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Town of Rotterdam, NY
Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Chapter 270. Zoning

Article XVIII. Specific Use Regulations

§ 270-143. Fences.

A. 
Location and height.
(1) 
Fences shall be permitted anywhere on a lot or parcel of land provided that the height thereof does not exceed four feet in a front yard or six feet in a side or rear yard, measured from ground level on the interior side of the fence to the uppermost part thereof, except in Light Industrial (I-1) and General Industrial (I-2) Zoning Districts where six-foot fences are permitted in any yard. The Planning Board has the authority to modify these requirements and/or limitations for any project undergoing review and/or approvals by the Planning Board.
[Amended 11-12-2008 by L.L. No. 11-2008]
(2) 
On corner lots. No fence or other obstruction higher than two feet above an adjacent curb elevation shall be permitted on a corner lot within a triangular area encompassed by three imaginary lines, one of which runs along the edge of the pavement abutting the lot on one intersecting street and another of which runs along the edge of the pavement abutting the lot of the other intersecting street, and the third formed by a line drawn between two points, one on each side of the aforesaid lines located 30 feet from the intersection thereof.
(3) 
Exceptions. The Zoning Board of Appeals may permit the construction of a fence in excess of the height limitations imposed by this subsection if it determines that there is a practical need therefor and that it will not be detrimental to the appearance of adjoining properties and/or the neighborhood. Application to the Board of Appeals to exceed the height limitation shall be made in accordance with rules and regulations prescribed by said Board.
(4) 
Front yard fences. All fences situated in front yards shall be constructed so that the fence is uniformly less than fifty-percent solid or opaque when viewed from a point normal to the plane created by the fence surface. If the lot is developed as a townhouse, a fence may only be erected in the front, rear, and side yard on the noncommon lot lines.
[Amended 11-12-2008 by L.L. No. 11-2008]
B. 
Location of posts. Fence posts and other structural fence supports which, because of the construction of the fence, must be situated on one side thereof shall not be located on the side of the fence abutting adjacent properties.
C. 
Aesthetics. The more aesthetically attractive side of the fence shall face abutting properties. The side which is more aesthetically attractive shall be the side which is more pleasing in appearance to a reasonable person because of finish, painting, woodwork or for whatever other reason.
D. 
Barbed-wire and electrically charged fences.
(1) 
Permit required. No barbed-wire fences or electrically charged fences shall be permitted except by authorization and permit issued by the Board of Zoning Appeals. Such permit shall not be issued except for the following:
(a) 
Fences situated in business and industrial zoning districts may be topped with barbed wire, provided that the bottommost strand of barbed wire is at least five feet above ground level.
(b) 
Electrically charged fences may be permitted in agricultural zoning districts for the purpose of providing an enclosure of barrier to contain the roaming of animals.
(2) 
Standards. The Board shall issue permit upon written application in form prescribed by it if it determines that there is a practical need for such a fence and that the existence of the fence in the proposed location is not inconsistent with the character of the neighborhood and does not pose a threat of injury to persons lawfully in the vicinity of such fence.
E. 
Fences on public property. No fence may be erected by others on property owned by the Town of Rotterdam or to which the Town has a right of access by easement or license.
F. 
Exception for junkyards. The provisions of this section shall not apply to fences enclosing junkyards as required by Chapter 173 of the Town Code.
G. 
Exception for solar farms and solar power plants. The provisions of this section shall not apply to fences enclosing solar farms and solar power plants.
[Added 2-22-2017 by L.L. No. 1-2017]