[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Forestburgh 12-4-2008 by L.L. No. 4-2008. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Building Code administration — See Ch. 68.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 129.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 148.
Zoning — See Ch. 180.
Editor's Note: This local law also provided that to the extent that it may conflict with applicable portions of the Town Law, the Town exercises its authority to supersede and amend pursuant to Municipal Home Rule Law § 22.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any structure, regardless of composition, except a living fence, that is erected or maintained for the purpose of enclosing a piece of land or dividing a piece of land into distinct portions, or for the purpose of restricting access to or egress from properties.
- FRONT YARD
- Applies to that portion of the yard in front of the front building line of the main building. All corner properties adjacent to a public street, alley or highway shall also be considered as a front yard for the purposes of this chapter. However, this definition shall specifically not apply for purposes of swimming pool protection, which is regulated by the state codes.
- The distance measured from the existing grade to the top of the fence.
No fence, wall or other type of construction shall be erected without the approval of the Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer. Where he deems it appropriate, the Building Inspector may consult with the Highway Superintendent.
Any person or persons, corporation, firm or association intending to construct a fence shall, before any work is commenced, make application to the Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer on the form provided. Said application shall be accompanied by a plan, sketch or certified survey (in the discretion of the Town's Building Inspector) showing the proposed location of any fence, height of the entire fence 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 village, and shall be accompanied by an appropriate fee. Upon approval by the Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer, a permit shall be issued which will be in effect for a period of one year from the date thereon. Once construction has been started, it must be completed, inspected and approved in a timely fashion. Said permit shall be posted and visible during the progress of the work so that the proper village official may inspect it. When the installation is complete, the Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer will issue a certificate of compliance.
Fences and walls shall be permitted, provided that, in any residential district, no fence or wall shall exceed four feet in height in any front yard or six feet in height in any rear or side yard. Exceptions to this are corner lots. The Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer must approve the height, location and materials for fences on corner lots. It is the intent of this chapter to include any artificially mounded or bermed area under the fence as part of the height of the fence.
Any fence erected in a front yard shall be placed at least four feet back from the sidewalk where it exists and, where it does not exist, from the edge of the right-of-way. The Building Inspector must approve the height, location and materials for fences on corner lots. No fence shall be erected in a delineated area of wetlands. No fence or part of a fence shall be erected in the highway or street right-of-way for public and private roads or streets. Fences in commercial and industrial districts shall be approved by the Planning Board on the site plan. For fences in commercial or industrial districts being built or modified after site plan approval and not provided for on the site plan, the property owner must apply to the Planning Board for approval of such fences. No fence shall be erected with the purpose of restricting or results in the natural and traditional migration habits of wildlife or to contain wildlife within a certain boundary area, except with respect to projects approved by the Town Planning Board.
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 or a dangerous condition or an obstruction to people and equipment in regard to traffic or for combating fires or which may affect public safety, is hereby expressly prohibited. Further, no fence shall be erected in a front yard in a residential district or along a public right-of-way unless the fence is uniformly less than 50% solid and does not obstruct visibility. It is the intent of this section to allow the construction of a fence that does not obstruct vision and is otherwise aesthetically pleasing.
All fences must be properly installed and properly maintained at all times.
The following fences and fencing materials are specifically prohibited:
Pointed fences that are a hazard to public safety or welfare.
Electrically charged fences, except for invisible fences which are buried underground and designed to emit a radio transmission for the purpose of keeping pets that are wearing a special radio receiver collar within a confined area. Invisible fences must be 10 feet from sidewalks, and small signs indicating that there is an invisible fence are required. For this type of fence, a permit will be required and signage provided, but no permit fee will be charged.
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.
All entrances or gates shall open into the property.
Any 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 section, the Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer may issue a permit for the construction of a security fence for commercial and industrial properties, upon due application to and approval by the Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer of the Town of Forestburgh.
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 Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer shall have the authority to direct, in writing, the removal, trimming or modification of any shrubs, bushes, plants, trees, flowers or other vegetation, fence, wall 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 or curbs. Any person who shall refuse or neglect to comply within 15 days with the written direction of the Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer shall be guilty of a violation of this chapter and shall be subject to its penalties.
The Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer may deny any fence 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 Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer's decision to the Zoning Board of Appeals of Zoning Board substantiates the denial of the Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer, the applicant may resort to proper legal proceedings according to the statutes of the State of New York.
The following fences shall be exempt from the requirements of this chapter:
Fences around gardens; provided the garden area shall not exceed 100 feet by 100 feet.
Fences around childrens' play areas that do not exceed an area of 100 feet by 100 feet.
Decorative fencing around a residence, such as picket fencing or wrought iron fencing, that does not exceed an enclosure area 40 feet from the residence itself on all sides.
Any person committing an offense against any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be punishable as provided in the Code of the Town of Forestburgh.