Township of River Vale, NJ
Bergen County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Amended 9-12-1974 by Ord. No. 0-12-74R; 10-28-1993 by Ord. No. 0-8-93R]
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
FENCE
A structure composed of posts and boards or other materials designed to provide a barrier or demarcation point on real property. Fence posts or supports shall not exceed the allowable fence height by more than six inches. Shrubbery, bushes, hedges, trees and other landscaping shall not be considered a fence, nor shall a retaining wall be considered a fence.
[Amended 6-25-1998 by Ord. No. 0-5-98]
A. 
No person shall construct or erect a fence exceeding three feet in height, except pursuant to a permit obtained from the Construction Code Official.
B. 
As to premises involving an application for site plan approval, subdivision approval, change of use approval, use variance approval or approval of an extension, enlargement or alteration of a nonconforming use, the application for a fence permit shall be made to the approving authority as part of the land use application. The approving authority shall certify, in writing, to the Construction Code Official its approval of the fence and direct issuance of a fence permit.
A. 
All applications for permits shall state:
(1) 
The name of the owner of the property.
(2) 
The lot and block number of the property as shown on the Tax Map.
(3) 
The street address of the property.
(4) 
The type of fence to be erected, including length, height and the materials used.
B. 
A sketch showing the fence type, composition, height, length and location shall accompany the permit application.
The fee for a permit for new or replacement fences shall be $25.
A. 
Construction. Fences shall be erected in such a manner as to permit the flow of natural drainage and shall not cause surface waters to be blocked or dammed to create ponding.
B. 
Maintenance; appearance. All fences shall be constructed and maintained in a safe, sound, sturdy and upright condition. The exterior appearance of all fences shall present the more aesthetic side to the exterior, in the opinion of the Zoning Officer or appropriate authority.
[Amended 2-23-1995 by Ord. No. 0-2-95]
A. 
Fences in front yard. Fences, of any height, shall not be permitted in the front yard (as defined in § 142-3) of the lot, except that a fence not exceeding three feet in height and which is at least 50% open and unobstructed (for example, split rail) shall be permitted. A zoning permit shall be required.
[Amended 6-25-1998 by Ord. No. 0-5-98]
B. 
Through lots. The restrictions as to fences in front yards shall apply to all property lines adjoining a public street.
C. 
Height. No fence shall exceed six feet in height above the normal grade elevation except as may be provided for fences around tennis, paddle tennis and platform tennis courts as provided in § 142-249.
D. 
Right-of-way; easement.
[Amended 12-21-1999 by Ord. No. 0-22-99]
(1) 
No fence shall be erected within a public right-of-way or public easement; however, fences shall be permitted over public stormwater and sanitary sewer easements, excluding trunk lines, so long as that portion of the fence within the easement is constructed without permanent footings and it shall be possible to dismantle the fence by hand and without the need for machinery. If possible, the portion of the fence within the easement shall be comprised of a gate for ease of access to said easement. A permit is required.
(2) 
Should access to the stormwater easement be required by the Township or its agent, if possible, the property owner shall be given notice to dismantle that portion of the fence within the easement. In the event that access is required on an emergency basis, or the property owner fails to remove the portion of the fence over the easement, then, in such event, the Township or its agent shall have such fence removed immediately and charge any cost to the property owner as a municipal charge. Should any damage result to said fence, whether or not located within the easement, as a result of obtaining access to the easement, the Township shall not be responsible for the damage or replacement or reconstruction costs.
E. 
Prohibited materials. The following fence materials are prohibited:
(1) 
Barbed wire.
(2) 
Pointed materials, except as used in picket or stockade fences.
(3) 
Cloth, except to protect shrubbery or bushes for a period not to exceed 180 days.
(4) 
Electrically charged materials.
(5) 
Poultry netting.
F. 
Existing fences. A fence lawfully in existence as of the effective date of this article which shall be made nonconforming by this article may be continued except as otherwise provided herein. No fence which is nonconforming shall be changed, enlarged, extended or reconstructed except to a conforming fence, but no provision hereof shall prohibit the repainting, staining, waterproofing, minor repair or insubstantial alteration of an existing fence. Any nonconforming fence which is destroyed less than 50% by fire, other casualty or act of God may be repaired and used in the same manner as prior thereto, provided that the fence is not enlarged, extended or otherwise materially changed. All such repairs shall be completed within six months after the date of partial destruction or the nonconforming fence shall be deemed to have been abandoned. When destruction of a nonconforming fence exceeds 50%, the same shall not be rebuilt or restored except in conformity with the requirements of this article.
[Amended 2-23-1995 by Ord. No. 0-2-95]
Notwithstanding anything to the contrary herein, fences not exceeding 10 feet in height around a tennis, paddle tennis or a platform tennis court may be permitted in a residential zone, provided that the Construction Code Official and Zoning Officer shall review and approve the same, provided that such does not impair the purpose and intent of this Part 9 and is consistent with the character of the neighborhood. Such a fence shall be permitted only in the rear yard and shall not be located within 10 feet of the rear or side lot lines.
Fences around swimming pools shall comply separately with the applicable requirements of Chapter 90, Construction Codes, Uniform; and Chapter 218, Swimming Pools, of the Code of the Township of River Vale.
The provisions of this article shall be enforced by the Construction Code Official.
The denial of a permit for a fence may be appealed to the Township of River Vale Joint Planning Board and a variance therefor may be granted in accordance with N.J.S.A. 40:55D-70; provided, however, that if the proposed fence is being considered by the Joint Planning Board as part of a site plan review or other land use application within the jurisdiction of the Joint Planning Board, the permit denial or fence variance application may be heard and decided by the Joint Planning Board in the exercise of its ancillary jurisdiction.
A. 
Any person who violates or who fails or refuses to comply with any of the provisions of this article shall be fined as provided in Chapter 1, General Provisions, Article I, § 1-14. The imposition of one fine for any violation shall not excuse the violation or permit it to continue.
B. 
All such persons shall be required to remedy such violations or defects within 30 days next following notice of such violation or such extended period as may be reasonably required as determined by the Construction Code Official and/or Zoning Officer.
[Amended 2-23-1995 by Ord. No. 0-2-95]
C. 
Each 10 days following the expiration of the period required to remedy the violation or defect that a violation continues shall constitute a separate offense.
D. 
In addition to other remedies, the proper local authorities of the municipality or an interested party may institute any appropriate action or proceedings to prevent such unlawful erection, construction, reconstruction, alteration, repair, conversion, maintenance or use of a fence or to restrain, correct or abate such violation or to prevent any illegal act, conduct or use of a fence.