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City Council cracks down on fence materials

By JEFF BROWN - jbrown@shelbynews.com

Following the Shelbyville Plan Commission’s recent recommendation to amend the Unified Development Ordinance with regard to fences, the City Council approved it Monday night. 

The change in the ordinance language came about from recent events where property owners were building privacy fences from recycled sheets of metal or plastic. 

Fences being built that were not aesthetically pleasing or consistent with the character of the neighborhood had occurred. That’s when the language of the Fence, Hedge, and Wall Standards policy was addressed, according to Plan Commission Director Bryant Niehoff at last week’s Plan Commission meeting. While height of the fence and location were part of the language, the materials used for fencing was not.

Permitted materials for fencing include wood, composite wood, stone, masonry, wrought iron, decorative metal, PVC, vinyl, zinc or power coated chain link, and galvanized chain link. 

Now prohibited materials are fences and walls with chicken wire or mesh not within wooden framed panels, mesh wire, agricultural wire, metal or plastic slats within chain links, standing-seam metal panels, barbed wire, above grade electrified wires, razor wire, glass, sharpened top spikes, or similar hazardous materials.

In other updates to the Unified Development Ordinance:

n Local regulations were changed for the preparation of drainage reports. Under current state law, Registered Land Surveyors are strictly prohibited from performing drainage studies and certifying drainage reports. The skill is to be handled by a Professional Engineer licensed by the State. Currently, Professional Engineers and Registered Land Surveyors are allowed to prepare and certify a drainage report for Plan Commission approval. This work will now be limited to Professional Engineers;

n Plan Commission staff prepare legal notices and provide them to the petitioner to then submit as a legal ad to The Shelbyville News. But after several instances of petitioners not following through with public notice, hearings were delayed and meetings were canceled. To eliminate this problem, the planning staff will draft and submit the legal ad to The Shelbyville News for publication.

The City Council also approved a funds request transfer of $6,400 by the Street Department to cover the latest dumping fee bill for CGS.