Fences: the never-ending story of trying to shut people out

A couple of days ago, Matt found out that there is, in fact, no by-law that says you can't have a 7-foot fence. (I'm wondering if we can erect a 20ft. fence, though.) Apparently, the neighbor to our right (not attached - we'll call him Bob) has been pressured by HIS neighbor to get going on a fence. We quite like our unattached neighbor; he's a very nice man who lives on his own and doesn't seem to mind my son straying into his yard on occasion. His attached neighbor is someone who's not very personable with neighbors and keeps to himself. We call him the "International Man of Mystery".

The "Mystery Man" wants to get started on his fence yesterday - seriously, he wanted to start on it yesterday. Bob managed to get Mystery Man to agree to hold off so the fence could be planned out properly because he and my husband both want the fence to be well done. This is because the fence that went up a couple of weeks ago is already sagging due to poor design planning. Unfortunately, there's nothing that can be done about the sagging, other than taking it out and redoing it...not gonna happen.

I have to say that I find it very interesting to go through this saga with my neighbors, most of whom are just not very interested in knowing the people who live so close. (I'm making the wild assumption that the fences are primarily to help shut out said neighbors.) When we bought our house, this is not the way I envisioned our neighborhood at all. I guess the days when people get to know (and often like) their neighbors are pretty much gone. We're all into our own little worlds with our set of friends and we like to stay in that comfort zone and not come out.

I'm totally guilty of this myself, but that doesn't mean it doesn't bother me.