Chapter 17.30
FENCES*

Sections:

17.30.000    General.

17.30.010    Special height restrictions.

17.30.035    Trellises and arbors.

*Code reviser’s note: See ECDC 19.00.070(D) and Chapter 15.00 ECDC for fence permit fees.

17.30.000 General.

A. A fence permit shall be required for any fence over three feet in height which is also within 10 feet of any street right-of-way or access easement or within 30 feet of any corner. Height shall be measured from the top of the fence to the lowest original grade.

B. A fence permit shall be required for any fence within a critical area or its buffer.

C. Unless a variance is first obtained, no fence shall be more than six feet in height as measured from the top of the fence to the lowest original grade.

D. When a retaining wall three feet in height or greater is contiguous to and below a proposed fence, the proposed fence may be constructed for the purposes of safety not greater than four feet above the top of the retaining wall or the finished grade, whichever is less, without the necessity for a variance. [Ord. 3491 § 3, 2004; Ord. 2954 § 1, 1993; Ord. 2772 § 1, 1990].

17.30.010 Special height restrictions.

A. Streets and Corners. Height shall normally be limited to three feet within 10 feet of any street right-of-way or access easement or 30 feet of any corner, unless an exception is approved.

B. Exception. If the city engineer finds that no hazard to users of the street or to nearby property will be created, the city engineer may approve a fence of up to six feet in height.

C. Hazard. No fence or other obstruction may be constructed or maintained if it creates a hazard to users of the street or nearby property (ECDC 18.85.060). [Ord. 3491 § 4, 2004; Ord. 2954 § 1, 1993].

17.30.035 Trellises and arbors.

A. Definitions. As used in this section, the referenced terms shall have the following definitions:

1. “Arbor” is a separate freestanding or attached structure that has a lattice roof and lattice walls or a horizontal lattice work structure serving to roof a gate or entrance way.

2. “Lattice” and/or “lattice work” is a framework of cross wood or metal strips or a predominantly open framework of wood or metal designed for decorative purposes or landscaping purposes.

3. “Predominantly open” refers to a lattice work or similar decorative pattern which is designed to permit the free flow of light and air through the framework and which is designed primarily for decorative rather than privacy or security purposes.

4. “Trellis” is a horizontal structure of open lattice work designed and intended to support the growth of vines or other vegetation or a horizontal decorative element composed of lattice work which admits light and air through a predominantly open design.

B. For the purposes of regulation under the Edmonds Community Development Code trellises shall be considered to be a fence or a part of a fence. As such, trellises shall be subject to the same height limitations as fences and permits shall be required to be obtained under the same circumstances as a fence. A trellis which has a horizontal element which is more than 36 inches in width measured perpendicular to the fence or trellis shall be considered an arbor and subject to the siting requirements for an arbor.

C. In addition to the height limits imposed by ECDC 17.30.000(C), the following additions to a fence may be constructed without a variance:

1. A trellis up to two additional feet in height to a maximum of eight feet may be added as a decorative element to a fence so long as the combined length of the trellis(es) constructed facing a property line do not exceed 25 percent of the total length of that property line.

2. A trellis up to two additional feet in height to a maximum of eight feet may be added as a decorative element to a fence facing a street, alley or access easement so long as the trellis remains free of any plantings, vegetation or other visual obstruction.

3. An arbor up to three additional feet in height to a nine-foot maximum may be constructed over a gate, walkway or entrance. [Ord. 3348 § 1, 2001].