A process that started more than two years ago, the revision of the Village's zoning code pertaining to fences, is on the cusp of being approved. Village Council held the second of three readings of the proposed ordinance at its meeting on July 10.
The Village's Zoning Commission started discussing potential changes to the zoning code in 2015. Over the past two years the commission made a number of proposed revisions, and held a public meeting to discuss the proposed changes. The commission subsequently forwarded a final revised ordinance to Council earlier this year.
The proposed changes would increase restrictions on certain styles and materials of fencing in the Village.
Among the proposed changes are a prohibition on chain link fences, solid privacy fences, and "shadow box-style" fences. Zoning commission members in the past have expressed a preference for split rail fencing, wrought iron fencing, and other "open-style" fencing.
The new code would require all new fences be at least 50 percent "open" for the "free passage of light and air," except for brick or stone walls approved in advance by the Zoning Commission. A stockade or solid privacy fence would be considered 0 percent open, and would be prohibited under the new ordinance.
In the proposed code, acceptable materials would be wood, aluminum, iron, and metal. Fences made out of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) would also be allowed, if the material "closely simulates wood, aluminum, or iron." The proposed code would specifically prohibit "standard white high gloss" PVC fences.
Fences would also have to be of a color that "will minimize visibility" of the fence to surrounding properties.
The proposed code retains a number of current regulations, including: limiting the height of a fence to 48 inches above grade (posts could be as much as 52 inches tall); structural members (posts and rails) would have to be on the "inside" of the fence; and fences would have to be maintained "in a good state of repair" at all times.
A portion of the proposed code would allow for existing "non-conforming" fences to remain, but those in a "state of disrepair" would have to be removed. Any new fences would have to conform to the new regulations.
The revised ordinance does not lessen prohibitions on fencing in front yards, or beyond the home's "build lines," and it retains provisions for deer fencing, similar to the current ordinance.
In other business, Village Council approved changing the name of Geresy Field to Geresy Park. Geresy Park is the Village-owned land bounded by Indian Road, Evergreen Road, Orkney Drive, and Van Dusen Way. It includes the Robert O'Connell tennis courts and Hardman Field.