Township of Bridgewater, NJ
Somerset County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Bridgewater 6-7-2018 by Ord. No. 18-06. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Land Use — See Ch. 126.
Swimming Pools — See Ch. 195.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
FENCE
An artificially constructed barrier of any material or combination of materials erected to enclose, screen, or separate areas. A fence shall include all gates. Fences shall be considered as being incidental structures to a principal permitted use or to a principal permitted structure or principal permitted building and are permitted in all zones in accordance with the criteria set forth in this chapter.
RETAINING WALL
An artificially constructed structure of any material or combination of materials constructed between lands of different elevations to effect a sudden grade change, stabilize the surfaces, prevent erosion and/or protect structures. A retaining wall creating a change of grade less than 48 inches at the maximum differential (top of wall to bottom of wall) is not considered to be a structure.
A. 
Location (setbacks) of fences shall be as follows:
(1) 
A fence must be installed a minimum of six inches set back from the property line and shall comply with the following:
(a) 
No portion of the fence, including face, footing, foundation, or posts, shall be installed over the property line or into the road right-of-way.
(b) 
No fence shall interfere with sight distance along any portion of the road right-of-way or access easement.
(c) 
No fence is permitted within an existing sight triangle.
(2) 
No fence may encroach onto a public utility easement or public access easement without the written permission of the Township Engineer and a written agreement between the property owner and Township that is to remain in perpetuity for the life of the fence, and must be recorded in the Somerset County Clerk's office. At a minimum, a gate shall be required on one side of the easement for access.
(3) 
No fence shall encroach onto a conservation easement.
(4) 
For corner lots, the fence along one front yard of a corner lot may be treated as a side property line for the height of the fence. See Exhibit below.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Said Exhibit is on file in the Township offices.
B. 
Height of a fence shall be as follows:
(1) 
The maximum height of a fence is six feet along the rear property line. See Exhibit.
(2) 
The maximum height of a fence is six feet along the side property line if the fence terminates no less than three feet behind the front of the principal building, excluding such projections as porches, steps, bay and bow windows, patios and similar projections. The maximum six-foot height may be continued from the side property line to the principal building as long as it is no less than three feet behind the front of the principal building. See Exhibit.
(3) 
In all other areas of a lot, the maximum height of a fence is 48 inches and shall contain gaps of at least 50% of the width of the solid vertical portion staggered in a manner similar to a picket fence. See Exhibit.
(4) 
Fences used to enclose nonresidential electrical supply stations and mechanical facilities having energized electrical conductors or equipment shall be a maximum of eight feet in height and shall be effectively grounded.
(5) 
Fences that are constructed on top of or in association with a retaining wall shall be limited to four feet in height and shall comply with all other applicable provisions of this chapter.
C. 
Measurement of the height of a fence shall be as follows:
(1) 
The height of a fence shall be measured from the lowest surface of the ground to the highest point of the fence throughout its entire length. See Exhibit.
(2) 
For a fence placed on top of a retaining wall, the combined structure shall be measured from the bottom elevation of the retaining wall to the highest point of the fence. See Exhibit.
Design standards for fencing shall be as follows:
A. 
The finished face of the fence must face the abutting property, except:
(1) 
Where the fence encloses an outdoor recreational facility.
(2) 
Where the fence is in a residential zone and where the fence abuts a commercial or industrial property. See Exhibit.
B. 
Fence posts may be six inches higher than the fence.
C. 
Fence installation shall not adversely affect drainage.
D. 
Fences shall be constructed out of material customarily used for fence construction.
E. 
Fences or barriers surrounding swimming pools shall be consistent with the currently adopted Building Codes in the State of New Jersey.
Waivers of minor deviations of this section may be granted through the site plan waiver process as found in § 126-137. No escrow fee is required. Waivers may be granted for such circumstances such as, but not limited to, an extension of a fence to abut a neighbor's existing fence installed along a property line.