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Every fence constructed or erected in the Village shall comply with the regulations in this section. No fence shall be erected, constructed, relocated, or altered until a permit has been issued in accordance with the requirements of this section.
(1) Fence. “Fence” means an artificially constructed, non-vegetative barrier of natural or artificial materials used to prevent or control ingress/egress, confine within, or mark a boundary. A fence may be decorative or ornamental. Gates or barriers to entry and exit, driveway entrance features, screening walls, and other types of boundary protection shall be included in this definition.
(2) Perimeter feature. “Perimeter feature” means a type of fence running along the perimeter of a lot either on or within six feet of a lot line.
(3) Privacy screen. “Privacy screen” means a type of fence that is a substantially opaque barrier intended to screen a selected use or particular area in a private residential yard.
(4) Interior fence. “Interior fence” means a type of fence that is not a perimeter feature or a privacy screen.
(5) Road. “Road” has the same meaning as “street” as defined in Section 1240.08 (b)(69).
(6) Construction fence. “Construction fence” means a temporary artificially constructed fence used to prevent or control entrance or access pursuant to a permit issued by the Village of Franklin Building Official under Section 1268.19 of the Zoning Code.
(7) Garden enclosure. "Garden enclosure" is a type of interior fence that is used to enclose an area used for the growing of vegetables, flowers, etc. used for human consumption but not for commercial sale.
(b) General Requirements Applicable to All Fences.
(1) Ownership. Ownership and responsibility for maintenance of a fence resides in the owner of the property on which the fence is located.
A. Provision for joint ownership. Owners of adjoining properties may jointly apply for a fence permit, in which case the Building Official may permit the fence to be constructed on the common property line. Both property owners shall jointly own the fence and shall be jointly and severably responsible for maintenance of the fence.
(2) Fence materials. In order to protect the beauty and established historic character of the Village, the following standards shall apply:
A. The exterior of a fence shall be constructed primarily of wood, stone, brick, wrought iron, or other material determined by the Zoning Board of Appeals to mimic an above listed material.
B. Fence materials and construction pattern must be consistent along a single lot line.
C. Fences constructed on properties where one did not exist before must be constructed of the same material long any lot line where the fence is proposed to be constructed.
D. Prohibited materials. Razor wire and barbed wire are prohibited on any type of fence. Fences utilizing wire mesh or chain link are also prohibited, except as otherwise expressly permitted (e.g., garden enclosures, tennis court enclosures, dog runs, baseball backstops, cemeteries, fences enclosing public areas, construction fences).
E. Prohibited designs. No permitted fence of any variety may contain decorative fence toppers, finials, spears or other fence toppers which contain a pointed finish if such decorative items are situated along the top of the primary fencing material. Ball finials are permissible but only if they measure not less than three inches each in diameter. A fence topper shall be considered to be pointed if the upper most portion of the topper is not larger than its base, or, if in the opinion of the Building Official, such a fence topper is considered to be capable of impaling or otherwise penetrating the flesh of any person or animal, either intentionally or through accidental or forceful contact with same.
F. Electricity-conducting fences. A fence erected around the perimeter of a pasture where horses or other permitted large animals are restrained may include electrified wire strands around the top or interior of the pasture fence. Other fences which carry electric current are prohibited, except for underground electric fences as defined in Section 1240.08 (b)(23A).
(3) Finished appearance. If, because of design or construction, one side of a fence has a more finished appearance than the other, the side of the fence with the more finished appearance shall face the exterior of the lot. This provision concerning the finished appearance does not apply to jointly owned fences located on a property line.
(4) Height. Except as otherwise expressly permitted herein, fences shall not exceed 48 inches in height. As used in this section, the height of a fence is measured from the surrounding surface of the ground and not from any structure or localized raised surface on which the fence is situated.
A. Fences enclosing public areas. Fences that enclose public parks, playgrounds, or similar public areas located within a residential district shall not exceed 8 feet in height, except that a fence enclosing one or more public tennis courts can extend to 12 feet in height and a protective screening used for a public baseball field backstop can be made at a suitable height and length for its intended purpose. Tennis court fences and baseball backstops can be made of chain link fencing.
(5) Location. A fence shall be located entirely on the private property of the person responsible for the construction and maintenance of the fence.
A. Permitted locations. Except as specifically provided below, fences are permitted only in rear yards and side yards. No fence shall be permitted to extend into the front yard, except as otherwise specifically provided herein. For side yards and rear yards abutting a street, no fence shall be constructed or maintained within any required setback from the street.
B. Path setback. No fence shall be located closer than 12 inches from the edge of a public sidewalk or other public path.
(6) Fence maintenance. Fences shall be maintained in good condition. Rotten or broken components shall be replaced, repaired, or removed. If a fence is found to be in need of repair by the Building Official, he or she shall issue orders to complete such repairs to the owner of the land where the fence is located. Failure to comply with written notice from the Building Official shall be deemed a violation of this Zoning Code.
(7) Obstruction of use of adjoining property. No fence shall be erected where it would prevent or unreasonably obstruct the use of or access to adjacent property. The Building Official may require a fence to be set back up to two feet from a driveway or property line to provide for the safe passage of pedestrians, bicyclists, or vehicular traffic, or for other safety-related concerns.
(8) Driver visibility. No fence shall be erected, established or maintained on any lot which will obstruct the view of drivers in vehicles traveling around sharp curves in the road or approaching an intersection of two roads or the intersection of a road and a driveway.
A. Sharp curves. Fences located along a curve in a road shall provide drivers with an unobstructed sight distance that is reasonable in view of the road curvature and applicable speed limit for the road. The Building Official may restrict or deny a fence permit as necessary to provide this unobstructed sight distance.
B. Intersections. Fences located adjacent to an intersection of two roads or an intersection of a road and a driveway shall not exceed 30 inches in height. An unobstructed triangular area shall be maintained at each intersection of roads and streets and driveways. Fences located in the triangular area shall not be permitted to obstruct cross-visibility above a height of 30 inches above the lowest point of the intersecting road(s) or driveway(s). The unobstructed triangular area shall consist of:
1. In the case of two roads, the triangular area formed at the corner intersection of the two road right-of-way lines, with two sides of the triangular area being 25 feet in length measured along the intersecting right-of-way lines, and the third side being a line connecting the distal ends of the two 25 foot sides; and
2. In the case of an intersecting road and driveway, the triangular area formed at the corner intersection of the road right of way and an edge of the driveway, with one side of the triangular area being ten feet in length measured along the right-of-way line, a second side being 10 feet in length measured along the edge of the driveway, and the third side being a line connecting the distal ends of the two ten foot two sides.
(9) Tennis court enclosures. A private tennis court located on a residential lot may include a chain link fence enclosing each end of the court and extending towards the net no farther than the midpoint between the base line and service line. The chain link fence may have a maximum height of 12 feet and the opacity of such fence shall not exceed 50 percent.
(10) Outdoor dog runs. One fenced pet exercise area ("dog run") may be permitted per residential lot, subject to the following:
A. Location. A dog run shall not be permitted in any required front yard or required street side yard.
B. Setback. A dog run shall be set back a minimum of ten feet from any lot line.
C. Fence height. A fence enclosing a dog run shall not exceed six feet in height.
D. Fence materials. Chain link fencing may be used to enclose a dog run.
E. Maximum dimensions. Dog runs shall not exceed ten feet in width by 25 feet in length.
F. Landscape screening. Dog runs shall be screened from view from adjoining properties with evergreen landscaping sufficient to create a complete visual barrier.
(11) Garden enclosures. Garden enclosures may be placed on the interior of a lot, subject to the following:
A. Location. A garden enclosure shall not be permitted in any front yard nor any required side yard.
B. Height. Garden enclosures shall not exceed eight feet in height, inclusive of any structures on which they sit, including raised planter beds.
C. Materials. Garden enclosures shall be constructed of any combination of treated wood or galvanized or welded wire, which may be coated with vinyl or PVC. The fencing commonly referred to as "chicken wire" is expressly permitted, only so long as it is made of galvanized wire. Chain link fencing is a prohibited material.
D. Opacity. Garden enclosures' opacity shall not exceed 20 percent.
E. Spacing. There shall be a maximum spacing of 1" by 2" between the enclosure wires.
F. Maximum area. Garden enclosures shall surround an area not larger than 1,000 square feet. Multiple garden enclosures may be permitted on one lot, subject to the following allowances:
TABLE OF ALLOWANCES FOR GARDEN ENCLOSURES
Maximum number of enclosures
Maximum size of all garden enclosures in sq. ft.
(c) Perimeter Features. Typical perimeter features include those devices commonly known as split-rail fences, stone walls, picket fences, and wrought iron-type fences and gates.
(1) Perimeter feature area defined. For the purposes of this section, “perimeter feature area” shall be defined as the vertical rectangular area having sides defined as follows:
A. Base. The base of the rectangle shall be the existing average ground surface elevation at the nearest perpendicular lot line.
B. Top. The upper side of the rectangle shall be parallel to the base and 60 inches above the base.
C. Sides. The two remaining sides of the rectangle shall be lines extending vertically between the base and top at the ends of the fence.
D. Only one rectangle shall be used to measure each perimeter feature area on a single extent of the property line.
(2) Opacity defined. For the purposes of this subsection, opacity shall be defined as the percentage measurement of the area obstructed by wood, metal, wire, plants, and all other materials used in the creation of a perimeter feature. Opacity equals the area of construction materials divided by the “perimeter feature area”.
(3) Maximum opacity. The opacity of a perimeter feature shall not exceed 40 percent, except that the opacity of perimeter features constructed of stone or other natural materials (e.g., stone walls) shall be 50 percent. This maximum opacity limitation shall not apply to driveway entrance features for which the total length does not exceed ten percent of the length of the lot line along which it is located.
(4) Location. In addition to the permitted locations provided in Section 1268.28 (b)(5), perimeter features may be located in the front and side yards, and street side yards under the following conditions.
A. Historic District. Subject to Historic District Commission approval as required by Section 1268.28 (e)(2)(E), a perimeter feature may be located in a front yard or street side yard of a parcel located in the Franklin Village Historic District.
B. Natural stone walls. Perimeter features made from natural stone having a height not exceeding 30 inches can be located in a front yard or street side yard. In the event that a particular architectural element (entrance gate, column, etc.) is included as an integral component of the stone perimeter feature, that architectural element may exceed 30 inches in height. The total horizontal length of such architectural elements shall not exceed the greater of ten feet or ten percent of the total length of the perimeter feature.
(5) Setbacks. A perimeter feature shall be set back at least two feet from all road rights-of-way or public easements.
(6) Materials at a property corner. To reduce the safety hazard to pedestrians and bicyclists, a perimeter feature used at a property corner must be primarily constructed of materials that will be easily visible at night or during other times of low visibility. By way of example, thin strands of wire, cable, or cord shall not be permitted to be attached to standing poles to form a perimeter feature.
(7) Maximum height. The maximum height of perimeter features is 48 inches.
(d) Privacy screens. Privacy screens may be placed on the interior of a lot, subject to the following:
(1) Height. Privacy screens shall not exceed six feet in height.
(2) Location. Privacy screens shall not be located in a required yard setback area.
(3) Limits on enclosure. A privacy screen shall be designed to screen a selected use or area (such as a swimming pool or patio) but not an entire side or rear yard. In no case shall a privacy screen be located in a front yard or both side yards.
(4) Materials. Privacy screens shall be constructed primarily of wood, masonry, or wrought iron.
(e) Construction Fences.
(1) Height. Construction fences shall not exceed seven feet in height.
(2) Location. Construction fences shall be required around any open holes during excavation or construction, and may be located anywhere on public or private property, including in any required yard.
(3) Materials. Construction fences shall be constructed of neutral-colored metal hoarding or wire mesh or chain link.
(4) Duration. Construction fences are permitted for the period of time during which an open hole, pit or well is present associated with excavation or construction, or as otherwise required by the Building Official as deemed necessary to protect the public health, safety, and welfare.
(f) Review and Approval Procedures.
(1) Permit required. No fence shall be erected, constructed, or altered until a permit has been issued in accordance with the provisions of this section.
A. Site plan review. If a fence is proposed in conjunction with a development that requires site plan review, then the fence shall be shown on the site plan, which shall be reviewed in accordance with normal site plan review procedures. No additional permit is required when a fence is approved as part of a site plan. Where a fence is proposed to be added to a property for which a required site plan approval has previously been obtained, the approved site plan must be modified to show the fence and then re-submitted for action by the Building Official according to the application procedure of Section 1268.28 (e)(2).
(2) Application procedure. If a proposed fence is not part of a site plan review as noted above, an application for a permit to construct a fence shall be filed with the Village Clerk. The application shall be accompanied by drawings and other information to illustrate the dimensions, design and location of the proposed fence.
A. Information required. The following minimum information shall be included on the drawing submitted in support of a fence permit application:
1. Fence location;
2. Location of all structures within 25 feet of the proposed fence;
3. Location of all driveways within 25 feet of the proposed fence;
4. Location of all sidewalks within 25 feet of the proposed fence; and
5. Location of all existing fences within ten feet of the proposed fence.
The Building Official may determine if other additional information is reasonably necessary to provide a complete review of the proposed fence. Such additional information shall be provided by the applicant as may be required by the Building Official.
B. Application fee. Each fence permit application shall be accompanied by an application review fee to recover the reasonable costs for review and permit issuance. The amount of the fee shall be fixed by resolution of the Village Council.
C. Survey required. Where a perimeter feature is proposed, the lot lines on the property shall be indicated through placement of permanent stakes located by a licensed surveyor. Lot lines must be located before the fence permit is issued. The Building Official shall withhold issuance of the permit to construct the fence until the lot lines are located and permanent stakes are placed by a licensed surveyor.
D. Review and approval. The Building Official shall review the fence application and supporting data with respect to the standards set forth in this Zoning Code, the adopted Building Code, and any administrative rules which may be established to provide for proper administration of this section. The Building Official shall grant a permit to construct a proposed fence upon finding that it fully complies with all applicable regulations. All fences, including fences approved as part of a site plan, are subject to inspection by the Building Official to assure compliance with the regulations set forth in this Zoning Code and to assure that the fence is constructed with sound materials.
E. Fences in the Historic District. Except for construction fences, fences proposed to be erected in the Franklin Village Historic District shall be referred to the Franklin Historic District Commission for review and recommendation prior to issuance of a building permit, consistent with the provisions of Section 1230.05 . The Historic District Commission shall take action on the application consistent with the provisions of Section 1230.05 . In no event shall the Historic District Commission approve a fence that could not be otherwise constructed in accordance with the various provisions of this section.
(3) Appeal of a decision. An applicant may appeal a decision of the Building Official or the Planning Commission concerning a proposed fence or the enforcement of the provisions of this section to the Zoning Board of Appeals. The Zoning Board of Appeals shall review the appeal in accordance with the standards and procedures set forth for a dimensional variance in this Zoning Code.
(4) Administrative rules. The Village Council may establish reasonable rules and procedures, consistent with the intentions of this Zoning Code, which may be necessary to provide for the proper administration of this section.
Summary of Location and Height Regulations (see Ordinance for specific requirements)
• Rear yard
• Side yard
• Rear yard
• Non-street side yard
• Front and street side yards in limited cases:
• Historic District
• Stone walls
• Within 6 feet of adjacent lot line
• Rear yard
• Side yard
• not in setbacks
• 48 inches, except:
• Dog runs: 6'
• Public spaces: 8'
• Tennis courts: 12'
• 48 inches, except
• architectural elements
• as limited by maximum opacity requirements
• 6 feet
(Ord. 95-284. Passed 12-11-95; Ord. 2009-07. Passed 8-10-09.)
(Ord. 95-284. Passed 12-11-95; Ord. 2017-02. Passed 2-13-17; Ord. 2017-07. Passed 10-9-17; Ord. 2021-03. Passed 7-19-21; Ord. 2021-05. Passed 12-13-21.) Penalty, see Section 1242.99