Chapter 14.36
FENCES, WALLS AND HEDGES

Sections:

14.36.010    Definitions.

14.36.020    Applicability.

14.36.030    Restrictions.

14.36.040    Construction.

14.36.050    Barbed wire fences.

14.36.060    Electric fences.

14.36.070    Swimming pool fences.

14.36.080    Rear yard access.

14.36.090    Deviations.

14.36.100    Nuisance—Declaration.

14.36.110    Nuisance—Abatement.

14.36.120    Violation—Penalty.

14.36.010 Definitions.

As used in this chapter:

(a)    “Corner lot” means a lot or plot of land located at the interior angle of two streets.

(b)    “Fence” means any barrier erected, constructed or placed on a lot or plot of ground and includes hedges, masonry walls and ornamental constructions as well as the commonly known wire, board, metal, wood, wood picket or wood rail fences.

(c)    “Front street” means the street along the shorter platted frontage of a corner lot.

(d)    “Hedge” means any vegetation serving as a fence or barrier including a row of closely planted shrubs, trees, bushes or other vegetation.

(e)    “Height” means the distance measured above the street curb parallel to the fence line. For interior and alley fences, the height is measured above the average grade within five feet of the fence on the high side of the fence. (Ord. 1152 § 1 (part), 2003; Ord. 586 § 1, 1979).

14.36.020 Applicability.

These regulations shall apply to fences and hedges for residential use. (Ord. 1152 § 1 (part), 2003; Ord. 586 § 2, 1979).

14.36.030 Restrictions.

The following restrictions shall apply to construction, maintenance, repair or placement of fences and hedges, and no deviation from these requirements shall be made except as provided in Section 14.36.090:

(a)    Corner Lot. A maximum of six feet in height anywhere on a corner lot, except as follows:

(1)    A maximum of three feet in height where closer than forty-five feet from the point of projected intersections of the street curb face;

(2)    A maximum of three feet in height where closer than twenty feet from the front street property line (right-of-way);

(3)    A maximum of three feet in height where closer than thirteen feet from a point located by projecting the side street curb and the alley right-of-way.

(b)    Interior Lot. A maximum of six feet in height anywhere on an interior lot, provided a maximum of three feet in height where closer than twenty feet from the front property line.

(c)    Public Right-of-Way. Property owners constructing or reconstructing a fence on public right-of-way shall provide a public sidewalk parallel to the curb for the full length of the lot side per the public works design standards. Wood and chain link fences on public right-of-way shall be considered licensed by the city with the building permit. Masonry and/or decorative metal fences shall obtain a standard public right-of-way license approved by council. Fences on public right-of-way will be removed at the adjacent landowner’s expense within sixty days of terminating said license. Upon request of removal, the fence shall be considered a public nuisance.

(d)    Driver Visibility. Property owners shall not allow a hedge to grow such that a visibility hazard is created for a driver of a vehicle on or entering onto public right-of-way.

(e)    Fences along alleys shall be located completely on private property and at least ten feet from the alley centerline. (Ord. 1544 § 1, 2020: Ord. 1152 § 1 (part), 2003; Ord. 586 § 3, 1979).

14.36.040 Construction.

Fences may be constructed of wood, masonry, iron, wire fence or grown as hedges. All construction is to be done in such manner as to leave no sharp or protruding ends, barbs or projections. Fences shall not be made of used materials such as pallets, conveyor chain, tin siding, rusted pipe, vehicle bodies or similar used materials. (Ord. 1152 § 1 (part), 2003; Ord. 586 § 4, 1979).

14.36.050 Barbed wire fences.

Fences containing barbed wire shall be prohibited for residential use. (Ord. 1152 § 1 (part), 2003; Ord. 586 § 6, 1979).

14.36.060 Electric fences.

Electric fence shall be prohibited. (Ord. 586 § 5, 1979).

14.36.070 Swimming pool fences.

A new swimming pool shall receive a certificate of occupancy only after it is enclosed by a fence and/or structure which shall be at least six feet in height as measured from the outside of the fence. This safety barrier shall be a fence not readily climbed by children or a structure that is a barrier to unauthorized entrance. The fence gate shall have a latch not readily operable by small children. (Ord. 1152 § 1 (part), 2003; Ord. 586 § 7, 1979).

14.36.080 Rear yard access.

Every fence built along the alley property line or within the required rear yard shall be provided with a gate at least three feet in width so as to provide accessibility to the rear of any lot in case of an emergency. (Ord. 1152 § 1 (part), 2003; Ord. 668 § 2, 1983: Ord. 586 § 8, 1979: Ord. 10 § 5.02, 1951).

14.36.090 Deviations.

No deviation may be made from these regulations except with the written approval of the city planning commission, with the right of appeal to the city council. The following criteria shall be established as grounds for deviation from the regulations set forth in this chapter:

(a)    Special circumstances applicable to the property in question or to the intended use that do not apply generally to other properties or classes of use in the same vicinity and zoning classifications;

(b)    A deviation is necessary for the preservation and enjoyment of a substantial property right or use possessed by other property in the same vicinity and in zoning classification which because of special circumstances is denied to the property in question;

(c)    The granting of a deviation will not be materially detrimental to the public welfare or injurious to other property improvements in such vicinity and zoning classification in which the subject property is located;

(d)    That the granting of a deviation will not conflict with the general intent of this chapter. (Ord. 1152 § 1 (part), 2003; Ord. 586 § 9, 1979).

14.36.100 Nuisance—Declaration.

All existing fences and new fences hereafter erected in violation of the provisions of this chapter are public nuisances. Such fences are subject to being abated by any means permitted by this code or state law. (Ord. 1152 § 1 (part), 2003; Ord. 586 § 11, 1979).

14.36.110 Nuisance—Abatement.

Whenever any fence has become a public nuisance, as herein defined, the building inspector of the city shall notify the owner of record of the premises on which the same is located, or his agent or person having charge or control of said premises, in writing, to obtain a variance, if he can, or to remove or abate such nuisance within sixty days after receiving such notice. The person so notified shall have the right, within the sixty days period to alter the fence so that the same conforms to the requirements of this chapter. If such alternation is so made, no further action will be taken. If the person so notified neglects or refuses to alter, remove or abate such nuisance, the building inspector is authorized to request the city attorney to institute in the name of the city such proceedings as may be necessary, in any court of competent jurisdiction to secure abatement of the same. (Ord. 586 § 12, 1979).

14.36.120 Violation—Penalty.

In addition to the remedy of abatement provided herein, any person, firm or corporation who suffers or permits any nuisance as herein defined to exist or remain upon his, their or its premises or under his, their or its control after having been notified by the building inspector to remove or abate the same is deemed to have committed a civil infraction as provided in this code and is subject to a penalty of up to one thousand dollars for each day the violation exists after being declared a nuisance as provided in Section 14.36.110. (Ord. 1152 § 1 (part), 2003; Ord. 586 § 13, 1979).