City Council

Fence Viewer

Position Description for Fence Viewers

The appointed position of fence viewer is created and authorized by Vermont statute (24 V.S.A. §§ 871, 3801-3817).  There are three (3) fence viewers appointed by the City Council annually.  An appointee must be a legal voter of the City of Burlington and serves for a one year term, commencing in July of the year of appointment. 

The purpose of the position is to assist in the resolution of fence disputes.  Originally created in order to deal with agricultural uses related to the keeping of farm animals;(e.g. division fences with cost of maintenance shared for the purposes of separating herds of cattle), they are now, for the City’s purposes, generally called upon

  • to establish a fence line, when neighbors cannot agree on either where the line is or where a fence should be set relative to the line;
  • to assure that fences are built and maintained properly;
  • to determine how much and what part each neighbor must make and maintain
  • to give notice to the parties;
  • to examine fences or boundary lines.

In addition, appointees will be expected to:

  • Act from a spirit of cooperation and with respect towards other appointed fence viewers in apportioning fence viewing responsibilities;
  • Avoid actual or apparent conflicts of interest or bias;
  • When deciding a controversy or responding to a request, conduct themselves in a fair and impartial manner;
  • Comply with all aspects of the Vermont Open Meeting and Access to Public Records laws;
  • Consider fairly the interests of all individuals and organizations whose interests may be affected by their actions as a city official.