Thursday, July 13, 2006

Reservations about the home grants program

According to the proposed changes, the city may increase the $1,000 it gives those who remove chain-link fences as well as cover a percentage of the cost up to $3,000 or $4,000 to replace the fence with a different material. (Elgin Daily Herald 7/7/06)
Overall, I think the home grants program is a good idea. My only reservation about the fencing program is that it treats all fencing besides chain-link as equal in all parts of the city. I may be wrong. I haven't actually looked at the code, but based on what the newspapers reported, it doesn't discriminate between historic districts vs. non-historic districts or between spaced picket fences and stockade type fences (no spaces). I don't think this "one size fits all" approach is what we really want. The truth is that all types of fencing are only situationally appropriate.

I would have preferred rules that took into account the architectural style of the home/neighborhood: In the historic districts, subsidies only for spaced picket fences. In the mid-century (ranch-type) subdivisions, a smaller subsidy and only for solid-type fences. Etc.


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