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The Bedford Post Inn, which Gere opened recently in the town of Bedford, 45 miles (72 kilometres) north of New York City, is situated where Martha Stewart, Ralph Lauren and Glenn Close all own homes. The trouble started off when the neighbours complained about the parking lot being an 'eyesore', so to cover it up Gere and business partner Russell Hernandez erected an 18 foot long (5.5 metres), five-foot high (1.5 metres) cedar fence.
After the neighbours came the local officials, who insisted that the fence has to be taken down as it breaches local planning rules and looks worse than the parking lot. In an interview with the New York Daily News, Hazel Nourse, who is the head of the town's zoning board, commented on the fencing.
"It's a lovely building, but the fence sticks out like a sore thumb," Contactmusic quoted her as saying to New York Daily News.
Gere and Hernandez have agreed to keep the town happy, and to go along with whatever they want. "If they say you have to have a four-foot fence, then that's what we'll do," Hernandez said.