[HISTORY: Derived from Ch. XXII of the 2003 Revised General Ordinances of the Township of Willingboro. Amendments noted where applicable.]
It is hereby found and declared that regulation of fences in Willingboro Township should:
Encourage individualized responsiveness to personal tastes and needs of homeowners;
Require sufficiency of construction materials and methods to preclude deterioration;
Take into account aesthetic considerations;
Be erected and maintained in such a manner as not to hinder public safety officials in the performance of their functions; and
Not endanger the public health, safety or welfare.
In interpreting this chapter, all five criteria shall be considered.
The use of the term "shall" indicates a mandatory requirement, and the use of the word "may" indicates a permissive action.
Residential districts. The following standards and regulations shall apply to fences hereinafter placed on residential lots; provided, however, that with respect to townhouse developments and planned unit residential developments resulting from major subdivisions approved pursuant to Chapter 205, Land Subdivision and Site Plan Review, of the Code of the Township of Willingboro, the Planning Board or the Zoning Board of Adjustment shall have the right to make and impose additional regulations with respect to fences as a condition of approval for any such major subdivision. Any fence on a residential lot included in a townhouse development or planned unit residential development resulting from any such major subdivision approved as previously noted may not be relocated from the position originally set forth on the plan approved by the Planning Board or Zoning Board of Adjustment during its review and approval of major subdivision plans.
Permit required. Fences shall be erected or constructed in the rear and/or side yard only as hereinafter provided and only after a permit for same has been obtained from the Township Department of Inspections. A permit to construct a fence may be granted, provided that the conditions of this chapter are complied with, and provided a sketch, drawn to scale, of the owner's property is presented along with plans describing the type of fence proposed. Such a permit may be issued only after payment of the permit fee in accordance with the fee schedule adopted as part of the State Uniform Construction Code implementation in Willingboro Township.
Height. No rear and/or side yard fence shall be constructed, established or built in excess of six feet in height, except in the rear yard as attached as an addition to the dwelling, in which case it shall not project more than 24 feet in an R-2 or R-3 Zone or 16 feet in any other residential zone beyond the rear wall of the dwelling portion, not including the garage, of the residence or structure as originally erected, nor be located in the twenty-foot open space required by Chapter 370, Zoning, of the Code of the Township of Willingboro, nor be located in the ten-foot portion of the reverse planting strip located furthest from the rear building line. However, in the case of townhouse developments, fences which are an integral part of the original design and which are approved by the Township Planning Board or Zoning Board may be located in any place within the development, as indicated on the plan approved by the Board and as initially constructed.
Location. Fences, except those which are attached to the dwelling pursuant to Subsection C of this section, shall be located in accordance with the following standards:
No side yard fence shall be erected in front of an imaginary extension of the front building line.
No fence shall be erected closer than four feet to the dwelling, except as a point of attachment to the dwelling, of which there shall be no more than two.
Obstructions. At least a four-foot area shall be maintained between a fence and the dwelling, and no structural accessory uses, including the storage of boats and other recreational vehicles and their pads, shall be maintained between a fence and a dwelling, unless there remains at least four feet of unobstructed area.
Coverings. If any portion of the rear or side yard is enclosed by a fence, and a covering is erected, constructed or otherwise maintained, it shall provide for an eight-foot clearance.
Construction standards. All fences shall be constructed and maintained in accordance with the Willingboro Township Fence Construction Code, which is hereby established and adopted. As required by N.J.S.A. 40:49-5.2, three copies of the code shall be on file in the office of the Township Clerk, and the code is hereby adopted and incorporated as if fully set forth herein.
Gates. No fence shall have more than three gates, or, if the property fenced is a corner lot, then not more than four gates, not including any entrance through the dwelling. A fence on property having reverse frontage shall include a gate opening into the reverse frontage area.
Corner lots. A fence shall be permitted on the open side of any corner lot to be constructed within 10 feet of the sidewalk. On streets that have no sidewalks, a fence may be constructed to within 10 feet of the curbline.
[Amended 6-23-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-7]
Dog runs. Fences erected for dog runs shall have one side thereof attached to the principal structure on the property.
The following fences and fencing materials are specifically prohibited: barbed-wire fences, sharp-pointed fences, electrically charged fences, temporary fences such as snow fences, expandable fences and collapsible fences at any location on the lot upon which a dwelling or structure is situated.
Every fence shall be maintained in a safe, sound, upright condition and in accordance with the approved plan on file with the Department of Inspections.
All fences must be erected within the property lines, and no fences shall be erected so as to encroach upon a public right-of-way. No person shall, by the erection of any fence within the Township pursuant to the terms of this chapter or otherwise, acquire thereby any easement or other interest in, or servitude upon, any presently existing easement, right-of-way or other proprietary right or interest of the Willingboro Municipal Utilities Authority, and the publication of this chapter shall, and hereby does, constitute notice of the Authority's right and intention to maintain all its present easements, rights-of-way or other proprietary interest, and any such right, title or interest which it may acquire in the future, free from any prescriptive encroachments in the form of fences erected pursuant to this chapter.
These restrictions shall not be applied so as to restrict the erection of a wall for the purpose of retaining earth.
Permits for all fences in any zone shall be obtained from the Department of Inspections by the owner of the premises or the owner's representative authorized in writing to make such application. If it appears that the fence meets all of the provisions of this chapter and upon payment of the prescribed fee, the Department shall issue the permit.
Any person aggrieved by the decision of the Department of Inspections with regard to a fence or any person aggrieved by a decision of the administrative officer may appeal to the Zoning Board of Adjustment for relief within 10 days of the action from which the appeal is taken.
[Amended 2-24-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-8]
In the event of a violation of this chapter, the Department of Inspections shall issue notice of the violation to the owner or occupant of the property on which the fence is located by personal service or first-class mail. Such owner or occupant shall have 10 days from the date of written notice to comply with the provisions of this chapter. Thereafter, it shall be referred to the Township Municipal Court for disposition. Upon conviction of a violation of this chapter, the owner or occupant shall be subject to a minimum fine of $100, in addition to penalties contained in Chapter 1, Article II, General Penalty, of the Code of the Township of Willingboro. Each day of a continuing violation shall constitute a separate violation for each section of this chapter in violation.