As deer proliferate, City offers suggestions for keeping them out of yards

In addition to the stray coyote and roaming mountain lion, Piedmont residents have probably also noticed more deer out and about this year. Some residents have been erecting fences that don’t conform to city code, so the city recently send the following email to residents, excerpted below:

“Deer move for many reasons including; food needs, water needs, seeking mates and establishing new territories. Several residents have been erecting fences that may or may not be allowed under the city code to keep deer away. The following is a summary of ideas residents can use to safely repel deer from their yards without a fence and some of the fencing requirements if you are considering that option.

Repelling Scents: Deer have a heightened sense of smell, which they use to effectively find food. You can take advantage of this trait and repel deer by using smells they dislike, such as marigolds, putrescent egg solids, mint, wolf urine, tansy, garlic, thyme, oregano, sage, rosemary, and lavender. Place these items around your yard to create a “fence” like barrier.

Sprinkler: Motion activated sprinkler. This type of product keeps animals from invading gardens using a motion activation. A heat and motion-activated sensor can be an effective alternative to harmful chemicals and unsightly netting. It distributes a harmless, three-second blast of water that uses just three cups of water in an effort to keep animals at bay. It will require a connection to a hose that has the water turned on. You may need more than one depending on the make-up of your yard and the deer desired plants.

Fencing: Fencing of any height located in the front yard within 20 feet of the front property line requires a design review permit by the Planning Commission and a building permit. Fencing located outside of the front setback area and that is six (6) feet or less in height is exempt from design review and building permit requirements. Fencing located outside of the front setback area and that is over six (6) feet in height requires a design review permit by Planning staff and a building permit.

If you have a question about fences, contact

One thought on “As deer proliferate, City offers suggestions for keeping them out of yards

  1. The City’s suggestions are very short term and ineffective “fixes”. Hungry deer will eat pretty much everything. In the absence of predators, deer populations explode, which is what we are seeing now.

    If the city will not take steps to control the growth of the deer population, people who care about their gardens should not be harangued for putting up these rather innocuous deer fences. Many cities have allocated funds to hire bow hunters to reduce the population, or at the very least, to carry out a sterilization program to reduce browsing pressure.

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