Home | Chapter | Previous | Next

 

703 Landscaping, Fences and Walls.

A.    Height of Fences and Retaining Walls.

1.    The following shall apply to all districts: +7

a.    The height of a fence or freestanding wall shall be measured from the higher of the adjacent finished grade elevations, which elevation shall be the average measured perpendicular within fifty feet of the fence. +7

b.    No open fencing (such as wrought iron or chainlink fencing) may be placed on the roof of any building. This provision shall not apply to railings required by the Phoenix Construction Code. +7

c.    All requests to construct walls, fences or gates within a private access way, private drive or public utility easement must be approved by the Planning and Development Department. +7

d.    For fences or walls adjacent to the Highline, Grand, Arizona and Western Canals: +7

1)    All points higher than forty (40) inches shall be a minimum of 50 percent open, except when screening open industrial uses. +7

2)    Solid walls shall not exceed six hundred sixty (660) feet in length, except when screening open industrial uses. +7

3)    Open wrought iron fences may be allowed up to eight feet in height. +7

e)    On lots of twenty-four thousand square feet or greater in net area, a livestock fence may be allowed within the required front yard to a maximum height of five feet where not prohibited by Section 31-13 of the City Code. +8

2.    The following shall apply to all residence districts: *7

a.    For lots fronting on a public street, private accessway or private drive, no fence or freestanding wall (not supporting a building or structure) within or bounding the required front yard, shall exceed a height of 40 inches, provided: *7

1)    For properties located within an Historic Preservation (HP) Overlay District, fences or freestanding walls in the front yard, meaning the space between the structure and the street right-of-way line, may not exceed a maximum height of three (3) feet, and are conditioned upon obtaining a certificate of appropriateness or no effect in accordance with Section 812 of the Phoenix Zoning Ordinance. This height limitation extends to a point three (3) feet beyond the front corner(s) of the primary structure. +7

2)    A fence, not to exceed fifty-four inches high, may be erected within a front yard adjacent to an arterial subject to a use permit where not prohibited by Section 31-13 of the City Code. +7

3)    Where a property line abuts or is adjacent to a freeway right-of-way, a noise mitigation wall exceeding the height limits in Section 703.A.2 may be erected under the following circumstances: +7

a)    The lot is in an area for which there is an approved Freeway Mitigation Specific Plan; and +7

b)    Wall height is indicated for that area in the Specific Plan or a noise analysis prepared by a registered professional engineer is submitted to the Planning and Development Department, which analysis demonstrates that the proposed wall height is required to reduce the noise level from freeway traffic to sixty-five dB(a) Ldn in outdoor living areas adjacent to the freeway. +7

4)    The height of a wall erected for the purpose of flood protection as approved through grading and drainage plans is not regulated by Section 703.A. A fence or freestanding wall may be constructed on top of a flood wall so long as its height conforms with the provisions of Section 703.A.1 and 2. +7

b.    An ornamental entry exceeding said height at the entrance of a new residential subdivision, planned area development project or multifamily development may be allowed by use permit and when not prohibited by Section 31-13 of the City Code.

c.    For fences or freestanding walls within or bounding a required rear or side yard, the height shall not exceed six feet provided: *7

1)    When not prohibited by Section 31-13 of the City Code, fences or freestanding walls up to ten (10) feet in height may be built around schools and other public or quasipublic institutions when necessary for the safety or restraint of the occupants thereof. *7

2)    When not prohibited by Section 31-13 of the City Code, open wire fences exceeding six (6) feet may be built around game courts within or bounding a required rear or side yard subject to obtaining a use permit. *7

3)    In any residence district, a noise mitigation wall of eight feet maximum height may be built within any side or rear yard abutting an arterial street. +7

d.    On a corner lot contiguous to a key lot, fences or freestanding walls over three feet in height may be placed on the property line except within a triangle measured ten feet from the street along the common property line, and twenty feet along the property line extending from the common lot line towards the front of the corner lot.

e.    On a key lot contiguous to a corner lot, a fence or freestanding wall of six feet in height may be erected along that portion of a key lot contiguous with the rear yard of the corner lot, provided that such fence or wall shall not come closer than ten feet to the front line of the key lot.

f.    For an assembled or unified development, such as a planned residential development or condominium: *7

1)    A fence or freestanding wall may be erected a minimum of ten (10) feet and an average of fifteen (15) feet from the perimeter property line where not prohibited by Section 31-13 of the City Code and subject to the following: +7

a)    A maximum height of six (6) feet; and +7

b)    The fence or freestanding wall must be a minimum of fifty percent open at all points above forty (40) inches; and +7

c)    The fence or freestanding wall shall not create an area within a dedicated common area(s) or tract(s) reserved for the exclusive use or benefit of an individual tenant or landowner. +7

g.    Residential developments subdivided after May 2, 2008 that share a common property line with an undeveloped property zoned for non-residential uses must construct an eight (8) foot solid fence or freestanding wall along the common property line, unless the location of the required wall is modified by the Planning and Development Department when there is a tract or easement immediately adjacent to the common property line. All other fencing that does not share a common property line with a parcel zoned for non-residential uses must comply with the provisions of Section 703. *7

3.    Except as provided in Section 703.A.4 and Section 647.A.2.kk and .ll, the following shall apply to all districts other than residential districts: *7

a.    For lots fronting on a public street, private accessway or private drive, a fence or freestanding wall within or bounding the required front yard shall be limited to a maximum height of 40 inches. For districts subject to the provisions of Section 701.D, no fence or freestanding wall shall exceed 40 inches in height in the yard setback area as required by that section. *7

b.    A fence or freestanding wall within or bounding the required side or rear yard shall be no higher than the height limit for buildings or structures in that district when also in accordance with Section 701.D., provided: *7

1)    For properties developed after May 2, 2008 a minimum eight (8) foot solid fence or freestanding wall must be constructed along all common property lines shared with properties zoned for residential uses, if a fence does not exist at the time of development. A solid fence or freestanding wall may be extended up to twelve (12) feet in height on the non-residentially zoned property, subject to obtaining a use permit. The location of the required wall may be modified by the Planning and Development Department when there is a tract or easement immediately adjacent to the common property line. All other fencing that does not share a common property line with a parcel that is zoned for residential uses must comply with the provisions contained in Section 703. +7

4.    The following regulations apply to retaining walls: *7

a.    The height of a retaining wall is determined by the maximum vertical dimension from the top of the footing to the top of the wall. A retaining wall shall be no higher than necessary to retain earth or water. +7

b.    All retaining walls shall be separated by one foot horizontal distance for each one foot vertical height of the wall downslope, with a minimum separation of three (3) feet. The area between retaining walls shall be improved with hardscape or landscaping, including irrigation, as approved by the Planning and Development Department. +7

c.    Individual retaining walls shall be limited to a height of forty (40) inches when located within fifty (50) feet of a subdivision perimeter or the property line of an unplatted parcel, provided that requests to exceed this height may be allowed subject to obtaining approval of a use permit in accordance with the provisions of Section 307. +7

d.    An individual retaining wall shall be limited to a height of forty (40) inches within the front or street side yards, with the total combined vertical height of each individual wall not to exceed fifteen (15) feet. *7

e.    An individual retaining wall may not exceed a height of six (6) feet when located in the interior side or rear yards, with the total combined vertical height of each individual wall not to exceed twenty (20) feet. +7

f.    A fence or freestanding wall may be constructed on top of a retaining wall so long as the height of the fence or freestanding wall conforms to the provisions of Section 703.A.1. *7

B.    Landscaping and Open Areas In Multiple-Family Development.

1.    Purpose. Multiple-family dwellings can play a desired role by providing desired forms of housing in appropriately zoned locations. However, because the density of dwellings is greater than alternate forms of housing, there is a relatively greater need to ensure an appropriate residential setting, including both landscape amenities and adequate outdoor open areas. Although it is recognized that many multiple-family projects will wish to provide these in greater amounts, this section establishes minimum standards for these features. These standards also recognize both limitations in water availability as well as legitimate needs to use landscaping for shade, cooling, and visual relief. To these purposes, these standards distinguish between landscaped areas oriented to public street and the exterior of projects from that more internally oriented and for the use of residents. They provide for landscaping at the perimeter and in front yards to include waterless features and drought resistant plant materials. Higher water use landscaping is to be restricted to interior areas devoted to resident use.

2.    Landscaping and open space areas shall be provided as follows at the time of initial development and shall be maintained in a living condition on any lot in any district containing a structure with two or more dwelling units.

3.    Landscaping standards.

a.    Adjacent to public street right-of-way the required building setbacks are to be landscaped and maintained except for driveway entrances and sidewalks in the following manner:

(1)    One minimum fifteen-gallon drought resistant tree for each five hundred square feet of required setback area, less driveways and sidewalks.

(2)    One minimum five-gallon drought resistant shrub for each one hundred square feet of required setback, less driveways and sidewalks.

(3)    Ground cover shall be selected from at least two of the following:

(a)    Turf or low-growing evergreen vegetation.

(b)    Flowering vegetation.

(c)    Manmade or natural art or sculpture, rock, decomposed granite or similar material, a maximum of three-inch diameter, when used in conjunction with landform sculpting.

(4)    Lighting fixtures for decorative and/or security purposes may be used when in conformance with all outdoor lighting regulations.

b.    Interior property lines are to be landscaped and maintained except for driveway entrances or sidewalks in the following manner:

(1)    One minimum fifteen-gallon tree for each twenty feet of linear distance; and

(2)    One minimum five-gallon shrub for each five feet of linear distance.

(3)    The above plant materials are to be planted and maintained in a minimum five-foot-wide landscaped area with at least one ground cover as provided in Section 703.B.3.a(3).

c.    In addition, where required side and rear yards are not occupied by swimming pools, structures, parking or driveway they shall be included in the landscaped area. The quantity of shrubs and trees shall be as in Section 703.B.3.a(1) and (2). Ground cover shall consist of turf, low-growing vegetation or flowering vegetation.

d.    Each landscaped area shall be provided a water source with an appropriate permanent water distribution system.

e.    The placement of landscaping shall respond to providing security for ground floor openings subject to compatibility with existing soil conditions.

4.    Open space area.

a.    Active and passive leisure and outdoor recreation areas are to be provided and maintained in central locations for use by residents of the multi-family development.

(1)    The total of such areas shall be a minimum of five percent of the gross site area.

(2)    No portion of any area is to be less than two hundred square feet or less than twenty feet in width.

b.    Two or more of the following elements are to be provided in these areas:

(1)    Swimming pool.

(2)    Tot lot.

(3)    Barbecue and picnic areas.

(4)    Game courts.

(5)    Jogging and/or parcours.

(6)    Lawn or turf.

Areas devoted to parking lots or driveways, principal or accessory buildings and required setbacks are not to be considered part of the open space area.

5.    Enforcement. Failure to maintain landscaping and open space areas in accordance with this paragraph shall be a violation of this ordinance.

C.    Temporary Fencing. +6

1.    Temporary fencing as defined in Section 202, shall be permitted only with the issuance of a temporary fence permit, except for those sites for which an approved building permit, civil permit, or temporary event permit is active, from the Planning and Development Department. Such permit shall be prominently displayed and maintained on the fence at all times. +6 *10

a.    All temporary fencing must be removed or replaced with permanent fencing within a maximum of one year of installation unless extended pursuant to Section 703.C.2. +10

b.    Temporary fencing within or along the perimeter of a golf course must meet the following conditions: +10

(1)    Use permit approval per Section 307 required when adjacent to a residential district subject to the following standards: +10

(a)    The temporary fence shall only be located in places of public access to the course. +10

(b)    Landscaping within 50 feet of the perimeter must be maintained per the Neighborhood Preservation Ordinance (Chapter 39 of Phoenix City Code). +10

(c)    A landscape plan must be included with the use permit application that identifies the existing vegetation within 60 feet of the perimeter property line. +10

(d)    The Zoning Administrator may grant a use permit for up to one year. The use permit may be renewed a maximum of three times for a total of 36 months. +10

The one-year time limit may be reduced as part of the use permit process. +10

(e)    Additional conditions may be stipulated as part of the use permit process. +10

Applicant must identify conditions to justify the additional temporary fence along the perimeter, including: +10

i.    Hazardous condition of the land. +10

ii.    Hazardous condition of the buildings. +10

iii.    Hazardous condition of the golf course features. +10

c.    Temporary fencing to mitigate a safety hazard is allowed within five feet of an existing building, structure, bridge, water feature or sand trap. +10

2.    Temporary fences shall be removed prior to permit expiration unless the permit is extended to a specified time by the Planning and Development Director or his designee upon recommendation from the Neighborhood Services Director or his designee. Unsuccessful time extension applicants must apply for a permanent fence building permit if fencing over three feet is proposed. Applications for temporary fence permit time extensions must demonstrate one or more of the following conditions: +6

a.    Additional time is necessary because of ongoing environmental remediation activities on the site, or +6

b.    Existing safety hazards on the site are being addressed but warrant continued fencing of the site, or +

c.    The site is being actively developed as demonstrated through recent inspection reports. +6

3.    Temporary fencing to a height of eight feet is permitted. Unobstructed sight triangles as defined by Phoenix City Code Section 31-13 must be adhered to on corner lots and at driveways. +6 *10

4.    Any request to exceed the eight foot height limitation shall require a use permit pursuant to Section 307.A.7 and the following: +6

a.    The increased height is necessary to enhance public safety, and +6

b.    The increased height will not create a negative impact on adjacent properties. +6

5.    In no event shall any barbed wire, razor wire, or other equivalent fence topping be placed on temporary fencing that is visible from rights-of-way or a residential district. If allowed, the topping must be placed a minimum of six feet two inches from the finished grade. +6 *10

D.    Electric Fences, Chain Link Fences, Barbed, Concertina, and Razor Wire. +9

1.    Electric fences are permitted in A-1—Light Industrial and A-2—Heavy Industrial zoning districts subject to the following standards: +9

a.    Electric fences shall not be located within required landscape and street side setbacks. +9

b.    Any electric fences shall not exceed ten feet in height. A request to exceed this height is subject to approval of a use permit pursuant to Section 307. +9

c.    A fence or wall no less than six feet in height that is not electrified shall be constructed parallel to and on the exterior side of the electrified fence. The nonelectrified fence shall be either: +9

(1)    No more than six inches from the electrified fences; or +9

(2)    No less than three feet from the electrified fences. +9

d.    Electric fences shall be a minimum of three feet from all perimeter property lines. When adjacent to residential zoning districts, the electric fence shall be a minimum of 25 feet from the perimeter property line. A request to reduce the required provisions above is subject to approval of a use permit pursuant to Section 307. +9

e.    Warning signs stating "danger, premises is protected with an electrified fence," shall be placed at the top of the electrified fence at intervals not less than 30 feet. Signs shall also be placed on the perimeter fence or wall at intervals of 30 feet. The bottom of the sign shall be located five feet from the ground. The sign shall be a minimum of 36 square inches. +9

2.    Chain link fences, barbed, concertina, and razor wire. +9

a.    Chain link fences with plastic or metal slats, sheeting and nondecorative corrugated metal shall not be used in multi-family or nonresidential development where visible from public streets or residential zoning districts. +9

b.    Fences made or topped with razor, concertina, or barbed wire shall not be used in residential single-family or multi-family zoning districts. +9

c.    Fences made or topped with razor, concertina, or barbed wire shall not be used in non-residential development where visible from public streets or adjacent residential areas. +9

d.    Under no circumstance shall any razor, concertina, or barbed wire be placed closer than six feet two inches from the ground. +9

e.    Fences topped or made of glass, screws, nails or similar material shall not be permitted. +9

f.    This section shall not apply to barbed wire used to contain livestock that complies with Arizona Revised Statutes Chapter 11, Ownership, Control and Regulation of Livestock, Article 8, 3-1426, Standard for a Lawful Fence; provided, that barbed wire fences cannot be used on any parcel of land less than ten acres in size. +9

Date of Addition/Revision/Deletion - Section 703

+1 Addition on 3-19-1997 by Ordinance No. G-3996

*1 Revision on 3-19-1997 by Ordinance No. G-3996

*2 Revision on 6-4-1997 by Ordinance No. G-4014

+3 Addition on 7-2-1997 by Ordinance No. G-4039

*4 Revision on 7-1-1998 by Ordinance No. G-4109

*5 Revision on 9-14-2005 by Ordinance No. G-4739, eff. 10-14-2005

-6 Deletion on 11-30-2005 by Ordinance No. G-4760, eff. 12-30-2005

*6 Revision on 11-30-2005 by Ordinance No. G-4760, eff. 12-30-2005

+6 Addition on 11-30-2005 by Ordinance No. G-4760, eff. 12-30-2005

+7 Addition on 4-2-2008 by Ordinance No. G-5136, eff. 5-2-2008

*7 Revision on 4-2-2008 by Ordinance No. G-5136, eff. 5-2-2008

+8 Addition on 3-2-2011 by Ordinance No. G-5594 eff. 4-1-2011

+9 Addition on 7-3-2011 by Ordinance No. G-5722 eff. 8-2-2012

+10 Addition on 6-4-2014 by Ordinance No. G-5929, eff. 7-4-2014

*10 Revision on 6-4-2014 by Ordinance No. G-5929, eff. 7-4-2014

Home | Chapter | Previous | Next

The Phoenix Zoning Ordinance is current through Ordinance G-5952, passed October 1, 2014.

Disclaimer: The City Clerk's Office has the official version of the Zoning Ordinance. Users should contact the City Clerk's Office for ordinances passed subsequent to the ordinance cited above.

City Website: http://phoenix.gov/
City Telephone: (602) 262-6811

Code Publishing Company
eLibrary