cutting corners

We live on a corner lot. I don’t think I’d buy a corner lot again, though it’s certainly not the worst thing about this house. My biggest annoyance is the people who cut across our yard. And it’s not kids or teenagers who are doing it, but rather adults – all women, sometimes with their young kids. I recognize the repeat offenders, but I’ve never seen them anywhere else but our yard (I’m assuming they do live in the neighborhood though). And because of the house being angled to the street, they actually walk right up along the house – it’s not like they’re only cutting across the corner.

I’ve been trying to brainstorm how to solve this problem. A fence seems like the obvious solution, but because this is a front yard I am hesitant to put up a fence. A nice white picket fence would definitely look the most neighborly. Again, though, the cost. My other concern about a fence is wondering about our property line. As you can see from the map, the property line (the red line on the map) is quite a ways away from the sidewalk/street. That would make it annoying to mow, if we had a fence so far from the sidewalk. I’m not sure what the fence laws are – something else to research I guess.

Another option is a split-rail fence. Both this and the picket fence idea are possibilities, but they’re both expensive so aren’t feasible right now. Plants, flowerbeds and shrubs, are good options but both cost money, require upkeep, and take time to grow. Maybe we’ll explore that idea more when we have the money to put towards something more permanent. In the meantime, though…

I saw a house in another neighborhood that solved the problem in a much cheaper way. They put up a bunch of tall wooden gardening stakes, and strung a bright rope in between them. It was definitely not the most visually appealing solution, but it didn’t look horrible either. And I priced the supplies at Home Depot yesterday – definitely doable. It would be high enough that people wouldn’t trip over it, but not so high that they’d be able to duck under it.

Today as I was researching online I had another idea. Instead of putting the rope/stakes around the perimeter of our yard, why not instead line the driveway? That would look the most neighborly, but also deter people, assuming that they would turn around and go back to the street once encountering the “fence”. And if I find people are simply hopping it, or going under, or taking it down, then I can move it and put it along the street. (I like that it’s easily movable. That also is nice since I don’t feel like researching fence laws. I have had enough of trying to decode our city and county’s laws when I was trying to figure out if we could move our shed to anywhere else in the yard.) It’s probably the best low-cost option right now. I think I’ll go measure the space right now so I can know how many stakes and rope to get. Maybe I can run by Home Depot tonight. :-)

Updated: Side benefit – we could like the “fence” with Christmas lights for some holiday decor!