City of Royal Oak, MI
Oakland County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Commission of the City of Royal Oak 9-23-1991 by Ord. No. 91-17. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Zoning — See Ch. 770.
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "City of Royal Oak Fence Ordinance."
For the purposes of this chapter, certain words used herein are defined as follows:
FENCE
A barrier erected upon, or immediately adjacent to, a property line for the purpose of separating properties, or for screening, enclosing, and/or protecting the property within its perimeter. A fence shall not include construction site barriers, landscape treatments, or privacy screens as defined herein.
PRIVACY SCREEN
A barrier erected within the interior of a parcel of property and not upon, or immediately adjacent to, a property line for the purpose of obscuring patios, decks, courtyards, swimming pools, and other similar outdoor features, from observation by persons outside the perimeter of the property. Privacy screens shall not include landscape treatments.
SIGHT-OBSCURING
Opaque or having such qualities as to constitute an effective visual barrier in the determination of the City's Chief Building Inspector. A chain-link fence, in the absence of slats, shall not be considered sight-obscuring.
The respective owners or lessees of property in the City of Royal Oak may construct fences and privacy screens in such a manner as hereinafter stated:
A. 
No fence shall be erected, constructed, or reconstructed to a height of more than six feet above the adjoining ground level of the owner's or lessee's property unless otherwise provided by the State Building Code or § 323-6 herein. On property zoned for residential use, no fence shall be erected, constructed, or reconstructed to a height of more than four feet above the adjoining ground level of the owner's or lessee's property when placed in a front yard as defined by Chapter 770, Zoning. On any corner lot, no sight-obscuring fence shall rise over three feet in height above the established lowest level of the adjacent roadways, within the triangle formed by the two property lines which meet at the street intersection and a line drawn between points located on said property lines and 20 feet away from the point of intersection. No sight-obscuring fence or privacy screen that is located within 10 feet of the intersection of any driveway with a public sidewalk shall rise over three feet in height above said sidewalk, in order that the visibility of a driver of a vehicle using said driveway shall not be obstructed.
B. 
No privacy screen shall be erected, constructed, or reconstructed to a height of more than six feet above the adjoining level of the owner's or lessee's property, when located between a property line and the required minimum side yard setback for the dwelling pursuant to Chapter 770, Zoning. Privacy screens may be erected, constructed, or reconstructed to a maximum height of eight feet when set back from a side or rear property line a distance equal to the minimum side yard setback required for the dwelling pursuant to Chapter 770, Zoning. Privacy screens are permitted only within a rear yard as defined by Chapter 770, Zoning.
[Amended 1-24-2005 by Ord. No. 2005-01; 2-21-2005 by Ord. No. 2005-03]
C. 
No fence shall be constructed so as to encroach into the public right-of-way, provided that such encroachment may be permitted by the Royal Oak City Commission upon request and a showing that a necessity exists for such encroachment. The decision of the City Commission shall be final and binding.
All fences and privacy screens shall be of an ornamental type, constructed of either ornamental wire, wrought iron or wood. All supporting posts, sight-obscuring fences, and privacy screens shall be inside the property of the person who erects, constructs, or causes to have constructed the sight-obscuring fence or privacy screen.
A. 
Old or used materials shall not be permitted to constitute any portion of a fence or privacy screen unless such materials shall be reasonably sound in the judgment of the Chief Building Inspector.
B. 
All constituent materials of a fence or privacy screen, with the exception of bolts, screws, nails, or other such hardware, shall be of identical or similar type, or of such other materials as are, in the judgment of the Chief Building Inspector, reasonably compatible.
[Amended 1-24-2005 by Ord. No. 2005-01]
It shall be unlawful to construct and maintain any barbed wire or other sharp, pointed material in connection with the construction of any fence or privacy screen in any residentially zoned area. In nonresidential zones, barbed wire or other pointed materials may be used, provided said material is exclusively located at least seven feet above the ground and projects over the fence owner's property and does not overhang abutting properties.
Any person, firm, or corporation that owns or leases property upon which a fence or privacy screen is located shall be responsible for the repair, upkeep, maintenance, and reconstruction of any such fence or privacy screen and any area adjacent thereto. If ownership of a fence located upon a property line is joint or cannot be determined, then each party owning or leasing property adjacent to the fence shall be responsible for its care, upkeep, and maintenance.
[Amended 9-13-1993 by Ord. No. 93-11; 8-20-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-10]
A. 
The Chief Building Inspector or his or her designee may inspect any fence to determine whether it conforms with the provisions of this chapter. Any person who erects, constructs, builds or causes to be erected, built, or constructed a fence, or who owns or leases property upon which a fence is located, shall permit the Chief Building Inspector or his or her designate access to inspect said fence to determine whether it complies with the provisions of this chapter.
B. 
Failure to comply with any written notice from the Chief Building Inspector or his or her designate shall be deemed a violation of this chapter.
C. 
Appeal from a decision of the Chief Building Inspector shall be permitted to the Zoning Board of Appeals in a manner and in conformance with the rules promulgated by that Board.
D. 
The Zoning Board of Appeals may grant a waiver from requirements of this chapter, only upon a showing of practical difficulties in the way of carrying out the strict letter of this chapter, so that the spirit of this chapter shall be observed, public health, safety, and welfare secure, and substantial justice done.
E. 
Upon the receipt of any request for a waiver of any provision of this chapter, the Zoning Board of Appeals shall conduct a public hearing and give due notice of the time and place of such hearing to all property owners abutting the property which is the subject of the waiver request.
F. 
All fences and privacy screens shall comply with Chapter 770, Zoning, and all other ordinances of the City and applicable state law.
[Added 9-14-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-10]
A. 
Required. It shall be unlawful to construct or install, or cause to be constructed or installed, any fence upon any property within the City of Royal Oak without first obtaining a fence permit.
B. 
Application. Applications for fence permits shall be filed with the Building Department prior to the construction or installation of the proposed fence. Such applications shall state:
(1) 
The name and address of the applicant.
(2) 
The property address of the proposed fence location and the name of the owner of the property.
(3) 
The proposed location of the fence in reference to all lot lines, drives, walkways, other fences, streets and buildings located on the subject property and properties adjacent thereto.
(4) 
The nature and type of fence to be constructed or installed, including posts and supporting members.
(5) 
The proposed height of the fence.
(6) 
Such other and further information necessary to meet the requirements of this chapter.
C. 
Standards for issuance. The Building Official or his agents shall grant and issue such fence permit if:
(1) 
The proposed fence conforms to all applicable Code requirements.
(2) 
The applicant tenders a fee in the amount set by resolution of the City Commission prior to the consideration of the application.
D. 
Deed restrictions or other covenants. The issuance of a fence permit under this section is not intended nor should it be construed to abrogate or modify the applicant's duties as contained in covenants and restrictions arising from a deed or other document. The City will not review covenants or building and use restrictions before the issuance of a fence permit.
[Amended 12-5-1994 by Ord. No. 94-13; 9-14-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-10]
A. 
A person violating this chapter for the first time is responsible for a municipal civil infraction and is subject to payment of a civil fine of not less than $50, plus costs.
B. 
A person violating this chapter for the second time is responsible for a municipal civil infraction and is subject to payment of a civil fine of not less than $100, plus costs.
C. 
A person violating this chapter for the third time is responsible for a municipal civil infraction and is subject to payment of a civil fine of not less than $200, plus costs.
D. 
A person violating this chapter for the fourth or subsequent time is guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not more than $500 or imprisonment for not more than 90 days, or to both such fine and imprisonment in the discretion of the court.