City O'Fences

By: Stephanie Ramos Email
By: Stephanie Ramos Email

The fence versus City dispute all started back in April of this year.

Jacky Bess was and is still being told by the city that her fence is too tall and needs to be lowered from 6 feet to 4 feet tall in the front portion of her home.

She has no problem lowering it to 5 feet but doesn't want to go any lower afraid her dogs may get out. If the dogs were to get out she would be fined $600 or more like she has been in the past.

"It protects me, my animals and the kids that go to school across the street. The dogs don't bite, but they scare the kids," says Ms. Jacky Bess, Home/fence owner.

Her concerned friend, James Higgins, says, "The city says she built the fence without a permit. The previous owner had the fence up already..and there is no permit necessary to extend it. I've got neighbors with fences that are higher. If a business can be protected with a tall fence why can't a home. This isn't the safest neighborhood."

"The fence is too tall. The code says it has to be 4 feet tall around the front of your home not allowed 8 ft fences around the front. The fence is fine on the side of the house and back, but not in the front. If she is found in violation the fence will come down. She can take it down or the city will. We have to prosecute in a way to take down the fence which includes jail time. Her attorney asked for probation instead. We do not intend on jailing her," says Dave Bevens, City of Topeka Spokesperson.

Jacky had her first court appearance Friday. She has 60 days to find an attorney in order to keep her fence at its six foot height. If you would like to help call James Higgins at 785-266-2284

Should Jacky Bess lower her fence?

631 SW Commerce Pl. Topeka, Kansas 66615 phone: 785-272-6397 fax: 785-272-1363 email:
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