RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING SUMMARY PUBLICATION
ORDINANCE 56 (FENCE ORDINANCE)
WHEREAS, on, May 15, 2014 the City Council for the City of St. Joseph amended Ordinance 56, entitled “FENCE ORDINANCE;” and
WHEREAS, the City of St. Joseph desires to publish the Ordinance by Summary Publication; and
WHEREAS, the intent of the proposed amendment is to move fence provision from Ordinance 52.12 to this Ordinance, to modify the footing requirements for a wall fence and to include a section indicating prohibited fence materials. A provision was added whereby the City can withhold a land-use application due to an outstanding invoice or fee.
THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY RESOLVED:
- The City Council has reviewed the proposed Summary Publication and finds the summary of the Ordinance clearly informs the public of the intent and effect of the Ordinance.
- The City of St. Joseph directs the City Administrator to publish the Ordinance by Summary Publication.
Adopted this 15th day of May, 2014, by a vote of 5 in favor and 0 opposed.
CITY OF ST. JOSEPH
Rick Schultz, Mayor
Judy Weyrens, Administrator
Publish: June 20, 2014
AMENDING ORDNANCE 56 FENCE ORDINANCE
The City Council for the City of St. Joseph HEREBY ORDAINS
That Ordinance 56 of the St. Joseph Code of Ordinances is hereby amended to include a fence provision in Section 56.05 adding prohibited fence materials, modification to the footing requirements for a wall fence and a provision whereby the City can withhold a land-use application due to an outstanding invoice/fee.
Section 56.01: APPLICATION. This ordinance shall apply to the construction and maintenance of all walls or fences, to include living fences as defined herein, within the City. The requirements of this Ordinance may also be subject to modification by the terms or conditions of a Conditional-Use Permit or Rezoning applicable to an individual parcel of property.
Section 56.02: PURPOSE. This Ordinance was enacted for the following purposes:
a) To regulate fence or wall construction and location.
b) To protect property from a loss of use, enjoyment or value due to the construction of aesthetically objectionable fences or walls on adjacent property.
c) To assure that fences and walls are constructed adjacent to the property line or within the property of the party who will maintain the wall or fence.
d) To assure consistency in the location of fences and walls constructed in residential districts.
e) To require walls and fences be constructed of a low maintenance material.
f) To require walls or fences to be constructed of non-toxic materials.
Section 56.03: PERMIT. Prior to constructing or reconstructing a fence or wall within the City, the person or entity owning the property on which the wall or fence is to be constructed or reconstructed shall first secure a fence permit from the City Building Official. A permit fee, in an amount set by resolution of the City Council, shall be paid at the time the application for a permit is submitted. The application shall contain the following:
a) Legal description of the property on which the fence or wall is to be constructed or reconstructed,
b) Sketch showing the location of the fence or wall on the property,
c) A description of the materials to be used in the construction of the fence or wall,
d) A description or sketch of the design and dimensions of the fence or wall,
e) Compliance with the provisions of Section 56.07 (Border fence or wall).
The application shall be reviewed by the City Building Inspector for issuance of a building permit upon a determination the proposal complies with this Ordinance. The fence or wall shall be inspected by the Building Inspector upon completion of construction or reconstruction, to assure compliance with this Ordinance.
Section 56.04: FENCE HEIGHT.
a) Fences and walls located within a residential area shall not exceed the height of seven feet; except fences located between the front of the residential structure and the adjacent roadway, including alleys, shall not exceed four feet.
b) Fences and walls located in a commercial area shall not exceed the height of eight feet; except no fence shall be permitted in the front yard, unless the fence enhances the visual appearance of the site/landscaping and the fence does not exceed two feet in height and is of a reasonable linear length. Chain link fences, including those with slats are prohibited when visible from the public right of way.
c) Fences and walls in an industrial area shall not exceed eight feet unless a higher fence or wall is approved as part of the special-use permit allowing the industrial use; except fences located between the front of the industrial structure and the adjacent roadway shall not exceed four feet in height.
d) If two different zones abut, the zoning requirements of the property owner constructing the fence shall control.
Section 56.05: FENCE MATERIALS.
- Fences constructed in residential zoning districts shall be not be constructed with prohibited materials as listed in Section 56.05 Subd. 4. All wood fences, other than those constructed out of redwood or cedar shall be stained or painted upon completion of construction or reconstruction. Chain link fences shall be made out of a non-rust material.
- Decorative, landscape, retaining and/or privacy walls may be constructed out of stone masonry or brick provided they are: not less than four inches or more than 24 inches in widths. Such walls over four (4) feet in height shall require footings that support the structure as required by the Minnesota State Building Code.
- Concrete decorative, landscape, retaining and/or privacy walls shall be prohibited unless they are formed from decorative and/or colored concrete, less than 24 inches in height and included as part of an overall landscape theme which has been developed.
- The following materials are prohibited for fences, but not limited to:
a. Barbed wire and electrical fences, except in agricultural districts;
b. Creosote lumber;
c. Chicken wire;
d. Woven or welded wire, except in the industrial district;
e. Snow Fences, except in the Agricultural/Rural Residential District
f. Plastic webbing, except when used for police control. This shall not prohibit the use of plastic materials intended to resemble wood products.
g. Makeshift, flimsy materials or material such as paper, twine, rope, tin except when used for traffic control or police security.
- Other materials which are not specifically allowed by this Section, nor specifically prohibited may be permitted subject to City Council review and approval.
Section 56.06: LIVING FENCES. Living fences may be constructed out of trees or shrubs. Trees and shrubs used as fencing are not restricted in height; except the height of the living fence located to the front of a residential structure shall not exceed four feet. The owner of the property adjacent to a living fence may trim or prune that part of the tree or shrub which extends across the property line over his or her property.
Section 56.07: BORDER FENCE OR WALL.
a) A fence or wall constructed of maintenance-free materials may be constructed adjacent to the property line so long as all parts of the fence, including post anchors, are located within the property of the owner and so long as the bottom of the fence (exclusive of posts or anchors) is at least two inches above the ground. For purposes of this paragraph, the term “maintenance-free materials” shall include stone, brick, stucco, vinyl, plastic or chain-link which is finished with a rust-resistant material.
b) Fences and walls shall be constructed at least two feet inside the property line or adjacent to the property line, unless the fence or wall is constructed of maintenance-free materials in accordance with paragraph (a) of this section.
c) For any fence or wall located within six feet of a property line, that side of the fence which presents the most finished appearance, shall be the side which faces the adjacent property.
d) No fence shall be constructed which is approximately parallel to an existing fence, and closer than two feet so as to create an area between the fences which has limited accessibility for purposes of maintenance.
Section 56.08: VARIANCE. Provisions of this ordinance may be varied by the City Council upon application, and after consideration and hearing by the Planning Commission with recommendation to the City Council. A fence variance application fee may be established by resolution of the City Council.
Section 56.09: PRE-EXISTING FENCES. This Ordinance shall apply only to fences and walls constructed or reconstructed after July 1, 2012. Any pre-existing fence that does not conform with the provisions thereof shall not be altered, extended or reconstructed except in conformance with this Ordinance.
Section 56.10: MAINTENANCE OF FENCE.
a) All fence and walls located within the City shall be maintained in a safe condition. The owner of the property on which a fence or wall is located shall be responsible for the maintenance and repair of the fence.
b) No fence or wall may be maintained in a location which obstructs the ability of a driver of a motor vehicle to see other drivers or pedestrians on any street or alley.
Section 56.11: EMERGENCY ACCESS TO FENCED AREAS. An access opening for emergency entrance shall be incorporated into any fenced areas within which a building is totally or partially located. For residential-use property, the access opening shall be at least four (4) feet in width. For commercial- or industrial-use property, the access opening shall be at least fourteen (14) feet in width. A gate or unfenced area shall qualify as an access opening if of sufficient width.
Section 56.12: RESTRICTIONS ON FENCES OVER PUBLIC EASEMENTS. Fences may only be erected over an easement if the landowner meets the requirements of St. Joseph Ordinance Section 32.03(b). If the request for the fence is approved, the City retains the right to require the landowner to remove or abate the fence where the fence interferes in any manner with the City’s easement use. If there is an emergency necessitating immediate access to the easement, the City reserves the right to remove the fence to obtain access to the easement. The landowner shall bear all costs for removal and restoration of the fence in the event the landowner is required to remove the fence for access to the easement or in the event the City removes the fence in the case of an emergency. The City specifically reserves all rights of an easement holder afforded under the common law of the State of Minnesota.
Section 56.13: PENALTIES/REMEDIES. Violation of this ordinance shall constitute a misdemeanor as defined in this Code of Ordinance. When conditions are made a part of the terms under which this permit is granted, violation of the conditions is a violation of this ordinance. The City of St. Joseph may also seek civil remedies, including but not limited to a Court order directing maintenance or removal of the fence or injunctive relief prohibiting construction or maintenance of a fence in violation of this ordinance.
This Ordinance was approved by the majority of the City Council on this 15th day of May, 2014 and shall become effective upon publication.
Rick Schultz, Mayor
Judy Weyrens, Administrator
This amendment was published in the St. Joseph Newsleader on June 20, 2014.