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19.16.080 Screening/fence requirements, permit, and clear view

            (1)        The following provisions shall govern the height and location of fences, walls, plant growth, or other obstructions to view:

                        (a)        In all residential zones, no fence, hedge, or wall may exceed six feet (6') in height when placed within three feet (3') of any property line or as further regulated below except behind the front setback line of the main structure fences may be eight feet (8') in height.  Special permits may be granted for higher fences by the Board of Adjustment.

                        (b)        When a fence, wall, or hedge meets the setback regulations for an accessory structure for the zoning district in which the fence, wall, or hedge is proposed, the height allowed will be that as outlined for accessory structures in the zoning district.

                        (c)        Clear view for driveways required.  No view obstructing fence, wall, hedge, or planting exceeding two feet (2') in height above the level of the sidewalk, shall be located in the triangular area bounded by lines drawn from a point on the centerline of the driveway setback fifteen feet (15') from the front property line, to points at the property line in front of the property, thirty feet (30') either side of the centerline of the driveway for local and local collectors, and fifty feet (50') on collectors and arterials.  Except that shade trees may be located or maintained in such area in excess of the height provided the same are pruned clear of all branches between the ground and a height of six feet (6').  Nonview obstructing fences not exceeding six feet (6') in height may also be allowed in this area.

                        (d)        Shade trees or other plantings which project over any sidewalk shall be pruned clear of all branches between the ground and a height of seven feet (7') for that portion of the plant located over the sidewalk.  Shade trees and plantings which project over any street or access road which may be used for emergency purposes, shall be trimmed to a height of thirteen feet six inches (13'6") from the grade of the street or access road.

                        (e)        Where lots have double frontages, that area designated by the property owner as the rear yard may have a solid or view obstructing fence, wall, or hedge, not exceeding eight feet (8') in height.  Such fence, wall, or hedge, shall be no closer than at the sidewalk.

                        (f)        A nonview obstructing fence not exceeding six feet (6') in height may be erected in any front yard space, including those areas that are normally reserved for a clear view.

                        (g)        No fence, whether of wood, metal, masonry, or concrete, nor other obstruction including shrubbery, nor any combination of materials, shall be erected or maintained which blocks the access from a front yard through both sides to the rear yard.

                        (h)        Construction of fences and retaining walls must meet applicable requirements of Title 15 of this Code.  For construction of all fences over six feet (6') and retaining walls, a building permit must be secured.

            (2)        Clear view across corner property required.  No obstruction to view will be permitted on that portion of a corner lot defined as the clear view area.  Where curbs are installed, the clear view area shall include that portion of the corner lot lying within a triangular area formed by a diagonal line connecting lines located at the top back of the curbs extending from the intersection thirty feet (30') on local and collector streets and fifty feet (50') on arterials.  Where one of the streets is a different classification the more stringent requirement will apply.  Where no curb exists the clear view area shall include that portion of the corner lot lying within a triangular area formed by a diagonal line connecting lines located at the property/right-of-way line twenty feet (20') from the intersection of said property/right-of-way line, except that this Section shall not prohibit the following within the triangular area:

                        (a)        Gasoline service pumps when permitted in the zoning district;

                        (b)        Permitted signs where only the minimum necessary supports are visible to a height of not less than ten feet (10');

                        (c)        Plantings of shrubs, bushes, or trees which are trimmed or pruned so that the shrubs or bushes do not exceed the height of two feet (2') above street level and so that trees are pruned clear of all branches between the ground and a height of six feet (6'); and

                        (d)        Nonview-obstructing fences not exceeding six feet (6') in height.

            (3)        Vacant lots.  For the purpose of this Section, it shall be presumed that a vacant lot shall contain a minimum front, side, and rear yard that are otherwise required by ordinance.  In any required side and rear yard on vacant lots, the maximum height of fences or other similar structures shall be six feet (6').

            (4)        Grading, planting, or construction.  Any grading, planting, or construction that interferes with the vision of those using the streets, sidewalks, alleys, or driveways is prohibited.

            (5)        Retaining walls.  Where a retaining wall protects a cut below or a fill above the natural grade and is located on the line separating lots, such retaining wall may be topped by a fence, wall, or hedge of the same height that would otherwise be permitted at the location if no retaining wall existed.

            (6)        Barbed wire.  Fences containing strands of barbed wire are prohibited in all zoning districts excepting the agricultural zoning district, unless specifically approved by the Planning Commission.

            (7)        Exceptions.  The provisions of this Section shall not apply to:

                        (a)        Fences required by state law to surround or enclose public utility installations, public schools, or other public buildings, or

                        (b)        Fences for uses such as tennis or sports courts which may be a maximum of fifteen feet (15') high if the fence meets all of the required setbacks for an accessory building in the zoning district in which it is located.

Ord. No.97-35, Recodified, 6/19/1997
Ord. No. 09-09, Amended, 7/16/2009
Ord. No. 97-19, Enacted, 4/17/1997
Ord. No. 00-05, Amended, 2/3/2000
Ord. No. 04-69, Recodified, 12/16/2004