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5-7   WALLS AND FENCES
5-7(A)   PURPOSE
   This Section 14-16-5-7 regulates walls, fences, retaining walls, and vertical combinations of those items (collectively referred to in this section as “the wall” or “walls”) in order to enhance the visual appearance of development in the city; establish a consistent, attractive streetscape; ensure visual compatibility with public spaces such as City parks and trails, major arroyos, and Major Public Open Space; and promote street and neighborhood character.
5-7(B)   APPLICABILITY
   5-7(B)(1)   The Standards in this Section 14-16-5-7 apply to new walls and replacement or repair of existing walls, unless modified elsewhere in this IDO.
   5-7(B)(2)   A wall shall be erected only after obtaining a permit, pursuant to the provisions in Subsections 14-16-6-5(F) (Permit – Wall or Fence – Minor) or 14-16-6-6(H) (Permit – Wall or Fence – Major), as applicable.
   5-7(B)(3)   If the wall permit is approved pursuant to Subsection 14-16-6-5(F) (Permit – Wall or Fence – Minor) or is granted a Permit – Wall or Fence – Major pursuant to Subsection 14-16-6-6(H), and the Permit allows for location, height, or design elements that differ from the regulations in this Section 14-16-5-7, then the requirement in the Permit shall prevail.
   5-7(B)(4)   Where higher walls are required for buffering and screening purposes in Section 14-16-5-5 (Parking and Loading), Subsection 14-16-5-6(E) (Edge Buffer Landscaping), Subsection 14-16-5-6(F) (Parking Lot Landscaping), Subsection 14-16-5-6(G) (Screening of Mechanical Equipment and Support Areas), or Section 14-16-5-9 (Neighborhood Edges), the highest specified wall height allowance shall prevail, but the wall shall be subject to any other applicable standards in this Section 14-16-5-7.
   5-7(B)(5)   Requests for walls taller than allowed by any provision in this Section 14-16-5-7 require the approval of a Variance, pursuant to Subsection 14-16-6-6(H) (Variance – EPC) for walls associated with a Site Plan – EPC or Subsection 14-16-6-6(O) (Variance – ZHE) for all other walls, and shall meet the additional requirements in Subsection 14-16-5-7(E)(2) (Articulation and Alignment).
   5-7(B)(6)   Walls adjacent to major arroyos and Major Public Open Space shall be required to follow additional standards in this Section 14-16-5-7 as well as any applicable standards in Subsections 14-16-5-2(J) (Major Arroyo Standards), 14-16-5-2(H) (Irrigation Facility (Acequia) Standards), and 14-16-5-2(K) (Major Public Open Space Edges).
   5-7(B)(7)   Retaining walls shall be required to follow standards in Subsections 14-16-5-7(B)(8) and 14-16-5-7(F).
   5-7(B)(8)   Access to bikeways shall be added pursuant to Section 14-16-5-3(C)(5) (Bicycle Circulation).
5-7(C)   WALL LOCATION
   5-7(C)(1)   Walls may be constructed anywhere on a lot, including but not limited to any front, side, or rear setback area, unless otherwise prohibited by this IDO, by with Articles 14-1, 14-2, and 14-3 of ROA 1994 (Uniform Administrative Code and Technical Codes, Fire Code, and Uniform Housing Code), or by clear sight triangle requirements.
   5-7(C)(2)   Walls may be constructed without any setback from a property line, unless otherwise prohibited by this IDO, by Articles 14-1, 14-2, and 14-3 of ROA 1994 (Uniform Administrative Code and Technical Codes, Fire Code, and Uniform Housing Code), or by the DPM, including but not limited to, clear sight triangle requirements or standards for alignments and easements. Walls may not encroach into any public right-of-way without the prior written approval from the City Engineer and may not encroach onto any adjacent property without prior written approval of that property owner.
5-7(D)   MAXIMUM WALL HEIGHT
   5-7(D)(1)   Maximum Wall Height Table
   Unless specified otherwise in Subsection 14-16-5-7(D)(3) (Exceptions to Maximum Wall Height) or elsewhere in this IDO, walls shall comply with the height standards in Table 5-7-1.
Table 5-7-1: Maximum Wall Height
Zone Category
Residential
Mixed-use
Non-residential (NR-C, NR-BP) [1]
Non-residential (NR-LM, NR-GM)
See also:
Table 5-7-1: Maximum Wall Height
Zone Category
Residential
Mixed-use
Non-residential (NR-C, NR-BP) [1]
Non-residential (NR-LM, NR-GM)
See also:
Standard Wall Height
Wall in the front yard or street side yard [2][3][4]
3 ft.
3 ft.
3 ft.
6 ft.
5-7(D)(2)
Wall in other locations on the lot [5][6]
8 ft.
8 ft.
8 ft.
10 ft.
5-7(D)(2)
Corner Lot Abutting Residential Zone District
Any portion of a wall in the rear yard abutting the front yard of a Residential zone district.
<10 ft. from the lot line abutting the street [3]
3 ft.
3 ft.
3 ft.
6 ft.
5-7(D)(2)
5-7(D)(3)(g)
>10 ft. from the lot line abutting the street
6 ft.
8 ft.
Low-density residential: 6ft.
8 ft.
8 ft.
5-7(D)(2)
Walls Abutting Major Arroyos and Major Public Open Space
Wall in a rear or interior side yard abutting a major arroyo
6 ft.
8 ft.
8 ft.
8 ft.
5-7(D)(2)
5-7(E)(4)
Wall in a rear or interior side yard abutting Major Public Open Space
6 ft.
6 ft.
6 ft.
10 ft.
5-7(D)(2)
5-7(E)(4)
[1] In the NR-BP zone district, wall heights shall be specified in the Master Development Plan. If no Master Development Plan exists or if no wall heights are specified in the Master Development Plan, then the wall height requirements in this table apply.
[2] Taller walls may be approved for multi-family residential development pursuant to Subsection 14-16-5-7(D)(3)(c).
[3] Taller walls may be approved for low-density residential development pursuant to Subsections 14-16-5-7(D)(3)(d) or 14-16-5-7(D)(3)(g).
[4] Taller walls may be approved in any NR-C or NR-BP zone district pursuant to Subsection 14-16-5-7(D)(3)(e).
[5] Portions of walls in the rear yard of a corner lot abutting the front yard of a Residential zone district are treated differently, with provisions later in this table.
[6] Where the rear yard of a through lot abuts at least 1 lot with any residential development that faces the second public street, the rear and side walls shall be subject to the same height restrictions applicable within the required front setback of the abutting residential property.
 
   5-7(D)(2)   Wall Illustrations
 
 
 
   5-7(D)(3)   Exceptions to Maximum Wall Height
   5-7(D)(3)(a)   Design elements may project vertically 2 feet above the maximum wall height. Such elements shall have a maximum width of 5 feet and are allowed at intervals of no less than 50 feet.
   5-7(D)(3)(b)   Retaining walls are subject to the height restrictions in Subsection 14-16-5-7(F)(1) (Maximum Height).
   5-7(D)(3)(c)   For multi-family residential development, the maximum height is 6 feet if view fencing is used for portions of a wall above 3 feet.
   5-7(D)(3)(d)   For low-density residential development, the maximum height of a wall in the street side yard is 6 feet if that yard abuts a street classified as a collector, arterial, or interstate highway and if the wall is set back at least 5 feet from the property line. (See figure below.)
 
   5-7(D)(3)(e)   For development in any NR-C or NR-BP zone district, the maximum height of walls in any front or street side yard is 6 feet if the wall is set back at least 5 feet from the property line and if view fencing that is at most 50 percent opaque to perpendicular view is used for portions of a wall above 3 feet.
   5-7(D)(3)(f)   Except where a Permit – Wall or Fence – Major is required pursuant to Subsection (g) below or where prohibited pursuant to Subsection (h) below, the Zoning Enforcement Officer (ZEO) may make an exception to the height standards in Table 5-7-1 for critical infrastructure facilities for security reasons due to specific site conditions or the nature of the land use or related materials and facilities on the site, pursuant to Subsection 14-16-6-5(F) (Permit – Wall or Fence – Minor). 234
   5-7(D)(3)(g)   For low-density residential development in or abutting a Residential zone district where wall height in any front or street side yard is restricted to 3 feet by Table 5-7-1, a request for a taller wall that meets the height and location standards in Table 5-7-2 shall require Permit – Wall or Fence – Major pursuant to Subsection 14-16-6-6(H), except where a taller wall is prohibited pursuant to Subsection (h) below. 235
Table 5-7-2: Options for a Taller Front or Side Yard Wall [1]
Wall Type and Location
Maximum Wall Height
Illustration
Table 5-7-2: Options for a Taller Front or Side Yard Wall [1]
Wall Type and Location
Maximum Wall Height
Illustration
View Fencing
View fencing at most 50 percent opaque may be added above 3 ft. to increase the total height of the wall as follows:
<10 ft. from lot line abutting the street
5 ft.
0
>10 ft. from lot line abutting the street
6 ft.
0
Courtyard Walls
>10 ft. from lot line abutting the street or edge of the sidewalk closest to the primary building, whichever is more restrictive
6 ft.
5-7(D)(3)(g)2
Corner Lots
On a corner lot where the rear yard abuts the front yard of a residentially zoned lot, a taller wall enclosing the rear yard may be approved as follows:
<10 ft. from the lot line abutting the street
5 ft.
5-7(D)(2)
[1] The maximum wall heights in this table require an approval pursuant to the standards in Subsections 14-16-5-7(D)(3)(g) and 14-16-6-6(H) (Permit – Wall or Fence – Major).
 
1.   Illustration for View Fencing
 
2.   Illustration for Courtyard Wall
 
   5-7(D)(3)(h)   Walls greater than 3 feet in height are prohibited in any front or street side yard on lots with low-density residential development in the following small areas. No Permit – Wall or Fence – Major or Variance to this provision is allowed in the following small areas.
      1.   Downtown Neighborhood Area – CPO-3
      2.   Monte Vista and College View Historic District
 
5-7(E)   MATERIALS AND DESIGN
   5-7(E)(1)   Materials and Texture 3
   5-7(E)(1)(a)   Unless specified otherwise in this IDO, walls may be opaque.
   5-7(E)(1)(b)   Acceptable wall materials include, but are not limited to, concrete masonry unit (CMU) blocks or other structural materials; stabilized adobe; split face blocks; slump blocks; bricks; stone; glass blocks; curved interlock blocks; wood; tubular steel; wrought iron bars; chain link fencing; other grill work; or a combination of these materials, with the following exceptions:
      1.   Exposed flat-faced CMU blocks shall not constitute more than 50 percent of any wall facing a public street or City park or trail.
      2.   Chain link fencing (with or without slats) shall not be allowed on any portion of a site visible from a public street, City park or trail, Major Public Open Space, or major arroyo except in the R-A, R-1, NR-LM, or NR-GM zone districts. Chain link fencing is allowed as temporary security fencing during active construction in any zone district.
   5-7(E)(1)(c)   Barbed tape, razor wire, barbed wire, or similar materials are regulated as follows:
      1.   In or adjacent to any Residential zone district, such materials are prohibited, except that critical infrastructure facilities are exempt from this regulation.
      2.   In or adjacent to any Mixed-use zone district, such materials are prohibited, except that critical infrastructure facilities are exempt from this regulation.
      3.   In Non-residential zone districts, such materials are allowed on street-facing walls that meet all of the following criteria. (See figure below.) 237
         a.   The wall is at least 6 feet in height.
         b.   The wall is set back at least 5 feet.
         c.   The wall is not adjacent to any Residential or Mixed-use zone district, where Subsections 1 and 2 above apply.
         d.   The wall is not visible from a City park or trail.
         e.   The wall is not visible from Major Public Open Space.
 
   5-7(E)(2)   Articulation and Alignment
   Portions of walls that obtain approval for a wall that exceeds the maximum height limits in Subsection 14-16-5-7(D) (Maximum Wall Height) or are required to exceed those limits and that face any public street, City park or trail, Major Public Open Space, or major arroyo, shall incorporate at least 1 of the following features to break up the massing of the wall. (See figure below for illustrations of each option).
   5-7(E)(2)(a)   Option 1
   Vertical pilasters with a minimum projection of 2 inches from the public side of the wall surface at intervals of no more than 20 feet in length.
   5-7(E)(2)(b)   Option 2
   Decorative features, such as columns with a minimum projection of 4 inches from the public side of the wall surface at intervals of no more than 60 feet in length.
   5-7(E)(2)(c)   Option 3
   Offset in wall alignment of at least 16 inches, spaced so that no more than 3 consecutive lots have the same wall alignment.
   5-7(E)(2)(d)   Option 4
   Curvilinear alignments with a minimum distance of 4 feet between the outer surfaces of the wall. The outermost point of each curve shall have intervals no greater than 80 feet.
   5-7(E)(2)(e)   Option 5
   Terracing of walls with a minimum horizontal distance of 4 feet separating the vertical height segments.
 
   5-7(E)(3)   Wall Design
   Any portions of a wall over 3 feet facing a public street, City park or trail, Major Public Open Space, or major arroyo shall comply with at least 1 of the following options. (See figure below for illustrations of each option). 238
   5-7(E)(3)(a)   Option 1
   Openings distributed throughout the length of the wall equal to at least 5 percent of the wall surface, constructed into the surface or created by using see-through pattern blocks, tubular steel or wrought iron bars, wood, or other grillwork.
   5-7(E)(3)(b)   Option 2
   Variation in wall height at intervals of at least every 20 feet along the length of the wall. The normal stepping of the wall to accommodate grade change does not satisfy this requirement.
   5-7(E)(3)(c)   Option 3
   Use of a second and visually contrasting material, texture, or color along the length of the wall on at least 20 percent of its surface.
   5-7(E)(3)(d)   Option 4
   A continuous overhang cap along the length of the wall that projects at least 2 inches from the public side of the wall surface.
   5-7(E)(3)(e)   Option 5
   A variety of living shrubs, trees, and/or vines covering or overhanging at least 1/3 of the length of the wall in conjunction with a streetscape/landscape maintenance agreement between the City and the adjoining property owner and/or community association as part of a subdivision approval.
 
 
   5-7(E)(4)   Walls Adjacent to Major Arroyos or Major Public Open Space
   All walls other than retaining walls adjacent to a major arroyo or any Major Public Open Space must comply with the following standards, in addition to all other applicable standards in this Section 14-16-5-7. If any of the following standards conflict with another wall standard in this IDO, the standard in this Subsection 14-16-5-7(E)(4) shall prevail.
   5-7(E)(4)(a)   In any zone district adjacent to Major Public Open Space and in any Mixed-use or Non-residential zone district adjacent to arroyos, only the following wall types are allowed on the sides of the lot facing the Major Public Open Space or arroyo:
      1.   View fencing of at most 50 percent opacity constructed of wood, painted or coated pipe, wrought iron, or smooth wire pasture fence material. Where allowed, chain-link fencing shall be accompanied by a vegetative screen with a mature height at least as tall as the fence and with at most 75 percent opacity, planted on the public side of the fence but within the lot line containing the proposed development.
      2.   Opaque walls of 4 feet or less, combined with view fencing as described in Subsection 1 above, with a combined height not to exceed the maximum wall height in Table 5-7-1.
      3.   Where allowed, opaque walls shall be constructed of wood, stucco over CMU blocks, stained concrete block, stone, split-faced or fluted block, or adobe. Exposed CMU block walls are prohibited. Predominant materials shall be earth tone in color, with a Light Reflective Value (LRV) ranging from 20 percent to 50 percent. This middle range of reflectance is intended to avoid very light and very dark colors.
   1-1(B)(4)(b)   Where walls are allowed to be higher than 4 feet pursuant to Table 5-7-1, the following standards apply:
      1.   Opaque walls over 4 feet in height are allowed adjacent to arroyos only in any Residential zone district.
      2.   Opaque walls may be no more than 4 feet tall, combined with 1 of the fencing types described in Subsection (a)1 above, with a combined height not to exceed the maximum wall height in Table 5-7-1.
      3.   Each wall over 4 feet tall shall include a horizontal offset of at least 16 inches every 100 feet.
   1-1(B)(4)(c)   On lots adjacent to the Petroglyph National Monument, perimeter walls abutting the Petroglyph National Monument shall be view fencing, such as post and wire, with a maximum of 10 percent opacity.
      1.   In any zone district, 1 screening wall with higher than 10 percent opacity may be constructed parallel to the lot line abutting the Petroglyph National Monument, subject to the following requirements:
         a.   The wall is not located within the minimum building setbacks required by the zone district.
         b.   The wall is no more than 20 feet long or up to 50 percent of the lot width, whichever is less.
         c.   Wall materials shall be the same as or complement the primary building and shall be constructed of earth tone materials with an LRV ranging from 20 percent to 50 percent. This middle range of reflectance is intended to avoid very light and very dark colors.
      2.   In any Residential zone district, on lots greater than 10,000 square feet, courtyard walls with higher than 10 percent opacity are allowed to be constructed parallel to the lot line abutting the Petroglyph National Monument that meet the following requirements:
         a.   Walls forming the courtyard are attached to the primary building.
         b.   Walls are not located within the minimum setbacks required by the zone district.
         c.   Wall materials shall be the same or complement the primary building and shall be constructed of earth-tone materials an LRV ranging from 20 percent to 50 percent. This middle range of reflectance is intended to avoid very light and very dark colors.
         d.   The total area of enclosed spaces on a lot (e.g. any combination of patio, pool enclosure, or courtyard) shall be limited to 1,000 square feet or up to 50 percent of the primary building square footage, whichever is greater, up to a maximum of 2,000 square feet.
      3.   For single-family and two-family detached dwellings abutting a trail on the Petroglyph National Monument, an opaque perimeter wall is allowed but may only be constructed of stucco over CMU blocks, coyote fencing, or stone per height requirements in Subsection 14-16-5-7(D) (Maximum Wall Height).
5-7(F)   RETAINING WALL STANDARDS
   5-7(F)(1)   Maximum Height
   5-7(F)(1)(a)   Retaining walls shall have a maximum height as specified in Section 14-16-5-7(D) (Maximum Wall Height) unless a higher wall is approved by the City Engineer as necessary on a particular lot.
   5-7(F)(1)(b)   Retaining walls higher than 6 feet tall shall be terraced to minimize visual impacts on residents, neighboring properties, and the public realm. Terracing shall be limited to 3 tiers.
   5-7(F)(2)   Terracing
   5-7(F)(2)(a)   A terrace at least 4 feet wide, with a maximum slope of 1:3 (rise:run), shall be provided between each tier to create pockets for landscaping. Reduced terrace depths may be administratively approved by the City Engineer where site constraints limit the amount of space available to accommodate the minimum required width.
   5-7(F)(2)(b)   Terraces between retaining wall tiers shall be vegetated with permanent landscaping to screen retaining walls and provide visual interest unless soil conditions are determined by a licensed engineer to be unsuitable due to geologic hazards.
   5-7(F)(3)   Setback
   Retaining walls must be set back so that the underground footing does not encroach on any abutting public right-of-way.

 

Notes

234
234   2020 IDO Annual Update – Citywide Text Amendments – LUPZ REVIEW. Passed 5/12/2021 as Amendment A16 – Walls and Fences.
235
235   2020 IDO Annual Update – Citywide Text Amendments – LUPZ REVIEW. Passed 5/12/2021 as Amendment A16 – Walls and Fences.
3
236   2020 IDO Annual Update - Citywide Text Amendments – EPC REVIEW. EPC Recommended Condition #1.
237
237   2020 IDO Annual Update - Citywide Text Amendments – COUNCIL REVIEW. Figure added editorially to illustrate regulation.
238
238   2020 IDO Annual Update - Citywide Text Amendments – EPC REVIEW. EPC Recommended Condition #1.