§ 23-524. Fences and hedges  

Effective on Tuesday, December 6, 2016
  • For the purposes of this section, the word "fence" shall include walls that are constructed to enclose or screen all or part of a property. Fences and hedges shall comply with the provisions of this section. Fences constructed to enclose swimming pools shall also comply with the requirements of section 23-527. See subsection 23-524(e) for requirements for temporary fences.

    a. No permanent fences shall be installed in any zoning district without the issuance of a permit from the city subject to site plan approval in accordance with section 23-222. All applications for a fence permit shall include a site plan which details the proposed fence construction, including fence location in relation to property lines and easements, as well as any other information deemed necessary by the administrative official for reviewing the application.

    b. Dimensional requirements. Fences and hedges shall be located a minimum of 3 feet from the property line along an alley. Otherwise, they are not subject to setback requirements and may be located anywhere within the property lines, provided the height limitations set forth in Table 23-524 are met.

    The planning board may waive the height requirements for a valid purpose related to compatibility with the character of the neighborhood, addressing problems with slope or architecture, or screening an adjacent land use. Fences required for compliance with a permit granted by an agency for structures such as retention ponds are exempt from height restrictions. The administrative official may grant a waiver for fence height in a “functional” side-yard from 4 feet up to 6 feet in height.

    TABLE 23-524

    Location Maximum Height1
    Within the front yard2 4 feet
    Within the side or rear yard 6 feet
    Within 35 feet of the intersection of streets, a street and a driveway to a parking area, or a street and an alley3 2 feet
    Within 10 feet of the intersection of a single or two-family driveway with a street3 2 feet

(Ord. No. 2007-33, § 9, 9-4-07; Ord. No. 2008-45, § 20, 12-16-08; Ord. No. 2015-04 , § 12, 7-7-15; Ord. No. 2016-01, § 7, 01-19-16;Ord. No. 2016-21, § 5, 12-06-16)


A waiver of the height requirement may be granted per subsection 23-524(b).

See paragraph (c), materials.

Measured from the edge of the pavement or travel way.

c. Materials.

1. Fence materials must be generally compatible with surrounding properties. Traditional materials such as wood, masonry, wrought iron, or other metal are preferred materials for fences in front yards. Fences constructed of vinyl or other plastic materials are not permitted as the exterior perimeter wall of a development. Chain link and solid fences such as stockade fences may be located in front yards provided shrubs are planted and maintained along the side of the fence facing any public right-of-way. Such shrubs must be at least two and one-half (2½) feet in height at the time of planting and shall be planted as a continuous hedge or shall be spaced a maximum of fifteen (15) feet apart. Chain link and solid fences constructed behind the front building line and parallel to the right-of-way must also be landscaped per these requirements, unless the administrative official determines that screening is not necessary because of site topography, adequate existing landscaping in the front yard, short length of fence, sufficient setback behind the building line, or other condition specific to the property.

2. Fences must be constructed of new materials designed for that purpose or aged for proper architectural effect. Fences having a side with exposed or irregular structural components, and a more finished, uniform and aesthetically attractive side, shall be constructed and installed so that the more finished side faces outward from the fenced property toward the adjoining property.

3. Fences or walls enclosing residential subdivisions shall be of masonry construction where they front on a public right-of-way, unless otherwise approved by the city commission, shall maintain a minimum setback of ten (10) feet from the public right-of-way, and shall be landscaped in accordance with requirements stipulated by the planning board.

4. Fences made with barbed wire, cloth, nylon, PVC pipe, corrugated materials, glass, spikes or other similar materials, and electric fences are prohibited on residential properties. No fence shall contain any substance designed or reasonably likely to inflict injury to any person or animal.

d. Maintenance requirements. The property owner shall maintain any fence to its original designed condition. Missing boards, pickets, posts, gates, etc. shall be replaced in a timely manner with material of the same type, quality, and finish as the existing fence.

e. Temporary fences. Temporary fences may be permitted by the administrative official for protection, screening or safety during construction, a special event, or other temporary circumstances. Height, placement, and materials requirements of this section may be waived provided public safety is not compromised. Temporary fences shall be granted for a specific time period not to exceed two (2) years, except that extensions of time may be granted for six-month increments if warranted.

f. Easements. A fence or hedge may be permitted in an easement, provided the owner signs an affidavit agreeing to remove it at his expense if the city or a public utility requests it. The city shall not be responsible for improperly placed fences. When the administrative official determines that a fence has been improperly placed, the owner of the fence shall relocate the fence within ten (10) days of a notice of violation issued by the city. In an emergency, any obstacle or obstruction in an easement will be removed with no liability to the city.

g. Nonconformance. Fences existing prior to the adoption of these land development regulations and which may not conform to the height, material and location requirements provided herein shall be deemed to be a nonconforming structure.