Guidelines for Hedges and Fences FAQS
- When does this Ordinance take effect?
Ordinance 2021-18 was passed on October 26, 2021. The regulations take effect on passage (October 26, 2021) except for non-conforming hedges and fences. Non-conforming hedges and fences have until December 31, 2026 to be replaced with the required hedges and fences (types, color, and material) or obtain Architectural Review Board (ARB) approval.
- Why was this ordinance passed?
Ordinance 2021-18 was passed as a means of creating a uniform appearance along all Wellington thoroughfares. Uniformity is a value-added appearance. A list of Wellington thoroughfares can be found in Figure 2- Wellington Functional Road Classifications in Article 9 of the Land Development Regulations.
- What happens if I need to remove a tree to install a new fence?
If a tree is being removed from your property you must complete a Tree/Vegetation Removal application. This form can be found by clicking this link: Form Center • Wellington, FL • CivicEngage (wellingtonfl.gov)
- How will these new regulations be enforced and when?
Code Compliance Department will be enforcing the regulations with particular attention to fence setbacks first. As time progresses, hedge height and materials will be enforced. If a property has a non-conforming hedge material that is kept in good condition as required by the LDR, then the property owner may apply for an Alternative Material request with the Architectural Review Board (ARB).
- How does this affect me?
All properties whose rear or side property lines abuts a thoroughfare are affected by this update. Ordinance 2021-18 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 village thoroughfares.
- What are the five (5) required hedges along Wellington’s thoroughfares and why were they chosen?
The five (5) required hedge materials along a thoroughfare are Cocoplum, Green Arboricola, Podocarpus, Clusia, and Simpson Stopper. Cocoplum, Green Arboricola, Podocarpus have been on Wellington’s approved hedge material list prior to incorporation. Clusia hedges have become very popular throughout Wellington, specifically in the Equestrian Preserve Area, due to its significant height and width. Simpson Stopper is a native plant and a great alternative to Ficus.
- What if I abut a thoroughfare and don’t have a fence or hedge?
Property owners without a fence or hedge along a thoroughfare are now required to have a hedge installed that shall be maintained at eight (8) feet in height and be one (1) of the (5) following species: Cocoplum, Simpson Stopper, Clusia, Podocarpus, or Green Arbicola.
- At what height do hedges on thoroughfare have to be?
Hedges on thoroughfares have to be maintained at eight (8) feet in height.
- What can I do if my hedge is not one of the required hedge material?
Property owners may apply to the Architectural Review Board (ARB) to request an Alternative Materials approval to allow for the non-conforming hedge material to remain as long as it is and continues to be kept in good condition as required by the Land Development Regulations (LDR).
- What are the new hedge regulations?
Hedge material shall be planted every three (3) feet on the center, at a minimum height of 36 inches high at the time of planting. Newly planted hedges have three (3) years from the time of installation to grow to the required maintained hedge height of eight (8) feet. All fence material that faces a right-of-way, including fencing not located adjacent to a thoroughfare, are required to have hedging, unless specifically exempt from the code.
- Where can I get more information for fence types, color, and materials?
The Architectural Review Board (ARB) has adopted Fence Designs and Materials list that provides the types, color, and materials of fences that are permitted within Wellington. Please contact the Planning and Zoning Department for the approved list.
- What are the new maintenance regulations?
- Fences may not be supported by hedges, dilapidated fences will need to be replaced if determined it cannot stand on its own. Building permit require.
- Hedges that are determined to be more than 30% deteriorated, dead, or diseased must be replaced.
- If sections of the fencing or a wall are repaired, the repaired section (less than 30%) shall match the color and material of the existing fence or wall.
- Existing hedges with more 18 inches of visible trunk at the base must be replaced with an approved hedge material
- Irrigation is required in the landscape bed to ensure healthy hedge growth.
- Landscape bed must have mulch at all times.