[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Geneva 5-11-1999 by L.L. No. 1-1999. Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- DECORATIVE FENCES
- Fencing enclosing gardens and or shrubbery totally contained within the property limits, not exceeding 36 inches in height.
- Any structure, regardless of composition, except a living fence or temporary enclosure for a playpen use or dog kennel, that is erected or maintained for the purpose of enclosing a piece of land or dividing a piece of land into distinct portions.
- The distance measured from the average grade to the top of the fence.
- LIVING FENCE
- Any fence or hedge composed of live materials.
No fence, wall or other type of construction, except decorative fencing, shall be erected without the approval of the Code Enforcement Officer.
Any person or persons, corporation, 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 or a more recent survey map of the property, and the materials proposed to be used therein, which must be in accordance with this chapter and any other pertinent local law regulating construction within the town, and shall be accompanied by an appropriate fee.
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 of homes or buildings in any residential district, which fence shall not extend forward of the rear building line of any existing or proposed building. No other fence or portions of a fence shall be higher than 48 inches.
Any fence erected under this chapter shall be placed at least six inches from any property line. Any fence erected in a front yard shall be placed at least one foot back from the front line and/or property line.
Any fence, wall or similar structure, as well as shrubbery, which unduly cuts off light or air, which may cause a nuisance, a fire hazard, a dangerous condition, an obstruction to persons and equipment for combating fires or which may affect public safety is hereby expressly prohibited. Further, no fence shall be erected in a front yard or along a public right-of-way unless the fence is uniformly less than 50% solid.
The following fences and fencing materials are specifically prohibited (except for agricultural uses in active farm areas).
Short pointed fences less than 36 inches in height.
Electrically charged fences.
Temporary fences (except snow fences).
Expandable fences and collapsible fences, except during construction of a building.
All chain link fences erected shall be erected with the closed loop at the top of the fence.
Any fencing for the enclosure of farm animals in an agricultural area shall not be required to have a permit.
Any fence, wood, stockade, chain link or other type of fence shall have the smooth side or finished side facing to the outside of the property owner installing the fence. Fence posts will be placed on the inside of the fence.
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. Upon such denial, the applicant may appeal the Code Enforcement Officer's decision to the Zoning Board of Appeals of the Town of Geneva by notice to the same within 30 days of such denial. In the event that said Zoning Board substantiates the denial of the Code Enforcement Officer, the applicant may resort to proper legal proceedings according to the statutes of the State of New York.
All fences or walls 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, on private or public property.
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 a violation of this chapter and shall be subject to its penalties.
Those fences that were constructed prior to the adoption of this chapter can remain but must be maintained safely. Any replacement fences must comply with this chapter and will be required to be filed with the Code Enforcement Officer. In addition, any deed restrictions relating to fencing must be brought to the attention of the Code Enforcement Officer.
The Town Board shall set applicable fees for the permit.
Any person, firm or corporation, or his or her or its agent, servant, workman or employee, violating any of the provisions of this chapter shall be punishable by a fine not exceeding $250 and/or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 15 days. Each day's continuance of a violation after notice to cease shall be deemed a separate and distinct offense and shall be punishable accordingly.