Outdoor fences don’t always make good neighbors, as one neighborhood in Nashville, Tennessee found out this summer. The fence in question is part of a larger, strange feud between different residents.
In Hermitage Estates, Sue Juszcak has installed privacy fences along her property. That is all well and fine, until you realize that the wood fencing is multicolored — it has been haphazardly painted orange, green, yellow, pink and black. At seven feet tall and 50 feet long, Juszcak says her primary motivation in putting the fence up was to keep her privacy — she points out that her neighbors have security cameras pointed at her home. When it comes to the garish colors, Juszcak says they are a memorial to her recently deceased brother.
“When we grew up in New York, we had a fence like this and my dad had it facing out so everyone could see it,” she said in an interview with the local news station. Other neighbors, however, contend that the move to create what they consider to be an ugly fence is part of an ongoing neighborhood feud, in which residents have dealt with everything from illegal fireworks to mailbox tampering.
“I think it was done with malicious intent, for sure,” said Hermitage Estates president Pauline Gilson when interviewed. “We all hate that. All the neighbors standing here, on this corner, hate that.” Along with others in the area, Gilson believes that it devalues the property of other homes in the neighborhood.
The privacy fence panels, while unpleasant to look at, do not violate any city ordinances like many hoped it might. Many cities — and neighborhoods too — have community rules as to what can be on or around a home in order to ensure that no one home can tank the property value of surrounding homes. Gilson, for her part, is hoping to influence councilman Larry Hagar into creating a new rule about residential fencing and appropriate colors and ornamentation.