing, so a lot of people will opt for this rather then go with wood.

Owners can change any aspect of their new home. Carpets have been pulled, walls re-painted, and yes -- chain link fences taken out. Any home will be 'customized' to fit the new-owners' tastes. Not uncommon.

Carla Muss-Jacobs, Broker/Owner
EBA Portland, LLC
Exclusive Buyers' Agent
Assisting Buyers in Metro Portland since 1999
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 22, 2009
According to the Portland Bureau of Development Services, fences within the front setback of a property may be no higher than 3 1/2 feet at the highest point. If you build behind the setback, you can go as high as 6 feet without needing a permit, but the front setback varies from zone to zone and may be as large as 20 feet back from the property line. Side and back fences on the property line can be as high as 8 feet (over 6 feet still requires a building permit).
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 22, 2009
Hi Dennis,

I just had a client put new front yard fencing in for boardering her front yard- gardens and for a feeling of definition of property lines. It's kind of a cultural thing around here...quite like front porches in the Carolinas or lava rock in Colorado. However, there are many neighborhoods with no fences at all. More apt to see back yard fences.

You, as a new home owner have the right to keep fences or add them in accordance only with any CC&Rs and/or zoning regulations. Depending on the placement and size of fences you may have to get a permit to do so. Development Services Center (503) 823-7526 has a web site describing all the details of fences.

If I can be of assistance to you in your home search I would enjoy serving your home buying needs. There is a great need to know what to do to assure a smooth transaction, such as knowing what due diligence should be done, linking you to resources that will aid in your knowledge base and professional transaction processing.

You can search (and save search criteria) on my web site as well as save favorites so you don't have to start over every time you want to see what's new or reduced. I can set up search criteria for you and you'll receive only homes matching your criteria in your inbox any time a new or reduced price is posted...saving you a lot of time.

Be in touch if you would like help with your relocation. I've helped many make the transition.

June Lizotte, Real Estate Broker
Providing REAL Service
Prudential NW Properties
6400 SE Lake Rd., Suite 200
Portland, OR 97222
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 21, 2009
Also, probably has to do with pets. Portland is very dog friendly.

However, Portland doesn't have as many golf courses as your used to. Get it in while you can....

Nathan Neubauer, Realtor
Coldwell Banker Barbara Sue Seal Properties
503-929-3782 mobile
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 21, 2009
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