[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Stafford 9-12-2016 by L.L. No. 2-2016. Amendments noted where applicable.
Editor's Note: This local law was adopted as Ch. 183, but was renumbered to maintain the alphabetical organization of the Code.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any man-made structure, regardless of composition, that is erected or maintained for the purpose of enclosing a piece of land or dividing a piece of land into distinct portions, or that prohibits or inhibits unrestricted travel or view between properties or portions of properties or between the street or public right-of-way and the property. This definition includes what is customarily referred to as a wall.
- FRONT YARD
- Applies to that portion of the yard in front of the front building line of any building. All corner properties adjacent to a public street, alley or highway shall also be considered as front yards for the purposes of this chapter. However, this definition shall specifically not apply for purposes of swimming pool protection.
- GOOD SIDE
- That part of the fence that is considered the finished side, which does not include the structural members.
- The distance measured from the immediately adjacent ground level at the fence location, to the top of the highest point of any component of the fence. Any artificially mounded or bermed area under the fence shall be considered part of the height of the fence. In the event that after the fence is constructed any mounding, fill, berming or construction of any kind or nature is added to one side of the fence, then the height of the fence shall be measured from the opposite side of the fence.
- REAR YARD
- Applies to that portion of the yard from the rear building line of any building to the rear of the lot.
- SIDE YARD
- Applies to that portion of the yard in front of the rear building line of any building and to the rear of the front building line of any building.
No fence shall be erected without the approval of the Code Enforcement Officer.
Any person or persons, corporations, firm or association intending to erect a fence shall, before any work is commenced, make application to the Code Enforcement Officer on a form provided by the Code Enforcement Officer. Said application shall be accompanied by a plan or sketch showing the proposed location of any fence on a survey map of the property, the materials and proposals to be used therefor, and the relation to all other structures, buildings, streets, lot property lines and yards.
Upon approval by the Code Enforcement Officer, a permit shall be issued which will be in effect for a period of six months from the date thereon.
Said permit shall be displayed on the property during the progress of the work so that the work may be inspected by the proper Town officials.
No fence shall be more than six feet in height at the rear yard or side yard of the homes or buildings situated in the Town of Stafford. No fence or portions of a fence shall be higher than three feet in any front yard for a distance of 33 feet from the roadway right of way.
Any fence erected under this chapter shall be placed at least 12 inches from any property line so if repair or maintenance of said fence is to be performed, it may be performed from the property owner's land.
All fences must be erected within the property line and none shall be erected so as to encroach upon a public right-of-way or interfere with vehicular or pedestrian traffic or interfere with visibility on corner lots and/or other structures or vehicles, whether stationary or transitory, in private or public property.
Any fence which unduly cuts off light or air, which may cause a nuisance, a fire hazard, a dangerous condition, or an obstruction to persons and equipment in combating fires or which may affect public safety is hereby expressly prohibited.
The following types of fences are prohibited:
Short pointed fences less than 36 inches in height.
Electrically charged fences.
Temporary fences (except snow fences between the months of November through April).
Expandable fences and collapsible fences, except during construction of a building or for reasonable and temporary agricultural uses and gardens.
Chain-link fences shall be erected with closed loop at the top of the fence.
Any wood, stockade, chain link or other type of fence, shall have the good side facing to the outside of the property owner installing the fence. Fence posts shall be placed on the inside of the fence.
All fences shall be maintained by the person responsible for the property. Such maintenance shall include, but not be limited to, repair of fences which may become in disrepair. Repairs should be made in accordance with existing fences. Such repair may include missing or broken sections, and heaving, collapsed and/or tilted fences.
Notwithstanding the provisions of this chapter, the Code Enforcement Officer may issue a permit for the construction of security and/or equipment yard fences for commercial and industrial properties upon due application. The Code Enforcement Officer may deny such application if it is found that the application for such fence is not appropriate and is unnecessary.
Fences for the enclosure of in-ground pools shall conform to the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code.
The Code Enforcement Officer shall have the authority to direct, in writing, the removal, trimming or modification of any shrubs, bushes, plants, trees or flowers or other vegetation, fence, wall or hedge or other structure on private or public property wherever the same shall interfere with adequate visibility of operators of motor vehicles at street intersections, driveways or curbs. Any person who shall refuse or neglect to comply within 15 days with the written direction of the Code Enforcement Officer shall be guilty of violation of this chapter and shall be subject to its penalties.
The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to any of the following uses and types of fences:
Erosion control fences.
Existing nonconforming fences constructed prior to the effective date of this chapter shall be allowed to continue; provided, however, that replacement of a fence on a property shall require that said fence conform to the provisions of this chapter.
Fences used for safety and/or security fencing around security sites for which a building permit has been issued and is still valid.
Fences used for safety and/or security fencing around unsafe structures or other threats to health, life and/or property, as deemed by the Code Enforcement Officer, the Town Highway Superintendent or Emergency Response Agencies.
Fences and guards installed by the authority having jurisdiction in accordance with recognized standards in order to protect life, safety and property within public roadways and their associated rights-of-way.
Fences erected to enclose crops, livestock and livestock products and farm operations as defined in Article 25-AA, § 301 of the Agriculture and Markets Laws of the State of New York.
Fences erected to enclose swimming pools, as mandated by the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code.
Guards and handrails erected to comply with the applicable provisions of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code.
Plant support systems, such as, but not limited to, grape trellising, tomato cages, tree supports and vegetable trellising.
The Town Board of the Town of Stafford shall set applicable fees for the fence permit.
This chapter shall be enforced by the Code Enforcement Officer, who is authorized to direct, in writing, the removal of any fence in violation of this chapter or for failure to obtain a permit required by this chapter, and is further authorized to issue an appearance ticket, pursuant to the provisions of Article 150 of the Criminal Procedure Law, for violations of this chapter.
A violation of this chapter is an offense punishable by a fine of not more than $250. Each week of continued violation shall constitute a separate, additional violation.
The Town Board, in addition, shall have such other remedies as are provided by law to restrain, correct or abate any violation of this chapter.