New regulations for fences move forward

New rules regulating what fences can be made of in Webster City were advanced by the City Council on Monday.

The rules are intended to make fences safe and aesthetically pleasing, according to a staff report to the City Council.

The city has zoning regulations on the height and location of fences, but the measure before the council would only change the rules on the materials that fences can be made of, according to Elise Timm, the Webster City building inspector.

City Attorney Zach Chizek said if the proposal wins final approval of the council existing fences will be allowed to remain as they are, but if they are repaired or replaced, they would have to comply with the new rules.

Under the proposal, fences in residential areas and those in commercial areas next to residential areas could be made of:

• Stone

• Brick

• Treated wood

• Wood composite

• Vinyl panel

• Plaster

• Open ornamental or tubular metal

• Landscape hedge

• Other materials as approved by the zoning administrator

Timm said the provision for other materials as approved by the zoning administrator will provide flexibility to add things as new products come on the market.

Chain link fences would be allowed in residential areas if they are not at the front of the property.

Under the proposal, fences in commercial areas could be made of:

• Stone

• Brick

• CMU block

• Pre-cast concrete panel

• Treated wood

• Wood composite

• Vinyl panel

• Chain link with or without mesh

• Chain link with or without vinyl

• Plaster

• Open ornamental or tubular metal

• Landscape hedge

• Metal pipe barrier

• Chained or cabled bollards

Electrical fences and barbed wire fences would be prohibited anywhere in the city.

The council received no verbal or written comments about the proposal during a public hearing Monday.

The council voted unanimously to approve the first reading of the measure. It must be approved two more times to become law.

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