COVINGTON — A fence feud in the Trotter’s Walk subdivision took on a different tone over the Thanksgiving holiday when fence owner Donna Yopp Paul decided to paint the side of her fence that faces her disgruntled neighbors’ home. The paint colors — which she said other neighbors helped select — included canary yellow, fuchsia pink, deep purple, lime green and salmon.

Before spraying the fence with this rainbow of paints, Paul said she confirmed with the county’s Development Services Department that there were no regulations that would prevent her from painting the fence the chosen colors. Paul said she used an airless paint sprayer, a ladder and paint brush to lean over the top of the fence and paint it without stepping onto her neighbors’ property. She also said she video-taped the entire process to confirm that she did not trespass on the neighboring property.

Paul also painted the side of the fence that faces her property a solid gray color.

The fence feud started when Paul installed a privacy fence along one side of her front yard, separating her property from the next-door neighbors’. Unfortunately, Paul had been misinformed by the county’s Development Services Department about the allowed height of the fence. The fence she installed was 6 feet tall; county regulations limit the height of a fence along the front yard sideline to 4 feet. The neighbor subsequently filed a complaint, and an appeal of that complaint was heard — and denied — by the Newton County Board of Commissioners in late November.

Following the denial of her appeal, Paul removed the too-tall boards of the privacy fence and shortened them to the required 4 feet — leaving a jagged edge across the top. She completed her fence work over the Thanksgiving weekend.

In an email to the Citizen last week, Paul emphasized that only three of her neighbors had objected to the fence at 6 feet tall. “I did obtain signatures of residents, not renters, who approved of the fence,” Paul wrote, “which outweighed the three opposers.”


I have been editor of the Rockdale Citizen since 1996 and editor of the Newton Citizen since it began publication in 2004. I am also currently executive editor of the Clayton News Daily, Henry Daily Herald and Jackson Progress-Argus.

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