The Village of Oak Brook has long had ordinances in place to enforce
the type, size, and location of any fences that are constructed within
the Village, specifically residentially zoned areas. Recent discussions
have taken place amongst Village staff and elected officials about
altering the requirements for building new fences within the Village.
In order to get a good handle on what kind, and how many, residential
fences are in the Village, Community Development and Geographic
Information Systems (GIS) staff were assigned the task of locating,
mapping, and summarizing all fences within the Village while dividing
them into 5 categories: Yard Fences, Pool Fences, Pool and Yard Fences,
Court Fences, and Subdivision Perimeter Fences.
The Village requires a permit for all fence construction, which
allowed staff to check records dating back to the 1960’s for any fence
permits that were issued. A potential issue with using this method is
that, because the records date back so far, many of the fences could be
removed due to the demolition and rebuilding of structures over time.
In order to work around this issue, Village staff used GIS to map the
location of all fences, and then confirm the existence of any fence
greater than 10 years old using high resolution aerial imagery captured
in 2012. This method also allowed staff to locate many existing fences
that were not in the permit database. The end result of this research
and analysis can be seen in the image above, which displays the location
and type of all residential fences, as well as a summary of fence
counts in relation to each subdivision within the community.
Without using GIS for this project, Village staff would have spent a
significant amount of time and resources to research, field verify, and
hand map all fences within the Village. Using GIS resulted in a limited
amount of staff hours by using automated processes and aerial imagery, a
cleaner end product, and the creation of a spatial database that can
continue to be built up and analyzed moving forward.