A. Approvals Required.

1. Except as may be specifically excluded in this section, fences constructed in compliance with this Section shall be subject to the approval of a minor site and building plan review, as regulated by Section 1208 of this Ordinance and the performance standards established by this Section.

2. As herein provided, fences subject to the approval of a conditional use permit shall be processed according to Section 1204 of this Ordinance, and shall comply with the performance standards established by this Section and the stipulations imposed by the City Council.

B. General Provisions. All fences within the City shall be subject to the following general provisions:

1. No fences shall be placed on or extend into public rights-of-way.

2. That side of any fence considered to be its "face" (i.e., the finished side having no structural supports) shall face abutting property or the public right-of-way.

3. Both sides of any fence shall be maintained in a condition of reasonable repair and appearance by its owner and shall not be allowed to become and remain in a condition of disrepair or danger, or constitute a nuisance, public or private.

4. No physical damage of any kind shall occur to abutting property during construction.

5. All man-made fences shall consist of materials comparable in grade and quality to the following: decorative masonry, wrought iron or wood, provided the surfaces are finished for exterior use; or wood of proven durability is used, such as cedar or redwood. Except for dog runs (not to exceed one hundred [100] square feet) and tennis courts, the use of chain link is prohibited.

6. A certificate of survey shall be required for all fences (except hedges and plantings) to be constructed on or within ten (10) feet of the property line or of an adjacent public right-of-way in the case of lots with a property line as the centerline of the street. An exception may be granted in cases where corner property stakes are located and a survey exists in the City property file.

7. Fences utilized for gardening purposes which are setback a minimum of twenty-five (25) feet from any property line and which are at least fifty (50) percent open, are no higher than four (4) feet, are no longer than fifty (50) feet in length per section, and in total does not exceed one hundred fifty (150) feet shall be excepted from City review and processing requirements.

8. Fences, utilized for the protection of gardens, crops, and shrubs from deer, which are setback a minimum of twenty-five (25) feet from any property line, are at least ninety (90) percent open, are no higher than six (6) feet, and are limited to specified areas requiring protection, shall be exempt from City review and processing requirements. In cases where compliance with this section is at issue, the acceptability of such fence shall be subject to the determination of the City Forester and City Planner.

9. Except fences which are exempt from the City's review and processing requirements, screening will be required in association with any fence to buffer views, neighboring property, or public rights-of-way, or to generally ensure aesthetic quality and compatibility with the natural character of the community. The City Council may choose to waive this requirement at their discretion in rare cases where fencing will be thoroughly screened by existing vegetation or will not adversely impact adjacent properties or in the case of split rail fences.

C. Specific Fence Standards. Fences may be allowed in the City of Sunfish Lake subject to the following specific standards:

1. Except as may be provided herein, split rail fences not exceeding forty-two (42) inches in height may be permitted anywhere within the property lines of a lot located within the City. A property survey may be required subject to items B.1 and B.6 as specified herein.

2. Except as may be provided herein, fences up to six (6) feet in height and no more than fifty (50) percent solid matter shall be permitted within the buildable area of a lot on a permanent basis but shall not exceed two hundred (200) total linear feet on a property.

3. Freestanding solid fences up to three (3) feet in height shall be permitted within the buildable area of a lot on a permanent basis, but shall not exceed two hundred (200) total linear feet on a property. Freestanding solid fences exceeding three (3) feet in height are prohibited.

4. Fences not exceeding six (6) feet in height, for uses other than single family dwellings, may be permitted in front of the front building line as established by the primary structure on the lot, when required for screening of adjacent property. In such cases, the required front setback for the fence shall be the same as for the use which it is intended to screen. In no case shall a fence exceeding forty-two (42) inches in height be set back less than ten (10) feet from the roadway in such instances.

5. On corner lots, no fence shall be located in a sight visibility triangle unless it is in compliance with the sight clearance requirements for such lots as set forth in the Section 1216.05 of this Ordinance.

6. Freestanding stone, brick, stucco, concrete, wood, or other walls not required as retaining structures are considered fences under this Section of the Ordinance.

7. There are no height restrictions on natural hedges or plantings utilized as fences in any residential zoning district.

D. Fence and Gate Standards Allowed by Conditional Use Permit, Interim Use Permit and Administrative Permit. The following fences and gates may be approved by conditional use permit, interim use permit, or administrative permit only, in accordance with the standards as set forth by the City Council.

1. Fences and gates allowed by conditional use permit are as follows:

a. Chain link fences up to ten (10) feet in height may be permitted to enclose tennis courts.

b. Security or other gates which limit vehicular access to a property, subject to the following:

(1) The gate is located within the buildable area of the lot and meets structure setback requirements.

(2) The gate is no higher than six (6) feet and no wider than twenty-four (24) feet including all support structures or aesthetic features.

(3) The gate design and materials are consistent with subsection 1218.01.B items 1-6 of this Section and are reflective of the style/architectural integrity of the residence. Gates may not be constructed of more than fifty (50) percent solid matter.

(4) Gates must comply with subsection 1218.01.B item 9 (landscaping) of this Section, unless otherwise waived by the City Council.

(5) Provision for emergency vehicle access to the property shall be arranged with and subject to the approval of the City Council and police, fire and ambulance providers.

2. Fences and gates allowed as an Interim Use are as follows:

a. Man-made fences up to six (6) feet in height and not more than fifty (50) percent solid matter are allowed as an interim use to enclose an area more than 2,500 square feet but not exceeding 5,000 square feet. The location of the fence and time frame for its existence shall be determined on a case by case basis by the City Council.

b. Existing barbed wire and all electrically charged fences.

3. Standards for evaluating fence or gate conditional use and interim use permits are as follows:

a. The fence or gate placement, height or design does not create a safety hazard with regard to, from or on a public street or roadway.

b. The fence or gate placement, height or design does not create a safety problem or negatively affect adjoining properties or uses.

c. The fence or gate does not negatively impact views of abutting properties or serve to distract from the open natural setting of the community.

d. The provisions of Section 1204.2.F of this Ordinance are considered and satisfactorily met.

E. Non-Conforming Fences. It is the intent of this Section to allow the continuation of such non-conforming fences until they are discontinued as provided herein. However, it is not the intent of this Section to encourage the survival of non- conforming fences and such fences are declared to be incompatible with permitted fences within the City. Such fences shall be regulated by the following provisions:

1. An existing fence not permitted by this Ordinance, except when required to do so by law or ordinance, shall not be enlarged, extended, reconstructed or structurally altered unless such fence is changed to one permitted in that district. Maintenance of a non-conforming fence will be allowed, however, when this includes necessary repairs and incidental alterations which do not expand or intensify the non-conforming fence.



All exposed ground areas, including street boulevards, and areas not devoted to parking areas, drives, sidewalks, patios or other such uses shall be landscaped with native plants (excluding noxious weeds), grass, shrubs, trees or other ornamental landscape materials within one (1) year following the date of building occupancy. All landscaped areas shall be kept neat, clean and uncluttered, and in those cases where landscaping is required as part of City approvals, any plant material which is diseased or dies shall be replaced with like kind of the original size. No such landscaped areas which are in public view shall be used for the parking of vehicles or for the storage of material or supplies except as allowed by Section 1216.12 Exterior Storage. Fences and/or plantings placed upon utility easements are subject to removal by the City or utility company if required for maintenance or improvement of the utility. In such cases, costs for removal and replacement shall be the responsibility of the property owner.



A. Fencing and Screening. Where any storage in any residential district and/or non-residential use abuts property zoned for residential use, the storage activity and/or non-residential use shall provide screening along the boundary of the residential property. Screening shall also be provided where a non-residential use is across the street from a residential zone, but not on that side of a non- residential use considered to be the front (as determined by the City Planner). All the fencing and screening specifically required by this Ordinance shall be subject to Section 1216.05 and shall consist of either a fence or a green belt planting strip as provided for below.

1. A green belt planting strip shall consist of evergreen trees and/or deciduous trees and plants and shall be of sufficient width and density to provide an effective visual screen. This planting strip shall be designed to provide complete visual screening to a minimum height of six (6) feet. Earth mounding or berms may be used but shall not be used to achieve more than three (3) feet of the required screen. The planting plan and type of plantings shall require the approval of the City Council.

2. A required screening fence shall be constructed of masonry, brick, wood or metal. Such fence shall provide a solid screening effect to six (6) feet in height. The design and materials used in constructing a required screening fence shall be subject to the approval of the City Council. Fences must comply with the requirements of Section 1218.01 Fence Regulation.

B. Landscaping. Prior to approval of a building permit, all uses shall be subject to mandatory landscape plan and specification requirements. Said landscape plan shall be developed with an emphasis upon the boundary or perimeter of the proposed site at points adjoining other property to screen the structure from adjacent existing and future uses and to buffer garage areas, lighting, fencing, mechanical equipment, and other utilitarian type elements. Except as may be recommended by the City Forester and the City Planner and approved by the City Council, all landscaping incorporated in said plan that is required for screening shall conform to the following standards and criteria:

1. All plants must be at least equal the following minimum size:



Potted/Bare Root

Balled and Burlapped


Shade Trees*


2 in. diameter


2 in. diameter

Half Trees (Flowering



Crabs, Russian Olive,



Hawthorn, etc.)

6-7 feet high

1-1/2 in. diameter

Evergreen Trees


3-4 feet high

Tall Shrubs and Hedge



Material (Evergreen



or Deciduous)

3-4 feet high

3-4 feet high

Low Shrubs-Deciduous

18-24 inch

24-30 inch



18-24 inch potted

24-30 inch

Evergreens 18-24 inch potted 18-24 inch


* Type and mode are dependent upon time of planting season, availability, and site conditions (soils, climate, ground water, man-made irrigation, grading, etc.)


2. Spacing.

a. Plant material centers shall not be located closer than three (3) feet from the fence line or property line and shall not be planted to conflict with public plantings based on the judgment of the City Tree Inspector.

b. Where plant materials are planted in two or more rows, plantings shall be staggered in rows unless otherwise approved by the City Tree Inspector.

c. Where massing of plants or screening is intended, large deciduous shrubs shall not be planted more than four (4) feet on center, and/or evergreen shrubs shall not be planted more than three (3) feet on center.


Deciduous Trees:


Ash, Marshall Seedless/Summit




Fraxinus pennsylvania spp.

Beech, blue

Carpinus caroliniana

Birch, river

Betula nigra

Coffee-tree, Kentucky

Gymnocladus dioicus


Malus spp.

Ginkgo (male tree)

Ginkgo biloba


Celtis occidentalis


Gleditsia triacanthos spp.


Ostrya virginiana

Lindens, Greenspire/Redmond

Tilia spp.

Maples, amur/black/Norway/



Acer spp.


pin/northern red/pin/



Quercus spp.

Plum, American/Canada

Prunus spp.


Evergreen Trees:



Arborvitae (white cedar) Fir, Douglas


Thuja spp.

Pseudotsuga menziesii glauca


Juniperus spp.


Pinus spp.


Picea spp.

Yew, Japanese

Taxus cuspidata

3. Types of New Trees. Plantings, suitable trees include but are not limited to:

Oaks, bur/chestnut/northern

4. Design

a. The landscape plan shall show site amenities, (i.e., composition of plant materials, and/or creative grading, decorative lighting, exterior sculpture, walls, gazebos, trellises, etc.) which are largely intended for aesthetic purposes.

b. All areas within the property lines (or beyond, if site grading extends beyond) shall be treated. All exterior areas not paved or designated as drives, parking, patios or walkways must be planted into ornamental vegetation (lawns, ground covers, grasses, perennial flowers, trees or shrubs) unless otherwise approved by the City Forester.

c. Turf slopes in excess of 1:1 are prohibited, unless stabilized with erosion control blanket or sodded and staked.

d. All ground areas under the building roof overhang must be treated with a decorative mulch and/or foundation planting, unless gutters or some other means is used to prevent soil erosion from stormwater.

5. Landscape Guarantee. All new plants shall be guaranteed for two (2) full years from the time planting has been completed. All plants shall be alive and in satisfactory growth at the end of the guarantee period or be replaced.

6. Existing Trees. With respect to existing trees in a new development, or a site alteration or building expansion project, all trees on the site are to be saved which do not have to be removed for street, buildings, parking, utilities, drainage or active recreational purposes. Trees over six (6) inches in diameter, measured at five (5) feet above the ground, which are to remain, are to be marked with a red flag, and to be protected with snow fences or other suitable enclosure, prior to any excavation. Said protection plan shall be subject to the review and approval by the City Forester. The City may further require that the developer retain a professional forester to prepare a forest inventory and management plan for the development, in order to control and abate any existing or potential loss. In those instances where trees of over six (6) inches in caliper will be lost due to construction, the City Council may require the planting of new trees in an amount equal to or greater than the total caliper inches which will be removed.



Mechanical equipment located on the roof of any building and visible from the street level or from neighboring properties shall be screened with a material designed to blend harmoniously with the building's facing materials.Where buildings have exposure to buildings with higher elevation, roof equipment shall be totally screened or enclosed with a material to blend with the roof surface material.