Spotlight

Saving Trees During Construction

So you're building a new home but you love the older trees on the lot and don't want to lose them?

There are several ways to achieve your goal of retaining trees during construction.  The key to success is communication.  First, talk to your architect, and stress that keeping the mature trees on the lot is just as important as having the right kind of kitchen.  In fact, you may want to look for an architect who has experience designing homes with trees in mind.  Communication continues as plans are discussed with landscape architects, arborists, foresters, extension agents or other experts.

Communication with the actual builder is essential.  Many builders sympathize with the desire to save trees, but they may view it as too time-consuming or otherwise costly, or they may not know as much about tree-saving techniques as you do. In the Arbor Day Foundation tradition of honoring individuals and companies whose actions demonstrate high ideals in tree planting and care, an awards program was created in 1988 for builders and developers. To learn more about this program, or for more tips on how to save trees during construction, visit the Arbor Day Foundation Website.


Public SERVICES

Fence Permits

Fences are permitted in Kirkwood that adhere to the rules set forth in the Kirkwood Fence Code.

The intent and purpose of the Fence Code is to protect the public from the dangers of unsafe fences, safeguard and enhance private and public investment in property, and encourage effective fencing practice.

Permits

Permits are required for construction or reconstruction of any fence. Permit applications shall show height, type, construction, material, and location of fence relative to property lines. Permits may be obtained from the Building Commissioner’s Office located on the lower level of City Hall. Call 822-5823, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., for more information.

Site Plan

Fence permit applications shall include a site plan which adequately represents the premises and contains dimensions to physical features which are easily located on the premises. If a front yard fence or a fence near a public right-of-way is proposed, then the site plan shall include the location of the edge of the street pavement, curb, or sidewalk in relation to the fence. Although a spot survey is not required, it is recommended and will usually satisfy the site plan requirements when the location of the proposed fence is drawn on the survey.

Fee

The fence permit fee is $48.

General Fence Regulations

Materials:

• Fences shall not be constructed in any location of paper, cloth, canvas, bamboo, chicken coop wire, or barbed wire.

• Fences located between the street and a building in a residential area shall not be constructed of chain link wire, wire mesh, plastic mesh, or wooden slats.

• Fences shall not have electric current running through them.

• Fences shall not be constructed of a single or double wire.

• Fences in residential areas shall not contain barbed wire.

Height & Openness:

• Fences in residential areas shall not exceed 6 feet in height measured from the ground to the top of the fence. (Posts may be 6 inches higher than the top of the fence.)

• Fences in residential areas which are located in front of the residence shall not exceed 4 feet in height and must be at least 1/3 open. (The front of the residence is the area between the front of the house and the street to which the house is addressed.)

Location:

• Fences shall not be located within any public right-of-way.

• Fences shall be located at least 12 feet from the curb or edge of a street.

• Fences shall be located at least one foot from the edge of a public sidewalk or walkway.

• Fences shall be located at least 25 feet from the point of intersection of the curb or edge of any intersecting streets.

Other Fence Regulations

• Fences around an institution, park, playground, school, or commercial or industrial site shall not exceed 10 feet in height.

• Tennis court fences shall be of open mesh construction and shall not exceed 15 feet in height.

• The Planning and Zoning Commission or City Council may specify fence height and materials as part of a Site Plan Review or Special Use Permit.

• Public safety fences enclosing utilities, bridge abutments, retaining walls, culverts, walkways, and drainage channels are exempt from the fence ordinance.

• In non-residential zoning districts, barbed wire shall be at least 6 feet above grade and not adjacent to a street, sidewalk, or park.

• Swimming pools shall be enclosed with a fence at least 4 feet high with a self-latching and self-closing gate. (See Pool Regulations available at Building Commissioner’s office.)

Appeals & Variances

The Board of Adjustment may grant variances based on undue hardship. The fee for the Board of Adjustment to hear a variance is $240. Neighbors within 300 feet are notified and invited to the public hearing.

Additional Information

The Building Commissioner enforces the Kirkwood Fence Code. For more information on permit applications, requirements, or other Fence Code information, contact the Building Commissioner’s Office at 822-5823.