[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Pawling 2-8-2005 by L.L. No. 2-2005. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Town Board of the Town of Pawling finds it necessary to establish safeguards to protect human health, safety and welfare, as well as property, by establishing reasonable regulations governing fences in the Town of Pawling and to ensure that the possession and use of fences does not result in physical injury or property damage.
When used in this chapter, unless otherwise expressly stated, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- All activities directly related to the grazing, growing or raising of crops or livestock, including but not limited to horticulture and fruit production as defined in the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Law.
- BARBED WIRE
- Strands of wire twisted together with barbs at regular, close intervals.
- DECORATIVE FENCING
- A fence used for protection of home gardens for decorative lawn accents being of visually unobtrusive construction, such as decorative wood or cast-iron picket fencing.
- Any structure, regardless of composition, except a living fence, that is erected or maintained for the purpose of enclosing, on the boundaries, a piece of land or dividing a piece of land into distinct portions.
- FRONT YARD
- Applies to that portion of the yard in the front of the property. 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.
- The distance measured from the existing grade to the top of the fence.
- A stake or slat, usually pointed, used as an upright in a fence.
- A piece of wood, metal, etc., usually square or cylindrical, set upright to support a fence.
- A bar of wood, vinyl or metal, etc., placed horizontally between upright posts to serve as a barrier or support.
- RAZOR WIRE
- Strands of wire with a continuous or combination of continuous and barbed sharp cutting edges.
- RETAINING WALL
- A wall to keep a bank of earth from sliding.
- STRUCTURAL FENCE
- Fence types, such as masonry, chain link, stockade, basket weave, continuous board and other visually obstructive fencing types.
- An upright structure of wood, stone, brick, etc., serving to enclose, divide, support or protect.
Any fence, wall or other type of construction in excess of the regulations set forth herein shall be erected only with the approval of the Building Inspector. The Building Inspector shall secure approval of the Town Planning Board, where applicable. The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to the owner or premises devoted to full-time agriculture as defined by New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets.
Any person or persons, corporation, firm or association intending to construct a fence in excess of the regulations set forth herein shall, before any work is commenced, make application to the Building Inspector on the form provided. Said application shall be accompanied by a plan or sketch showing the proposed location of the 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 Town and shall be accompanied by an appropriate fee.
Upon review by the Building Inspector, a permit shall be issued. Once construction has been started, it must be completed, inspected and approved in a timely fashion. The permit shall be posted and visible during the progress of the work so that the Building Inspector may inspect it.
When the installation is complete, the Building Inspector 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 six inches in height in any rear or side yard. Exceptions to this are corner lots. Both the Building Inspector and Superintendent of Highways must approve the height, location and materials for fences on corner lots. Any fences over six feet six inches in height will require a special use permit from the Town Planning Board as per Chapter 215, Article VI, § 215-46.
Any fence erected under this chapter may be placed upon the owner's property line, but must be entirely upon the owner's property as close to the owner's property line as possible without infringing on adjacent property. Any fence erected in a front yard shall be placed at least four feet back from the sidewalk. Where there is no sidewalk, any fence erected in a front yard shall be placed at least four feet from the edge of the right-of-way. Both the Building Inspector and Superintendent of Highways must approve the height, location and materials for fences on corner lots.
Fences shall not exceed six feet six inches in height in any side or rear yard in any zoning district without a special use permit.
Fences shall not exceed four feet in height in any front yard, except that fence posts may be up to five feet in height, and shall not be closer than four feet to any public right-of-way.
Fences may be positioned a maximum of six inches above the ground to allow for grass mowing under the fence.
The fence post shall be placed in the ground to a depth defined by generally accepted standards to ensure stability. The fence post shall be installed in a solid and secure manner. Masonry fencing shall be supported with a footer in ground to meet state frost line requirements in our area, which is a depth of 42 inches.
If site plan review is required for proposed fencing located in a front yard, the Town Planning Board shall consider, in its review, the suitability of said fencing with regards to the general architectural standards of the surrounding properties.
No fence or wall shall be erected which creates a traffic hazard or endangers public safety.
Any fence constructed before this regulation was in effect may be repaired or maintained, in keeping with the original architecture of the fence. Any substantial improvement or changes in height, length or material shall require that the new fencing comply with the regulations of this section.
Chain link fences shall be erected with the closed loop at the top of the fence.
All entrance gates shall open into the property.
Temporary fencing for construction, protecting landscaping, vegetable or flower gardens and snow fencing as a snow barrier are exempt.
Whenever installing a new fence or repairing an old one, wildlife migration movements must be given full consideration.
All fences shall be maintained and kept safe and in a state of good repair.
If the Building Inspector, upon inspection, determines that any fence or portion of any fence is not being maintained in a safe, sound or upright condition, he shall notify the owner of such fence, in writing, of his findings and state briefly the reasons for such findings and order such fence or portions of such fence repaired or removed within 15 days of written notice.
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. Fence posts shall be placed on the inside of the fence where practicable.
Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, the Town Planning Board, upon special use and site plan review, may issue a permit for the construction of a security fence for commercial and industrial properties.
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 or Superintendent of Highways 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 of the written direction of the Building Inspector shall be guilty of a violation of this chapter and shall be subject to its penalties.
Any person, firm or corporation who violates, disobeys, neglects or refuses to comply or who resists enforcement of any provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of an offense and, upon conviction thereof, shall be subject to a fine not to exceed $350 or imprisonment, or both. Each day a violation is continued shall be deemed a separate offense.