Hedges Height Privacy Laws

Written by noel shankel
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Hedges Height Privacy Laws
Before growing hedges in your yard, make sure you know the laws that apply. (Isolated hedge image by Pamela Uyttendaele from Fotolia.com)

Growing hedges in your yard or garden can be an alternative to constructing a fence for those who wish to add more privacy to their property. However, those who wish to grow a hedge cannot grow them as tall as they want. Different regions have different laws in regards to how high a hedge can be grown, and those who violate these laws could face fines.

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The purpose of hedge height privacy laws in America is to protect both the people who wish to grow the hedges, and those who have to endure the height of the hedges. For example, property owners have the legal right to grow hedges around their land to create more privacy, block out traffic sounds or both. However, the surrounding neighbours have the right to enjoy their view and, if someone's hedge blocks that view or obstructs light, they have the legal right to file a complaint and have the hedges reduced in height. Those who refuse to trim their hedges after a complaint has been filed with the appropriate local authorities can be fined for every day they refuse to comply.

U.S. Laws

Anyone who wishes to grow hedges on their own private property in the United States should first become familiar with the laws attached, especially how tall the hedges can legally be grown. Different cities in the U.S. have different rules and regulations. For example, in Palo Alto hedges grown for privacy purposes, such as to block out the sound of cars on the street or to simply enclose a garden from others, cannot be grown higher than 2 feet. Those found in violation of this law receive a "Notification of Violation" from the Palo Alto Police Department. Those who refuse to trim their hedges after receiving a "Notification of Violation" face legal consequences, including a fine of up to £325. In Santa Monica, hedges cannot be grown higher than 3 1/2 feet in the front of a home, while hedges in a backyard cannot exceed 8 feet. Those who do not comply receive a compliance order from the city and are given 30 days to fix the problem. In Indiana, hedges cannot be taller than 5 feet, nor can they be wider than 3 feet.


Hedge height laws don't only pertain to America, but other parts of the world as well. In 2003, England introduced the Anti-social Behavior Act which went into effect on June 1, 2005. Under the guidelines of Part 8 of the Act, local authorities in England and Wales were given the responsibility of investigating and dealing with any reported complaints about the height of a person's hedges. Local authorities ask that all disputes between neighbours be handled privately. However, if no negotiations can be formed, the authorities will step in. For the complaint to be valid, the hedges have to be higher than 6.5 feet tall and block natural light from going into the complainer's private property. A minimum fee of 45.4 Kilogram is charged to anyone who wishes to file a complaint.

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