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(1) General Requirements – All Zoning Districts.

(a) All corner lots shall maintain a clear vision area (ECMC 18.45.070) for safety purposes. Within the area comprising the triangle, no fence, hedge, or other physical obstruction higher than 36 inches above the established street grade shall be permitted.

(b) Fences, walls, hedges or shrubs shall not exceed four feet above finished ground level outside of the clear vision area within any required front yard setback.

(c) In the R-1 zone, agricultural fences of any height are permitted for the restraint of farm animals.

(d) Sight obscuring privacy fences shall not exceed four feet in height in the front yard setback and must be 50 percent or more open in construction. Sight obscuring privacy fences shall not exceed eight feet in height in the rear yard setback.

(e) In all zones and lots except in R-1 zone, no fence exceeding four feet in height may extend within the required front yard setback as established in ECMC 18.45.020, Table 2.

(f) Fences shall not exceed eight feet above finished ground level outside of the required front yard setback.

(g) Fences along walkways, pedestrian paths, or activity trail links open to the public shall be no more than four feet solid or six feet open in height or a combination of both with a maximum of four feet solid portion starting from the finished grade of the walkway, pedestrian path, or activity trail.

(h) All fences in residential zones shall be constructed of material commonly used in residential fence construction, such as wood, masonry, ornamental iron, chain link, and similar material.

(i) Fences of synthetic materials that have the functional equivalence of natural or traditional material may be substituted. Fences shall not be made of tires, or similar salvage materials, not originally designed as structural components of fences.

(j) Electric fences and barbed wire fences shall be prohibited, except in the R-1 zone where they may be used to contain livestock. Such fences shall not be located along property lines adjacent to other residential and commercial zones and shall be disabled when the livestock use has been discontinued. Electric fences shall be posted with permanent signs every 50 feet stating that the fence is electrified. All electric fences and appliances, equipment, and materials used in connection therewith shall be listed or labeled by a qualified testing agency and shall be installed in accordance with manufacturer’s specifications and in compliance with the National Electrical Code.

(2) Fences are subject to provisions of current building code adopted by the city.

(3) The erection, construction or substantial rebuilding of any fence or privacy screen structure greater than six feet shall be considered a Type I permit under ECMC 19.09.030 and shall require a building permit. Fences less than six feet in height shall require a fence permit. Substantial rebuilding is reconstruction of more than 50 percent of the structure, a change in height of the structure, or a change from existing material. Painting, cleaning, replacement of like material, or other actions commonly considered as general maintenance shall not be defined as “substantial rebuilding.”

(4) Application. An application for a fence or privacy screen, a Type I permit under ECMC 19.09.030, shall be submitted to the city clerk for consideration. The application shall be reviewed by the city clerk and building official or their designee. Any party aggrieved by a decision rendered by the building official or other individual reviewing the application may appeal the decision to the hearing examiner, subject to the provisions of Chapter 19.11 ECMC.

(5) It shall be the responsibility of the owner and/or occupant of the property where a fence is erected to maintain the structure in good repair at all times. When a portion of the fence exceeding 25 percent of the street frontage is found to be in a deteriorated condition and/or in need of repair, including, but not limited to, broken or missing structural components, and/or the fence is substantially less than perpendicular to grade, the building official, or his or her authorized agent, may order the fencing to be repaired, replaced or removed depending on the condition of the fence. Such order shall be in writing. If the fencing is ordered to be replaced, then new fencing shall meet the current regulations.

(6) Fences constructed or maintained by any governmental body or agency, for which the principal purpose is public safety and security of public facilities, are exempt from the height and location provisions herein. Such fences are subject to the requirements of subsection (5) of this section.

(7) The provisions of this section may not apply within the guidelines of certain covenants or homeowners’ associations’ rules and regulations. (Ord. 558 § 4, 2019; Ord. 512 § 1, 2016; Ord. 494 § 1, 2015; Ord. 416 § 1, 2009)