Fence Requirements

GENERAL GUIDELINES

The following are guidelines for Fences, Walls and Hedges.

1. Permit Required.
Except as otherwise provided herein, no person shall erect, alter or relocate any fence or wall within the City without first having been issued a permit.

2. Permit Fee.
There is no charge for permits for fences that are six feet in height or lower, or for walls that are four feet in height or lower. A building permit application and related building permit fee, in accordance with the fee schedule outlined in Chapter 156 of the City Code, shall be required for fences that exceed six feet in height and for walls that exceed four feet in height.

3. Application Procedures.
Agriculture, single family and two family uses. Each application for a permit under this section shall be submitted to the Building Official on forms provided by the City. Each application shall include a site plan drawn to scale and showing the location of the house(s), garage(s) and other improvements on the lot and the location of the fencing or wall to be erected, altered or relocated.

Uses other than agriculture, single family or two family. Request for fencing or walls shall be processed a part of and according to the procedures of site plan review, as stipulated in Chapter 5.

4. General Provisions.
Except as otherwise provided herein, all fences and walls within the City shall be subject to the following general provisions.

a. No fences or walls shall be placed on or extend into the public right of way.

b. All fences (hedges and plantings excluded) and walls shall require a fence/wall permit under this section, unless a separate building permit is required for the fence or wall, or unless the fence or wall does not require a building permit and is authorized on an approved site plan. Fence/wall permits may be issued by the Building Official or designee, if all requirements of this Chapter have been met.

c. Fence Materials and Design. Fences shall be constructed of material commonly used for landscape fencing, such as masonry block, lumber or chain link.
   
d. Fences shall not be constructed of chicken wire, welded wire, corrugated sheet metal, electrified, plastic deer fence netting or similar product, snow fence, branches or materials intended for other purposes, unless upon showing a high degree of architectural quality achieved through the use of such, prior approval is granted by the Zoning Administrator.

e. That side of any fence or wall considered to be its “face” (i.e. the finished side having no structural supports) shall face abutting property or street right of way.

f. Support posts and caps may extend up to six inches above the maximum allowable fence height.

g. Chain link fences shall include a top rail and the barbed ends shall be toward the ground.

h. Except for agricultural uses in an “Agricultural” use district, fences shall not be supported using metal T or U posts or similar agricultural products.

i. Both sides of any fence or wall shall be maintained in a condition of reasonable repair and appearance by its owner and shall not be allowed to become and remain in a condition of disrepair or danger, or constitute a nuisance, public or private.

j. No physical damage of any kind shall occur to abutting property during installation unless it is allowed under agreement with the adjacent property owner.

k. A certificate of survey may be required by the Building Official for all fences (except hedges and planting) or walls to be constructed on or within six feet from the property line, unless corner property stakes are in place and marked and a survey is filed with the City. Additionally, retaining walls shall not be placed within any drainage or ponding easement unless reviewed and
approved by the City Engineer.

l. A fence with a minimum height of 42 inches shall be required on the top of any retaining wall that exceeds four feet in height, and on the top of any tiered retaining wall that requires a building permit. The Zoning Administrator may grant exceptions to this provision if the retaining wall does not pose a public safety concern.

m. No fences or walls shall be placed within a wetland or required wetland buffer, cross over a required rain garden or extend below the ordinary high level of a water quality detention pond.

5. Specific Fence Standards.
Except as otherwise provided herein, fences may be allowed subject to the following specific standards.

a. No fence or wall shall be permitted in any front yard.

b. No continuous planting over three feet in height shall be permitted in any front yard.

c. No fence, wall or continuous planting shall be permitted within twenty five feet of any corner lot street line intersection which would impair the sight distance of the operator of a motor vehicle. Street line distance of 25 feet is measured from the back of curb.

d. No fence which exceeds six feet in height will be permitted on any rear or side yard.

e. Fences and continuous plantings are required to be placed no closer than 5 feet from the property line. The setback may be waived if a common fence agreement is filed and recorded.

f. Fences and continuous plantings are required to be placed no closer than 2 feet from an access easement unless the following restrictive covenant is placed on the face of the property deed and recorded in the Dubuque County Recorders Office in which said fencing may be placed within zero feet of an access easement but not within.

“That where as the property owner of record chose not to place a residential fence two (2) feet back from the or access easement as required by the City of Asbury Zoning Ordinance. The property owner of this real estate and/or his/her/their heirs, successors, renters, or assigns, of their free will as a specific condition of the City of Asbury Zoning Ordinance section 4-2.7 agree that they will not institute any claim for damage against the City of Asbury, or its representatives for any type of fencing not complying with section 4-2.7 of the City of Asbury Zoning Ordinance resulting from normal repair, maintenance or expansion of road or drainage features with the adjoining right of way of this real estate.”

g. Where a property line corresponds to the top of slope, fencing shall be installed at the top of slope. The Zoning Administrator is authorized to allow higher than 6’ fence where a slope exists with the adjacent lot.

6. Non-Conforming Fences/Walls.
It is the intent of this Chapter to allow the continuation of such non-conforming fences until they are discontinued as provided herein. However, it is not the intent of this Chapter to encourage the survival of non-conforming fences and that are declared incompatible with permitted fences within the City. Such fences shall be regulated by the following provisions:

a. An existing fence not allowed by this Chapter, shall not be enlarged, extended, or reconstructed, or structurally altered unless such fence is changed to comply with the requirements of this Chapter. Maintenance of a non-conforming fence will be allowed when this includes necessary repair and incidental alterations which do not expand or intensify the non-conforming fence.

DECIDING WHERE TO BUILD

Click here for a diagram of the Interior Lot Authorized Fence Location. 

Click here
 for a diagram of a Corner Lot Authorized Fence Location.


BUILDING ON THE LOT LINE

The City of Asbury has a "Fence Agreement" that must be signed prior to completing the construction of a fence on your property line. Please only print the fence agreement single-sided.

Click here for a copy of the agreement. 

Please make sure to review the guidelines for constructing a fence on your property line.  This agreement will need to be signed by the homeowner constructing the fence and also any neighboring property owners who share the lot line on which the fence is to be constructed. Fences that are constructed five (5) feet or more inside the property lines do not require a signed Fence Agreement. 


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