Rancho Cordova Paying Homeowners to Remove Chain-Link Fences from Front Yards

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RANCHO CORDOVA --

A new approach to improving the appearance of local neighborhoods has gotten plenty of attention lately.

Under the program, homeowners can receive up to $1,000 just for taking down a chain-link fence in their front yards.

"I don't like chain-link at all," explained homeowner Jeanna Taise. "I think it's just kind of tacky looking, and like I've told other people, you just don't see them in nice neighborhoods."

Taise was the first to sign up for the program, which started back in January. Volunteers helped her take down the fence, link-by-link, which caught the attention of her neighbors.

"I was envious the day she got it done," said Lisa Stewart, who lives two houses down from Taise. "I was like, 'awe I want to get mine down.'"

Well, it won't be long. Lisa and her husband found out Wednesday, they too have been approved for the buy-back program.

"There was a time they were popular, but not any more. We don't need it for security and the neighborhood is nicer than it used to be," she said.

And property values are expected to rise because of the program too. Some residents say the value of their homes will rise by 5 percent or more just for taking down the chain-link fence.

Even more satisfying though is that the money coming back to homeowners is courtesy of a half-cent community enhancement tax voted in two years ago.

"As long as you take down the chain-link fence we're not going to tell you what to do with any money that might be leftover," explained Council Member Linda Budge.

The city has identified slightly more than 600 single-family homes with chain-link fences in the front yard.

The goal is to get rid of them all so that neighbors can feel welcome to do the whole neighborly thing and start talking to each other again.