Guidelines for Fences and Hedges
Wellington's Hedges and Fences Ordinance 2021-18 went into effect on October 26, 2021.
Ordinance 2021-18 was passed as a means of creating a uniform appearance along all Wellington thoroughfares.
Major thoroughfares (major roads) shall be any roadway identified as Collector or Minor Arterial Roads on Figure 2 – Wellington’s Functional Road Classifications, in Article 9 of the Land Development Regulation.
As a quick summary of Ordinance 2021-18, it provides for a single uniform hedge height, identifies five (5) specific hedge materials, provides for fencing setbacks and addresses maintenance requirements, all with the intention of creating a uniform, healthy appearance of hedges along Wellington thoroughfares.
All legal non-conforming fence and hedge types along a major thoroughfare must be replaced by December 31, 2026, with an approved fence and hedge type.
WHAT HAS CHANGED?
- All fences and walls shall be setback a minimum of five (5) feet from the property line or from the roadway easement when adjacent to a sidewalk or a public right-of-way to accommodate the required landscaping. A mesh privacy screen may be permitted on a chain link or aluminum rail fence to obtain privacy while the required hedge material is maturing. The mesh privacy screen shall be installed for the full length and height of the fence, kept in good repair with no holes, and shall be black, green, or brown to match the fence color. The mesh privacy screen shall be removed within 30 days of the required hedge achieving the height of the fence.
- The fence may include a gate and an opening in the hedge to allow the use of the gate. The gate shall be the same material as the fence.
- The finished side of all walls shall face the street or adjacent property. Walls shall be masonry, concrete, or brick. All masonry and concrete walls shall have a smooth finished coating on both sides and be painted on the sides that face the street or adjacent property with a non-glossy finish, shall match the color of any existing adjacent wall within the subdivision, as approved by the Architectural Review Board. If there is no adjacent wall or the property is not of an overall subdivision, the non-glossy finish and color shall comply with the Color Chart approved by the Architectural Review Board.
- For properties abutting a major thoroughfare, the hedge adjacent to a major thoroughfare shall be maintained at eight (8) feet high. When a hedge is associated with a fence or wall, not along a major thoroughfare, the minimum hedge height shall be maintained at the same height as the fence or wall.
- Hedge material shall be planted every three (3) feet on center, at a minimum height of 36 inches high at the time of planting, or as otherwise appropriate based upon commonly accepted professional landscaping practices. The Planning, Zoning, and Building Director may waive the minimum size requirements if there is a scarcity of plant material due to hurricanes, drought, or other natural disasters.
- Newly planted hedges have three (3) years from the time of installation to grow to the required maintained hedge height.
- Hedges that are determined to be more than 30% deteriorated, dead, or diseased must be fully replaced and be placed in the proper setback.
- Hedges with more than 18 inches of the visible trunk at the base must be fully replaced with an approved hedge material and placed in the proper setback.
- All properties that abut a major thoroughfare, even without a fence or wall, shall install and maintain a hedge at a height of eight (8) feet.
- Fences, walls, and hedges shall not be located closer than five (5) feet back from the front plane on either side of the principal structure unless granted by the Planning, Zoning, and Building Director to accommodate existing mechanical equipment such as air conditioning units and pool equipment.
- All legal non-conforming hedges shall be replaced by December 31, 2026, with one (1) of the five (5) required hedge materials. This includes the installation of hedges on properties that do not have a fence and about a major thoroughfare.
- Any repair or replacement of a fence, wall, or hedge shall comply with the regulations of the Land Development Regulation if the linear length of the area of the fence, wall, or hedge to be repaired/replaced is greater than 30% of the whole.
- A building permit shall be required for repair to a fence or wall when the damage exceeds 20%, or more, of the length of the fence or wall section. A section shall be defined as that portion of the fence or wall located on a given property line. The replaced section of the fence or wall shall match the color and material of the existing fence or wall.
- The finished side of all fences shall face the street or adjacent property.
- Irrigation shall be provided and maintained in working order for all hedges and plants along fences and walls. Irrigation shall be installed in a manner to guarantee the hedges outside the fence or wall receive proper irrigation.
- Maintenance of fences shall comply with the following:
- Fences and walls shall be maintained in good order and repair.
- Painted surfaces of fences, walls, and other surfaces associated with fences and/or walls shall not be faded and shall be free of discoloration, staining, or peeling.
- Surfaces of a wall or fence shall be cleaned or repainted if either of the following occurs:
When 10% or more of the surface is stained or discolored; or
When 5% or more of the paint is peeling off the surface.
- Any broken, missing, deteriorated, dilapidated, or otherwise damaged portion of a fence, including boards, posts, slats, rails, stiles, structural members or elements, or fittings and any broken, chipped, missing, deteriorated, dilapidated, or otherwise damaged portion of walls shall be replaced.
- Fences and walls shall be maintained in an upright and vertical position, shall not be allowed to lean or to otherwise be out of plumb, and not have the hedge and vegetation material support the fencing. Fence rails and posts shall be structurally sound and shall not be bent, twisted, warped, or otherwise misshaped
- If a hedge is determined to be more than 30% deteriorated, dead, or diseased it must be replaced. If a hedge shows more than 18 inches of the visible trunk at the base then the hedge has to be replaced with an approved hedge material.
Landscaping and hedges shall be maintained in a healthy condition and trimmed in a neat and orderly condition consistent with standard landscape practices.
The landscape bed on the thoroughfare must be mulched at all times.
- Fences may consist of wood, PVC, vinyl coated chain link, or aluminum railing.
- For wood fences, you may use shadow box and board-on-board fence type.
a) Wood fences shall be natural, clear-coat, or painted beige, gray, or white.
b) Wood fences within the EPA and along a major thoroughfare shall be natural, clear-coat, or painted black, gray, or white.
- For vinyl fences, you may use the Vinyl Estate Board type.
a) Permitted colors for vinyl fences are beige, brown or grey
b) Vinyl-coated chain link fence types are permitted uses but are subject to the following:
- Hedges are required for the entire perimeter of fence and must be placed on the outside of the fence when adjacent to a right of way.
- Permitted colors are black, green, or brown.
- Aluminum Railing fences are also permitted.
a) 2 , 3, and 4 rails aluminum railing are permitted
b) The permitted color option is black, bronze, or white
- All fence types shall require a hedge when adjacent to a thoroughfare with the exception of some fence types on properties located in the EPA. The finished side of the fence shall always face the adjacent property.