[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Oconomowoc as Secs. 14.02 and 14.05 of the 1986 Town Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purpose of this chapter is to promote the public health, safety and general welfare by ensuring adequate light, air and view, particularly with relation to vision corners adjoining public highways.
No fence shall be erected, or constructed, built or enlarged within the Town unless a permit therefor shall first be obtained by the owner or his agent from the Building Inspector.
[Amended 12-1-2003; 8-29-2008]
Application for a fence permit shall be made in writing upon a form to be furnished by the Building Inspector and shall state the name and address of the owner of the land upon which it is intended to be erected and shall include a site plan (drawn to scale) showing the abutting streets, lot lines and their dimensions, existing buildings and their dimensions, the proposed fence location and proposed setbacks, along with the height and material of the fence and any other information the Building Inspector may require. A fee, as established by the Town Board of Supervisors, shall accompany each application.
If the Building Inspector finds that the proposed fence will comply in every respect with this chapter, other Town ordinances and all laws of the state, he shall issue a permit.
If the Building Inspector finds that the proposed fence will not meet all lawful requirements, he shall deny the application for permit.
The following regulations shall apply to fences in all R Residential Zoning Districts in the Town:
Side and rear yards. No person shall erect, construct or alter or cause to be erected, constructed or altered in the side or rear yards of any lot in a residential district any fence which is over four feet in height from ground level, except those located within the side and rear areas of a lot at such minimum distance from the side and rear lot lines as is established for structures within the zoning district in which such fence is located. For lake lots, the yard on the lake side of the residence shall be considered the rear yard for purposes of this subsection.
Front yards, street side. No person shall erect or construct or cause to be erected or constructed in any front yard of any lot in a residential district any fence which is over three feet in height, except those located within the front yard of a lot at such minimum distance from the base setback line as is established for structures within the zoning district in which such fence is located.
Construction. Fences shall be constructed so as to have the decorative side facing the neighboring property and/or street and the supportive side facing the inside of the property on which the fence is constructed.
[Amended 3-5-1990; 12-1-2003, 8-29-2008]
Any person whose application has been denied may file an appeal with the Town Board within 30 days following denial of his/her application. The Board shall fix a time for the hearing of the appeal and give public notice thereof by a Class 2 notice under Ch. 985, Wis. Stats., and a notice of public hearing shall be mailed to the owners of all lands within 300 feet of the land on which the fence is proposed to be constructed at least 10 days before such public hearing.
Requests for variances shall be presented by petition filed with the Town Clerk. A fee, as established by the Town Board of Supervisors, shall accompany all petitions.
Each petition shall be referred to the Town Plan Commission for review and recommendation. The Plan Commission shall make its recommendation to the Board within 30 days following the public hearing.
The Town Board shall have the power to authorize upon appeal, variances from the term of this chapter as will not be contrary to the public interest, where owing to special conditions a literal enforcement of the provisions of this chapter will result in practical difficulty or unnecessary hardship, so that the spirit of this chapter shall be observed, public safety and welfare secured, and substantial justice done. The Town Board may authorize the Town Plan Commission to hear and act on all appeals for variances from this chapter of the Code of Ordinances.
In making its determination, the Board shall consider whether the proposed fence would be hazardous or offensive to the neighbors by reason of location, height or construction, or the restriction on light, air and view, and may impose such requirements and conditions with respect to location and construction as the Board may deem necessary for the protection of the adjacent properties and the public interest and welfare. The Board shall review the recommendation of the Plan Commission before making its decision.
The Board's decision shall be made within 60 days after completion of the hearing.
The Building Inspector shall be responsible for the administration and enforcement of the provisions of this chapter. In the enforcement of this chapter, the Building Inspector shall have the power and authority for the following:
At any reasonable time and for any proper purpose to enter upon any public or private premises and make inspections of fences located thereon.
In the name of the Town and with authorization of the Board, commence any legal proceedings necessary to enforce the provisions of this chapter, including the collection of forfeitures provided for herein.
Any fence erected, constructed, altered or placed on a lot in violation of the provisions of this chapter is hereby declared to be a nuisance per se, and the Town may apply to any court of competent jurisdiction to restrain or abate such nuisance.