§ 23-543. Fences and hedges.  

Effective on Tuesday, July 7, 2015
  • 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 are required to comply with the requirements stated herein.

    Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, the use of security fencing may be used at sites, such as electrical substations and communications facilities, where such fencing is required by federal, state or local law, or other sections of this Code. Further, temporary security fencing may be utilized for construction sites while a permit for the work is active for the construction site. All temporary fences shall be removed prior to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy.

    a. Permit. No fences shall be installed without the issuance of a permit from the city subject to verification of zoning compliance in accordance with section 23-212. 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 city for reviewing the application.

    b. Right-of-way. No fence, wall, or hedge shall be constructed or planted in any right-of-way, except as may be placed as part of a public highway safety or beautification project and only as approved by the administrative official. No fence, wall, or hedge shall be constructed or planted in any location that will interfere with visibility at an intersection or otherwise jeopardize the public safety.

    c. Dimensional requirements. No fences shall be installed, constructed or erected without complying with the following regulations:

    1. Maximum height. The maximum height of a fence shall be four (4) feet in the front yard and six (6) feet in the rear and side yards except in the I-1, I-2 and BP zoning district, where the maximum height shall be eight (8) feet in any yard. 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, screening an adjacent land use, or security for industrial uses.

    The following uses shall be exempt from maximum height requirements:

    Utility and power substations;

    Water and wastewater facilities;

    Municipal facilities;

    Public swimming facilities;

    Storm water retention ponds (when fence is required by water management district).

    2. Location and setbacks. Fences and hedges are not required to meet building setback requirements and may be located anywhere on a property, except as follows:

    A. Intersection. Fences shall be set back thirty-five (35) feet from the intersection of two (2) streets. A fifteen-foot setback is required from the intersection of a driveway, alley, or parking lot entrance with a street or access way. The setback shall be measured from the edge of pavement or travel way.

    B. Alley. Fences and hedges shall be located a minimum of three (3) feet from an alley.

    3. Materials. 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. Chain link and solid fences abutting or parallel to public right-of-way or abutting a residential property shall be screened on the exterior side of the fence by a hedge having a minimum height of two (2) feet and fifty (50) percent view blockage at the time of planting with the capability of attaining a minimum height of four (4) feet and one hundred (100) percent view blockage within two years. Such fences shall be set back from the property line a minimum of three (3) feet to accommodate the hedge. Walls shall be of masonry construction. No fence shall contain any substance designed or reasonably likely to inflict injury to any person or animal, including, but not limited to, razor wire, glass, or electrically charged wire. In Industrial zoning districts and on industrial properties, three (3) strands of barbed wire may be used on top of a fence a minimum of six (6) feet in height. Barbed wire may also be used on agricultural lands.

    4. Swimming pools. Fences constructed as swimming pool enclosures shall comply with the requirements of section 23-527 in addition to the requirements herein.

    5. 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.

    6. Placement in easement. 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.

    d. Maintenance. 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. Nonconforming fences. Fences existing prior to the adoption of this ordinance and which may not conform to the height and location requirements provided herein shall be deemed to be a nonconforming structure, subject to the provisions of section 23-244

(Ord. No. 2007-33, § 11, 9-4-07; Ord. No. 2008-45, § 20, 12-16-08; Ord. No. 2015-04, § 12, 7-7-15 )