City of Spokane

Spokane Municipal Code

***Note: Many local criminal codes can now be located under Chapter 10.60 SMC while others are now cited under the Revised Code of Washington (RCW), which was incorporated into the municipal code in 2022. (See SMC 10.58.010). Code Enforcement, including Noise Control and Animal Regulations are located in Chapters 10.62 through 10.74.

Title 17C
Chapter 17C.124
Section 17C.124.310

Title 17C Land Use Standards

Chapter 17C.124 Downtown Zones

Section 17C.124.310 Fences
  1. Purpose.

The fence standards promote the positive benefits of fences without negatively impacting the community or endangering public or vehicle safety. Fences near streets are kept low in order to allow visibility into and out of the site and to ensure visibility for motorists.

  1. Types of Fences.

The standards apply to walls, fences, and screens of all types whether open, solid, wood, metal, wire, masonry, or other material.

  1. Location, Height, and Design.
    1. Fencing along streets, alleys, and pedestrian connections. No fence over three and one-half feet in height is allowed within the right-of-way or the required sidewalk width of SMC 17C.124.230.
      1. Measured from the lot line or required sidewalk width, fencing up to six feet high is allowed within the first two feet behind the lot line or required sidewalk width. Greater than two feet back from the street lot line and the required sidewalk width; fencing is subject to the building heights for the zone.
      1. Within two feet of a pedestrian connection through the interior of a site or block, fences are limited to three and one-half feet in height.
    1. Fencing shall be behind any required parking lot or site perimeter landscaping.
    1. Fencing Material and Color.

Colors shall complement the primary color of the development and shall not be so extreme in contrast or intensity that the color competes with the building for attention. Proposed fencing materials and colors that differ from these standards are subject to an administrative design review process.

      1. Fence color within the public right-of-way or visible from streets shall be a dark material, preferable black or dark matte finish earth tones. Dark earth tone colored fence materials are preferred. (P)
      1. Fencing shall be of a durable material. (P)
      1. Fence materials within the public right-of-way or within eight feet of a street lot line may be wrought iron or similar in appearance, aluminum, metal, or other durable material that meets the objective. (P)
      1. Walls visible from streets shall be masonry, stone, or brick construction. Masonry walls shall have a stucco finish or a textured manufactured finish such as “split face” or “fluted” block. (P)
      1. Chain link fencing is not allowed that is visible from and/or adjacent to a public street. Chain link fencing must be painted or vinyl coated and all part must be a uniform dark matte color such as black or other dark color.
    1. Sight-obscuring Fences and Walls.

Sight-obscuring fences, walls, and other structures over three and one-half feet high and visible from a street are subject to SMC 17C.124.570, Treating Blank Walls – Building Design.

  1. Prohibited Fences.
  1. No person may erect or maintain a fence or barrier consisting of or containing barbed, razor, concertina, or similar wire. Three strands of barbed wire may be placed atop a lawful fence if the fence is not visible from an adjacent street or is placed behind a sight-obscuring fence or wall. The fence must be placed upon private property.
  1. No person may maintain a fence or barrier charged with electricity.
  1. A fence, wall, or other structure shall not be placed within a public right-of-way without an approved covenant as provided in SMC 17G.010.160.
  1. No permanent fence may reduce the required sidewalk width.
  1. Visibility at Intersections.
    1. A fence, wall, hedge, or other improvement may not be erected or maintained at the corner of a lot so as to obstruct the view of travelers upon the streets.
    1. Subject to the authority of the traffic engineer to make adjustments and special requirements in particular cases, all fences, vegetation, and other features within the Clear View Triangle defined in SMC 17A.020.030 shall be maintained to keep a vertical clear view zone between three and eight feet from ground level above the curb

Date Passed: Monday, January 11, 2016

Effective Date: Wednesday, February 24, 2016

ORD C35346 Section 8