155.5302. FENCES AND WALLS
   A.   Purpose
The purpose of this section is to regulate the location, height, and appearance of fences and walls to maintain visual harmony within neighborhoods and the city, protect adjacent properties from the indiscriminate placement and unsightliness of fences and walls, and ensure the safety, security, and privacy of properties.
   B.   Applicability
      1.   The provisions of this section shall apply to all construction, substantial reconstruction, or replacement of fences or walls not required for support of a principal or accessory structure, or any other linear barrier intended to delineate different portions of a lot.
      2.   If there is any inconsistency between the provisions of this section and any screening standard in Section 155.5301, Screening, the standards in Section 155.5301, Screening, shall control.
      3.   The Development Services Director may waive all or part of the standards in this section, 155.5302, if it is demonstrated that the implementation of the standards results in a conflict with the city's adopted CPTED guidelines.
   C.   General Requirements for Fences and Walls
      1.   Fences Prohibited on Vacant Lots
         a.   General
      Except as otherwise provided in subsection b below, fences are prohibited on any lot that is vacant for any reason (including the result of demolition) or is generally in a vacant state. Lots containing a principal building or principal use (including lots containing community gardens, parks, or other open space uses) shall not be considered vacant land.
         b.   Exceptions
            i.   Fencing Allowed on Vacant Lots
         A split rail type barrier, guard rail type barrier, or posts or bollards with connecting wires or chains may be erected around the perimeter of a lot to deter vehicular access to the lot if the fence:
               (A)   Has no more than three horizontal members; and
               (B)   Is no more than four feet in height above ground level or the level of a berm that is no more than four feet high and is covered with landscaping and ground cover.
            ii.   Fencing Required on Vacant Lots Along the Scenic Highway
               (A)   Vacant lots located along the Scenic Highway shall provide a white split rail type, low-profile barrier fence that is up to four feet tall with no more than two horizontal members, which shall look like the split rail fence in the picture below, along the front and corner (if applicable) lot lines to deter illegal parking on the lot.
               (B)   Corner vacant lots along the Scenic Highway shall also provide a white split rail type, low-profile barrier, fence that is up to four feet tall with no more than two horizontal members, which shall look like the split rail fence in the picture below along the lot's frontage on the side street.
               (C)   Vacant lots along the Scenic Highway with a single-family residential zoning district are exempt from the requirements of this section.
 
      2.   Location
   Fences and walls are permitted along the perimeters of properties and within front, side, and rear yards except where expressly prohibited by this Code, the Building Code, or other city ordinance.
      3.   Fences and Walls near Fire Hydrants
   Fences and walls shall not be located where they would prevent immediate view of, or access to, fire hydrants or other fire-fighting water supply devices, in accordance with the Fire Code.
      4.   Fences in Easements
   Fences shall be prohibited within utility easements except to the extent approved by the Development Services Director after finding the fence would not impede the purpose or function of the easement, as set forth in an easement agreement with the city. The city shall not be responsible for damage to, or the repair or replacement of, fences that must be removed to access such easements. In no instance shall this provision be construed to prevent fencing around stormwater retention or detention facilities that may be required by this Code.
      5.   Blocking Natural Drainage Flow
   No fence shall be installed so as to block or divert a natural drainage flow on to or off of any other land.
      6.   Fences on Retaining Walls or Berms
   Except as otherwise allowed in Section 155.5302.C.1.b.i, Fencing Allowed on Vacant Lots, if a fence is constructed on top of a wall or berm, the combined height of the fence and wall or berm shall not exceed the maximum height that would apply to the fence or wall alone.
      7.   Fences and Walls Within Buffers
   Fences and walls shall be installed so as not to disturb or damage existing vegetation or installed plant material within perimeter buffers .
      8.   Integration with Other Required Landscaping
   Required landscape screening for fences or walls may be integrated into the landscaping required for vehicular use area screening or perimeter buffers , provided the standards in Section 155.5203, Landscaping, are maintained.
      9.   Customary Materials
   Fences shall be constructed of any combination of treated wood posts and planks, rot-resistant wood, wrought iron, decorative metal materials, or chain link. Walls shall be constructed of brick, stone, masonry materials, or products designed to resemble these materials. Where certain materials are specified for particular types of screening or buffering fences or walls, all other materials are prohibited.
   D.   Height Requirements for Fences and Walls
      1.   Applicability
         a.   General
      Except for fences or walls exempted by subsection b below, a fence or wall shall comply with the height limits in this subsection. Fence or wall height is measured from natural grade.
         b.   Exemptions
            i.   Required Screening
         A fence or wall provided to meet the standards of Section 155.5301, Screening, is exempted from the height standards of this subsection, but in no case shall the fence or wall exceed a height of ten feet.
            ii.   Recreational Fencing
         Customary fencing provided as a part of a permitted tennis court, athletic field, or other recreational facility shall be exempt from the height restrictions of this subsection.
            iii.   Public Safety Use Fences and Walls
         Major utilities, wireless communication towers, government facilities, and other public safety uses shall be allowed to increase maximum fence or wall heights to ten feet in front, side, and rear yards, unless further increased through an approved security plan—see subsection iv below.
            iv.   Security Plan Fences and Walls
         An owner or tenant of property or a representative of a public agency responsible for a public facility may submit to the Development Services Director a site security plan proposing fences or walls taller than those permitted by this subsection, or the use of barbed or concertina wire atop a fence or wall . The Development Services Director shall approve, or approve with conditions, the site security plan and its proposed exemption of fences or walls from the standards of this subsection, on finding that:
               (A)   The condition, location, or use of the land, or the history of activity in the area, indicates the land or any materials stored or used on it are in significantly greater danger of theft or damage than surrounding land; and
               (B)   The proposed taller fences or walls, or use of barbed or concertina wire, will not have a significant adverse effect on the security, functioning, appearance, or value of adjacent lands or the surrounding area as a whole.
            v.   Corner Lot Fences and Walls
               Fencing or walls required to comply with the residential swimming pool barrier requirements of Section 454.2.17, Florida Building Code, and F.S. Chapter 515, may be waived by the Development Services Director from the height restrictions of this subsection, provided that the following conditions are met:
               (A)   The height of the fence or wall does not exceed the maximum height requirement for fences and walls within the zoning district in which the lot is located, and
               (B)   In no event shall fences or walls be higher than those permitted on abutting lot lines.
      2.   Fences and Walls in Residential Districts
   Except as otherwise provided in 155.5302.D.5, Fences and Walls Adjacent to Waterways, the following height limits shall apply to fences and walls within Residential zoning districts:
         a.   No fence or wall within a front yard or a street side yard shall exceed a height of four feet, provided that a fence or wall in a street side yard may be up to six feet in height if set back at least four feet from the street side lot line . Fence posts, including decorative finials, may extend up to six inches above the maximum fence height.
         b.   No fence or wall within an interior side yard or a rear yard shall exceed a height of six feet.
      3.   Fences and Walls in Commercial and Special Districts
   Except as otherwise provided in 155.5302.D.5, Fences and Walls Adjacent to Waterways, no fence or wall within a commercial or special base zoning district shall exceed a height of eight feet, provided that a fence or wall abutting an Industrial zoning district may be up to ten feet in height.
      4.   Fences and Walls in Industrial Districts
   Except as otherwise provided in 155.5302.D.5, Fences and Walls Adjacent to Waterways, no fence or wall within an industrial zoning district shall exceed a height of ten feet.
      5.   Fences and Walls Adjacent to Waterways
   Where a lot abuts a canal or waterway, fences and walls adjacent to the canal or waterway shall comply with the following standards:
         a.   Within Rear Yard Corner Triangle
Figure 155.5302.D.5.a: Rear yard corner triangle
      Except as otherwise provided in subsection e below, where the rear lot line abuts the canal or waterway, no fence, wall, or other obstruction greater than three feet high shall be located within the triangular land area formed by the intersection of the rear lot line with an interior side lot line not abutting a canal or waterway—with two sides of the triangle running along the rear and interior lot lines and being equal in length to the minimum rear yard depth, and the third side being a line connecting the ends of the other two sides—provided that a fence in such area may be as high as 42 inches if it is 66 percent see-through and may be as high as six feet if it is at least 75 percent see-through. (See Figure 155.5302.D.5.a: Rear yard corner triangle.)
         b.   On a Rear Yard Terrace or Patio
      Except as otherwise provided in subsection a above, the height of a fence or wall erected on a terrace or patio located or extending into the rear yard may be up to 42 inches high if it is at least 66 percent see-through and does not obstruct view of the canal or waterway from abutting lots.
         c.   Adjacent to Sea Wall
      Except as otherwise provided in subsection a above, where a lot line abuts a canal or waterway along a sea wall that is less than four and one-half feet above mean sea level, the height of a fence or wall adjacent to the lot line may be up to seven and one-half feet above mean sea level.
         d.   Atop Sea Wall
            No wall or fence shall be erected atop a seawall.
         e.   On all properties abutting the east right-of-way line of Harbour Drive (NE 26th Avenue)
      On all properties abutting the east right-of-way line of Harbour Drive (NE 26th Avenue) a site visibility area shall be provided as follows:
            i.   The sight visibility area shall be that private property which lies 25 feet north and 25 feet south of the centerline of a canal and east of the east right-of-way line of Harbour Drive (NE 26th Avenue) to the edge of the permitted seawalls as they exist on November 25, 2003.
            ii.   No walls or fences shall be constructed or maintained within the sight visibility area.
   E.   Perimeter Fences and Walls Abutting Street Rights-of-Way
Fences or walls located within 15 feet of a street right-of-way shall:
      1.   Be located outside the right-of-way;
      2.   Be of a uniform style; and
      3.   Not be constructed of chain link or similar material.
   F.   Appearance
      1.   Finished Side to Outside
Figure 155.5302.F.1: Fence with finished side out
   Wherever a fence or wall is installed, if one side of the fence or wall appears more "finished" than the other (e.g., one side of a fence has visible support framing and the other does not, or one side of a wall has a textured surface and other does not), then the more "finished" side of the fence shall face the exterior of the lot rather than the interior of the lot. (See Figure 155.5302.F.1: Fence with finished side out.) However, in the event that a wood fence is constructed against a significant obstacle on the adjoining property such as a hedge or another fence, that line of fence against the obstacle may be constructed with posts on the outside of the fence provided that the horizontal rails are at least 50% covered by boards on the side facing away from the property on which the fence is constructed.
      2.   Compatibility of Materials Along a Single Lot Side
   All fencing or wall segments located along a single lot side shall be composed of a uniform style and colors.
Figure 155.5302.F.3: Fence and wall landscaping
      3.   Fence and Wall Landscaping
         Except for lots containing a single-family, two-family, triplex, fourplex, or mobile home dwelling, all fences and walls exceeding four feet in height, if located within 15 feet of a street right-of-way, shall be supplemented with landscape screening in accordance with the standards in a and b below, to soften the visual impact of the fence. (See Figure 155.5302.F.3: Fence and wall landscaping.)
         a.   Shrubs Required
      One evergreen shrub shall be installed for every five linear feet of fence or wall , and on the side of the fence or wall facing the public street right-of-way. Shrubs shall meet the size standards of Section 155.5203.B.2.g, Shrubs, and may be installed in a staggered, clustered, grouped, or linear fashion.
         b.   Substitution of Understory Trees
      One understory or ornamental tree may be substituted for every three shrubs provided that the tree meets the size standards of Section 155.5203.B.2.h, Trees.
   G.   Prohibited and restricted fences
      1.   Chain Link Fences Along Arterial and Collector Streets
   Fences constructed of chain link fences shall be prohibited abutting an arterial or collector street designated on the Broward County Trafficways Plan.
      2.   Barbed Wire, Razor Wire, Concertina Wire, and Aboveground Electrified Fences
   In all zoning districts, fences using barbed, razor, or concertina wire and aboveground electrified fences shall be prohibited unless allowed through an approved security plan (See Section 155.5302.D.1.b.iv, Security Plan Fences and Walls.) Underground electric fences designed for control of domestic animals are allowed.
      3.   Debris, Junk, Rolled Plastic, Sheet Metal, Plywood, or Other Waste Materials
   Fences or walls made of debris, junk, rolled plastic, sheet metal, plywood, or waste materials are prohibited in all zoning districts unless such materials have been recycled and reprocessed, for marketing to the general public, as building materials that resemble new building materials (e.g., picket fencing made from recycled plastic and fiber).
   H.   Maintenance Required
All fences and walls and associated landscaping shall be maintained in good repair and in a safe and attractive condition—including, but not limited to, the repair or replacement of missing, decayed, or broken structural and decorative elements.
(Ord. 2012-64, passed 9-11-12; Am. Ord. 2013-37, passed 1-22-13; Am. Ord. 2013-73, passed 7-23-13; Am. Ord. 2014-53, passed 9-9-14; Am. Ord. 2019-110 , passed 9-24-19; Am. Ord. 2022-02, passed 10-26-21)