§ 705  FENCES, WALLS AND HEDGES.
   (A)   Purpose. The purpose of this section is to regulate the materials, location, height, and maintenance of fencing, hedges, and walls in order to prevent the creation of nuisances and to promote the general welfare of the public. In all zoning districts, fences, hedges, and walls are permitted only in accordance with the provisions of this section.
   (B)   Fences and walls of any composition, including hedges, on all or part of the perimeter of any parcel of land in Middletown are subject to the requirements of this section.
   (C)   Hedge defined. A hedge is a line of closely spaced shrubs and bushes or trees, planted and trained in such a way as to form a barrier or to mark the boundary of an area.
   (D)   Permit requirement.  With the exception of work associated with restoration or repair of an existing fence or wall, before a fence or wall is constructed or replaced, a permit application must be obtained from the Zoning Officer, completed and signed by the property owner, and submitted to the Zoning Officer with a fee in an amount established by the Town Council. An accurate site plan,  satisfactory to the Building Inspector, showing the location of the fence or wall in relation to all property lines must be submitted with the application.
   (E)   Location. No fence, wall or hedge shall be located so as to encroach on any public right of-way or interfere with existing utilities or drainage patterns.
   (F)   Height limitation.
      (1)   Fences and walls may be permitted in any required yard or along the edge of any yard as follows, not to exceed the maximum height as listed:
 
Location
Maximum Height
Front and side yards
6 feet
Rear yard in Residential Districts
6 feet
Rear yard in Light Industry and Business Districts
10 feet
 
      (2)   Hedges are permitted at any height.
   (G)   Materials.  Chain link fences shall be erected so that the knuckle edges are on top and the twists (barbed ends) are on the bottom. Barbed wire fences are prohibited in residential districts, and prohibited in other districts unless they are in full compliance with  R.I. Gen. Laws Title 34, Chapter 10, §§ 2 - 5.
   (H)   Maintenance. All fences and walls shall be maintained in good repair. Hedges shall be maintained so as to not encroach on the public way, to provide adequate visual clearance for motorists and to not impede pedestrians.
   (I)   Nonconformities. Consistent with the provisions of § 803, nonconforming fences and walls may be altered provided that the alteration diminishes the extent of the nonconformity.
(Ord. passed 10-30-06; Am. Ord., As Amended, passed 8-3-09)