City Council approves new ordinances for fences, trash cans

Measures address concerns about safety, unsightly conditions in neighborhoods

The City Council approved Thursday, July 14, new ordinances creating standards for trash and recycling containers, and maintenance of residential fences.

The City Council approved both ordinances on first reading at its June 23 meeting.

Previously, it had been legal for trash and recycling containers to be kept at the street indefinitely, creating potential safety hazards and unsightly conditions in neighborhoods.

The ordinance creates a window during which the containers may be out: not before 7 a.m. the day before collection, and they must be returned to their place of storage no later than 7 p.m. the day after collection. Commercial carts may not be placed out before 5 p.m. the business day before collection and must be removed by 7 a.m. the day after collection. Additionally, trash and recycling containers are not allowed to be stored closer to the street than the front building line of the house.

The fence ordinance creates standards for maintenance and repair of residential fences that face the street or public facilities such as schools, parks, and government buildings, as well as fences that face public drainage ways and are visible from the street. Some of the standards include:

  • Fences taller than 4 feet may not lean more than one foot;
  • Fences shall not have broken, loose, or damaged components totaling 20 square feet over any 50 foot section of fence;
  • A fence shall not have any missing pickets, posts, or gates;
  • Painted fences shall not peel or blister; and
  • Fences in violation will have 60 days to be repaired or demolished.

The fence maintenance ordinance does not apply to shared fences between two or more residential lots, such as shared backyard fences.

The Planning and Development Services staff developed the ordinances in consultation with neighborhood leaders, assisted by Joe Brehm, Community Engagement Administrator.

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