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A. Permitting. Permits, granted through Ministerial review, are required prior to installing any permanent fence or wall to ensure compliance with City standards. The property owner should obtain a property boundary survey where property boundaries are not otherwise identified. Where a development is subject to land use approval, the City may require installation of screening walls or fences as a condition of approval for development, as provided by other ordinance sections. A building permit may be required for some fences and walls, pursuant to applicable building codes.

B. Design Standards. Fences, walls, hedges, and screen planting shall meet the following standards, where height is measured pursuant to subsection, below. See Figure for illustration of maximum fence heights.

1. Height. Fences, walls, hedges, and screen planting shall not exceed the following heights:

a. Front Yard. In any required front yard, not more than three and one-half feet in height.

b. Rear and Side Yard. In any rear or side yard, not more than six and one-half feet in height.

c. Street-Side Yard. In any rear or side yard abutting a public street, except alleys, not more than four feet in height where located within ten feet of said street.

d. Deer Fencing. See subsection, below.

e. Open Space. See maximum fence heights for common open space in section, and for cottage housing in section

Figure Fence Heights by Yard

2. Height Measurement. The height of a fence is the vertical distance measured from the natural grade to the highest point of the fence, including the structural supports.

a. Below-Grade Lots. On lots that are not generally level with the adjacent street, height may be measured from the top of the adjacent sidewalk or curb, or, where curbs are absent, from the crown of the adjacent street plus six inches.

Figure Below-Grade Lots

b. Retaining Walls and Slopes. Where fences are built on top of retaining walls, or one lot is markedly higher than an adjacent lot, height shall be measured from the highest adjacent grade, except that the solar access of adjacent properties to the north shall be maintained in accordance with chapter 18.4.8 Solar Access.

Figure Retaining Walls and Slopes

3. Location.

a. Yard (Setbacks). Standard yard requirements do not apply to fences and walls meeting the height requirements of this section; however fences and walls exceeding the height requirements of this section shall meet yard requirements. All fences and walls shall comply with the vision clearance area requirements of section Other provisions of this ordinance may limit allowable height of a fence or wall below the height limits of this section.

b. Public Rights-of-Way. The construction of permanent structures is prohibited in the public right-of-way and associated setback areas of a future street or greenway.

4. Framework. The framework for newly constructed fences and walls shall face toward the property of the party who constructs the fence, except where fences are jointly constructed.

5. Restricted Materials. The use of barbed wire, razor wire, electrified wire, and similar security fencing materials shall be restricted as follows.

a. Such materials shall not be located adjacent to a sidewalk, a public way, or along the adjoining property line of another person.

b. Such materials shall not be erected or maintained at less than 6 ½ feet above grade.

c. Such materials may be located in commercial, employment, or industrial lands if not visible from the public right of way, or with approval from the Community Development Director on properties deemed to be hazardous or in need of additional security.

6. Deer Fencing.

a. Deer fencing may be attached to a permitted front, side, or rear yard fence provided the area in excess of the allowable fence heights per this section is designed and constructed to provide a clear view through the fence.

i. Within required front yards, at least 85 percent of the surface shall be unobstructed to both light and air when viewed perpendicular to the plane of the fence.

ii. Within required side and rear yards, at least 80 percent of the surface shall be unobstructed to both light and air when viewed perpendicular to the plane of the fence.

b. Deer fencing shall have a minimum height of 6 ½ feet and shall not exceed eight feet above grade.

c. Permitted deer fencing materials may include, woven wire fencing, field fence, “hog panels”, wire strand, or polypropylene mesh net that is open and visible through the material. Within front yards all mesh material shall have a minimum open diameter of 1 ½ square inches.

d. Deer fencing shall be supported by structural supports, or tension wires, that run along the top of the fence to prevent sagging.

e. Chain link fences shall not be considered to be deer fences under this section even if they meet the criteria above.

Figure Chain Link Fences

7. Waterways, Riparian Areas, and Wetlands. Fences in and near waterways, riparian areas, and wetlands are shall conform to the following standards.

a. Waterways. Fences shall not be constructed across any waterway or stream, or within any designated floodway identified on the official maps adopted pursuant to chapter 18.3.10 Physical and Environmental Constraints Overlay.

b. Riparian Areas and Wetlands. Fences may be installed in the upland half of the stream bank protection zone, and in the wetland buffer identified on the official map adopted pursuant to chapter 18.3.11 Water Resources Protection Zones Overlay. Temporary tree protection fencing required with development pursuant to chapter 18.4.5 is exempt from this requirement.

c. Materials. Fences in floodways and water resource protection zones shall be limited to open wire, electric, or similar fencing material that will not collect debris or obstruct flood waters, but not including wire mesh or chain link fencing. Solid wood fencing is prohibited in the Water Resource Protection Zones.

8. Wildfire Lands Overlay. Fencing attached to a building or deck within the Wildfire Lands Overlay shall be made of noncombustible materials within five feet of the connection to the structure.

a. A fence with wood framing and steel mesh or other noncombustible infill panels shall be considered to comply with this section.

b. A metal gate, a minimum of three feet in width, that is installed within a wood-framed fence immediately adjacent to a building or deck shall be considered to comply with this section.

c. Existing wood fences that are to be retrofitted to attach to a new building, addition, or deck, subject to the General Fuel Modification Area standards per subsection, shall be retrofitted so the fence ends with a noncombustible material like masonry or metal to keep fire from spreading to the building or deck.

d. Combustible fencing materials may be permitted within five feet of a building or deck when the Staff Advisor, in consultation with the Fire Code Official, has determined the portion of the structure adjoining the combustible material is constructed with ignition-resistant building materials sufficient to reduce the spread of fire from the combustible fencing materials.

C. Maintenance. Fences and walls shall be maintained in a safe condition. Fences shall not lean more than five percent from the vertical plane. (Ord. 3190 § 6, amended, 11/17/2020; Ord. 3158 § 7, amended, 09/18/2018)