City of Bonne Terre, MO
St. Francois County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

Section 520.005 Scope.

[Ord. No. 2006-06, 5-9-2006]
This Chapter contains the minimum regulations for the erection or alteration of fences in the City of Bonne Terre.

Section 520.010 Definitions.

[Ord. No. 2006-06 §1(15.20.010), 5-9-2006]
For the purposes of this Chapter, certain terms and words are hereby defined as follows:
A structure erected on a temporary basis to protect a construction site from vandalism and unauthorized entry.
A structure positioned up to, but not on top of, the property line or setback line for the purpose of separating properties or for screening, enclosing and/or protecting the property within its perimeter. A fence shall not include construction site barriers, landscape treatments or privacy screens as defined herein.
That type of fence used purely for decorative purposes and not intended for use as an enclosure, barrier or means of protection or confinement. However, such fencing meets restrictions regarding installation, location and maintenance.
The distance measured from the highest adjoining finished grade to the top of the tallest structural element of a fence.
A non-site obscuring, decorative wooden or metal structure used to enhance, accent or protect the landscaping of a site.
A decorative structure, often sight obscuring, erected adjacent to or around a patio, deck, courtyard or swimming pool designed to screen the area behind it or within its confines from observation by persons outside the perimeter.
A barbed fence, a fence with spikes and other sharp points or a razor blade fence.
Opaque or having such qualities as to constitute a complete visual barrier to persons outside the perimeter of the site-obscuring object. A fence, which partially obscures a site shall not be considered site obscuring if the distance or open space between boards, slats, rails, stanchions or balusters equals or exceeds three (3) inches.
A fence, the principal material of which is wire. This includes, but is not limited to, chain link fence.

Section 520.020 General Provisions.

[Ord. No. 2006-06 §1(15.20.020), 5-9-2006; Ord. No. 2009-09 §1, 4-20-2009]
All fences erected or altered in the City shall require a permit. To obtain a permit, a ten dollar ($10.00) permit fee shall be required. Routine maintenance or replacement of sections of fence shall not require a permit. However, change or modification of design or placement shall require application and permitting.
The Code Enforcement Officer shall review all requests for new fencing and any change or modification of design or placement. All applicants shall supply the reviewing authority with a site plan and other documentation as the officer deems necessary. An application for permit may be obtained at City Hall.
Fences in side and rear yards shall not exceed six (6) feet in height, except that security fences in commercial and industrial districts may be constructed to a height of eight (8) feet to include any barbed wire used to top such fence.
Fences may be constructed up to and along property lines. However, fences or landscaping greater than two (2) feet in height on corner lots shall not be constructed or planted within a triangular area at the intersection of intersecting streets formed by measuring from the corner of the lot line/right-of-way line ten (10) feet in both directions and then connecting both measurements to form a triangle at the corner of said lot.
A decorative fence may be constructed in a front yard so long as it does not exceed four (4) feet in height, measured from the highest adjoining finished grade to the tallest element of a fence and that the interstices between the solid elements of a fence shall constitute at least fifty percent (50%) of the area of said fence. Under no circumstances shall a fence constructed in the front yard of a corner lot encroach into the triangular space mentioned in Subsection (D) above.
A fence that abuts a City sidewalk shall be set back a minimum of twelve (12) inches from the interior edge of the sidewalk or property line, whichever is greater. In addition, a fence that abuts an alleyway shall be set back a minimum of twelve (12) inches from the property line.
On an interior lot, a fence greater than four (4) feet in height shall not extend beyond the front building line. On a corner lot a fence greater than four (4) feet in height shall not extend beyond the front building line on the side designated by the property address to be the front of the property.
It shall be the responsibility of the property owner to insure that a fence does not block or obstruct the flow of stormwater.
All fences erected prior to enactment of this Chapter shall be considered non-conforming and as such shall be allowed to remain in place.

Section 520.030 Exceptions.

[Ord. No. 2006-06 §1(15.20.030), 5-9-2006]
Fences surrounding private tennis courts or athletic fields shall not exceed twelve (12) feet in height with exit gates at required intervals. The minimum setback from any property line shall be six (6) feet. At minimum, the top four (4) feet of said twelve (12) foot fence shall be open or woven wire construction.
Fences enclosing an institution, public playground, schools or a commercial or industrial site shall not exceed eight (8) feet in height with exit gates at required intervals.
Nothing shall restrict the erection of necessary backstops for softball or baseball diamonds or other athletic grounds requiring backstops, provided such devices are constructed of wire mesh, chain link or similar material on metal tubular framing.
With the exception of an arbor or trellis, no structure/building shall be attached to a fence. Arched/decorative arbors and entries shall not exceed eight (8) feet in height. A trellis shall not extend above the tallest element of a fence.
The temporary use of construction site barriers and engineering fencing shall be limited to the specific use intended and shall be removed upon project completion. The use of snow fencing shall be limited to use in agricultural and open space areas during winter months.

Section 520.040 Design and Maintenance.

[Ord. No. 2006-06 §1(15.20.040), 5-9-2006]
All fences to include non-conforming fences shall be maintained in their original upright condition. No person shall permit, cause, keep, maintain or allow a fence within the corporate limits of the City of Bonne Terre in a dilapidated or dangerous condition.
Fences designed for painting or similar surface finishes shall be maintained in their original condition as designed.
Missing boards, pickets, posts or other sections of fencing material shall be replaced in a timely manner with material of the same type and quality.
Fences shall have adequate footings, foundations or post depth and size as indicated by the manufacturer or generally accepted construction standards for the area.
The maximum board width for wood privacy fences is twelve (12) inches for solid, staggered or "basket weave" fences. Framing members for wood privacy fences may be made of metal. Solid panels such as plywood, wafer board, etc., shall not be allowed, except for temporary construction site barriers erected for public safety. Such temporary fencing shall be removed upon completion of the construction project.
Materials allowed for construction of decorative fencing may include wood, vinyl-coated or painted woven wire encased in a decorative frame or attached to decorative structural members, wrought iron or square or round metal tubing. Under no circumstances will rough-cut slabs be allowed.
All framework for a wooden fence, privacy or decorative, shall be positioned to the inside of the fence and all posts for wire/chain fencing shall be located inside the fabric of the fence.
Ornamental dividers, plastic chains, posts or similar landscape treatment erected alongside a driveway or sidewalk on the interior of a lot shall not be considered a fence.

Section 520.050 Prohibited Fences.

[Ord. No. 2006-06 §1(15.20.050), 5-9-2006]
Any sharp pointed fence is prohibited. Also, no fence shall be constructed solely of a single wire or of two (2) wires between posts or supports.
With the exception of conforming and non-conforming agricultural uses, no fence shall be constructed in whole or in part of barbed wire. The top wire or wires on security fences in commercial and industrial areas, at least eight (8) feet in height, may be of barbed wire, provided the brackets supporting the barbed wire are securely fastened to the fence posts and, provided further, that no strand may be closer that seven (7) feet to grade or ground level. Barbed wire support brackets angled outward from the top of the fence cannot encroach/overhang into abutting property.
No person shall erect or maintain any division fence or screen, in whole or in part, of cloth, canvas, wood pallets, rough-cut wood slabs, metal sheeting, plywood, wafer board or other similar material, unless otherwise allowed herein.
No person shall permit any fence erected or maintained on premises owned, occupied or leased by him/her to be used for advertising purposes.
No person shall connect any type of electrical current to any existing or newly constructed fence.

Section 520.060 Screening/Buffer Area.

[Ord. No. 2006-06 §1(15.20.060), 5-9-2006]
At such time that a lot zoned commercial or industrial is developed adjacent to a lot zoned residential, a permanent landscaped screen/buffer shall be installed by the developer of the commercial or industrial use consisting of a masonry wall, wood fence, seeded berm or similar landscape treatment or combination thereof. Said screen or buffer shall be at least six (6) feet in height and be installed between the commercial/industrial lot and the residential lot. The required buffer shall have opacity of at least eighty percent (80%) year round and if landscaping is installed, eighty percent (80%) opacity shall be achieved within four (4) growing seasons. The required screening shall be maintained in good order and not allowed to exist in a state of disrepair or neglect and said opacity requirement shall be maintained. If wood fencing is utilized, it shall be durable and/or treated to prevent and resist rapid deterioration. Failure to maintain the required screen/buffer shall be considered a violation.

Section 520.070 Encroachment, Ownership, Maintenance.

[Ord. No. 2006-06 §1(15.20.070), 5-9-2006]
No part of a fence shall encroach upon adjoining/abutting property, unless the owners of the adjoining properties agree in writing that such fence may be erected on the division line of the respective properties and that each property owner shall be responsible for the care, upkeep and maintenance of that side of the fence facing their property. A copy of said agreement shall accompany the permit application for the construction of a shared fence.
A fence cannot encroach public right-of-way without a permit being issued by the governmental authority controlling said right-of-way. In addition, a fence erected in/on an easement may be removed without compensation.
Any person who erects, builds or constructs a fence or privacy screen upon property which such person owns, leases or rents shall be responsible for the repair, maintenance and upkeep of the fence or privacy screen and, in the case of a fence or wall, the owner or lessee shall be responsible for upkeep and maintenance of the wall/fence line area adjacent to the wall/fence.
Any person who owns property upon which a previous owner has constructed a fence or privacy screen shall be responsible for the care, maintenance and upkeep of the fence or privacy screen. If a previously constructed fence is located upon a lot line, each successive owner of the fence shall be responsible for its upkeep and maintenance. If ownership of a fence is joint or cannot be determined, then each party owning property adjacent to the fence shall be responsible for the care upkeep and maintenance of that side of the fence facing their property. For the purpose of this paragraph, the owner of a fence shall be deemed to be the person, persons or their successors who purchase or otherwise acquire property from a person who originally erected or caused a fence to be erected thereon.
All fences that exist as of the effective date of this Section shall be kept and maintained in good repair.

Section 520.080 Inspection/Notification.

[Ord. No. 2006-06 §1(15.20.080), 5-9-2006]
The Code Enforcement Officer or similar official may inspect any fence to determine whether it conforms to the provisions of this Section. Any person who erects, constructs, builds or causes to erect construct or build a fence or has property on which a fence is located, shall allow the City Official access to inspect said fence to determine whether it complies with the provisions of this Section. When it is found upon inspection or receipt of a complaint that a fence has not been constructed, maintained or repaired as required by this Section, the official shall give written notice at least five (5) days in advance of the date of an intended inspection, to the party or parties in interest, advising of the time and place for said inspection. The official shall then inspect said fence and determine in writing if said fence is required to be reconstructed or repaired. Written notification of the results of said inspection shall be forwarded to the owner or party responsible for maintaining the fence. If any person so notified neglects or refuses to comply with the requirements of such determination within fifteen (15) days of receipt of notice, the official shall cause a complaint to be filed in Municipal Court against the responsible party or parties.

Section 520.090 Denial of Responsibility.

[Ord. No. 2006-06 §1(15.20.090), 5-9-2006]
The City of Bonne Terre, Missouri, shall not be responsible for the enforcement of any agreement relative to mutual or separate payment for the cost of construction of fencing. In addition, the City shall not be responsible for the determination of location of any fence to be erected, built or constructed on a lot line.

Section 520.100 Declared Nuisance — Penalty.

[Ord. No. 2006-06 §1(15.20.100, 5-9-2006]
All fences or like structures erected or maintained in violation of this Section are hereby deemed and declared to be a nuisance and any owner or occupant of a lot or tract upon which such nuisance exists shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor. Upon conviction thereof the owner or occupant shall be punished by a fine not to exceed five hundred dollars ($500.00) or by imprisonment not to exceed sixty (60) days, or both such fine and imprisonment.