Miami-Dade Legislative Item
File Number: 112616
   Clerk's Official Copy   

File Number: 112616 File Type: Ordinance Status: Adopted as amended
Version: 0 Reference: 11-68 Control: County Commission
File Name: REGULATING FENCES CHARGED WITH ELECTRICITY Introduced: 12/13/2011
Requester: NONE Cost: Final Action: 9/20/2011
Agenda Date: 9/20/2011 Agenda Item Number: 7A
Notes: THIS IS FINAL VERSION AS ADOPTED. ALSO SEE 112626. Title: ORDINANCE PERTAINING TO ZONING; REGULATING FENCES CHARGED WITH ELECTRICITY; AMENDING SECTION 33-11 OF THE CODE OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA; PROVIDING SEVERABILITY, INCLUSION IN THE CODE, AND AN EFFECTIVE DATE (SEE ORIGINAL ITEM UNDER FILE NO. 111576)
Indexes: ELECTRICAL FENCES
  ZONING
Sponsors: Bruno A. Barreiro, Prime Sponsor
Sunset Provision: No Effective Date: Expiration Date:
Registered Lobbyist: None Listed


Legislative History

Acting Body Date Agenda Item Action Sent To Due Date Returned Pass/Fail

County Attorney 12/13/2011 Assigned John D. Mc Innis

Board of County Commissioners 9/20/2011 7A AMENDED Adopted as amended P
REPORT: First Assistant County Attorney Abigail Price-Williams read into the record the title of the foregoing proposed ordinance. She noted the item had a proposed amendment. It was moved by Commissioner Barreiro that the Board of County Commissioners adopt the foregoing proposed ordinance. This motion was seconded by Commissioner Diaz, and the floor was opened for discussion. Assistant County Attorney Craig Coller stated that, pursuant to an amendment made at committee to clarify that the language pertained to a pulsating electric fence, the following amendments were recommended: 1. to add language on page two (2) under Subsection (ii) to insert “electrically charged secondary wire fences that are pulsating;” and 2. to add language on page two (2) under Subsection (k) to insert “or combination wire fence and electrically charged secondary wire fence that are pulsating.” In response to Chairman Martinez’s inquiries, Assistant County Attorney Coller confirmed that warning signs would be posted in three languages, and the liability remained with the property owner as the Board was only acting in a legislative capacity. In connection with Commissioner Moss’ questions regarding the inclusion of language to codify liability-related issues, Assistant County Attorney Coller explained that the County could not exclude itself from liability by simply making such a statement in the ordinance because the County’s liability under tort law and waiver of sovereign immunity was the same as that of an individual under similar circumstances. Commissioner Moss reiterated his question regarding whether language could be included in the proposed legislation to clarify that it was the intent of the County that the person who chose to erect the fence would be liable in case of an injury. Assistant County Attorney Coller replied that such language could be inserted into the legislation, and although it would not hurt, it would not necessarily insulate the County from liability. Commissioner Moss inquired whether Mr. Coller was aware of any cases which involved accidents in other jurisdictions with similar laws. Assistant County Attorney Coller replied that he was not aware of such a case, but he believed that representatives of the industry were present in the Chambers and could provide more accurate information on the use of these fences in other jurisdictions. Commissioner Barreiro concurred with the legal opinion provided by Assistant County Attorney Coller. Mr. Juan Mayol appeared before the Board on behalf of the industry, and he noted the word “pulsating” indicated the fences were non-lethal. He indicated that the industry was unaware of any serious cases of accidents in this regard, adding that the company retained ownership and the liability of the fences. Commissioner Heyman spoke in support of the foregoing proposed ordinance, pointing out that Section (k)(8) indicated a building permit was required. She noted the laws pertaining to that type of installation and signage would be upheld by the competent employees in the Miami-Dade Building Department. She advised this was a crime prevention tool, and the installers would adhere to the requirements of the law and its new provisions. There being no other comments from the members of the Board or the administration, the Board proceeded to vote on the foregoing ordinance as amended by roll call vote.

Legislative Text


TITLE
ORDINANCE PERTAINING TO ZONING; REGULATING FENCES CHARGED WITH ELECTRICITY; AMENDING SECTION 33-11 OF THE CODE OF MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA; PROVIDING SEVERABILITY, INCLUSION IN THE CODE, AND AN EFFECTIVE DATE

BODY

BE IT ORDAINED BY THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF MIAMIDADE COUNTY, FLORIDA:
Section 1. Section 33-11(g) of the Code of Miami-Dade County, Florida, is hereby amended to read as follows:1
Sec. 33-11. Fences, Walls, Bus Shelters and Hedges.

* * *
(g) Wire fences, barbed wire and electricity charged fences. Wire fences shall be permitted in all districts except where otherwise prohibited by this chapter. Barbed wire fences and fences charged with electricity shall be permitted only in the AU Zoning District, except as may be approved after public hearing and except>>:<<

>>i)<< [[that]] Barbed wire fences shall be permitted in the BU and IU Zones where such barbed wire is placed on an angle extension of not more than sixteen (16) inches on top of walls or fences at least six (6) feet in height. This extension shall contain no more than three (3) strands of barbed wire and shall not extend over official rights-of-way or over property under different ownership.

>>(ii) Electrically charged secondary wire fences that are pulsating shall be permitted in IU Districts where such fences conform with the requirements of Section 33-11(k).<<
(h) Heights in RU and EU-M Districts. In the RU and EU-M Districts, the height of any fence, or wall shall not exceed six (6) feet. In the RU and EU-M Districts, the height of any hedge shall not exceed seven (7) feet. In the RU-5 and RU-5A Districts, fences, walls and hedges shall conform to these regulations, except as may otherwise specifically be required by the District regulations.

(i) Height in other EU, AU and GU Districts. In EU Districts other than EU-M, and in AU and GU Districts, the height of any fence, or wall shall not exceed six (6) feet when located within the required front or side street setback areas; In EU Districts other than EU-M, and in AU and GU Districts, the height of any hedge shall not exceed seven (7) feet when located within the required front or side street setback areas. At other points in such districts, fences, walls or hedges shall not exceed eight (8) feet in height. The Director may authorize hedges of a greater height for windbreaks for groves when necessary to protect same.

(j) Height in BU and IU Districts. In the BU and IU Districts, the height of any wire fence shall not exceed eight (8) feet when located within the required front or side street setback areas or when located between the building line and other property lines. Walls and hedges, when located within the required front or side street setback areas shall not exceed four (4) feet in height. When located between the building line and other property lines, walls and hedges shall not exceed eight (8) feet in height. >>It is provided, however, that electrically charged secondary wire fences in IU Districts shall not exceed ten (10) feet or two (2) feet above the height of primary perimeter fence, whichever is lower.<<

(k) IU Districts, fence in lieu of wall. In IU Districts, a wire fence >>or combination wire fence and electrically charged secondary wire fence that is pulsating<< shall be permitted in lieu of a masonry wall as required in the [[Industrial]] >>IU<< Districts under the following conditions:

(1) That the property concerned is zoned industrial and the adjacent property, either abutting on or across the street from where the fence is to be erected is zoned industrial.

(2) The storage within such fences be limited to vehicles, equipment and new materials.

(3) That all required parking be excluded from the fenced-in area, unless otherwise approved by the Director.

(4) Where abutting property is other than industrial, or where the property on the street opposite the industrial site concerned is zoned other than industrial, a concrete wall will be erected as otherwise provided for in this chapter.

>>(5) Electrically charged secondary wire fences shall be completely surrounded by a non-electrical fence or wall located between the electrically charged wire fence and the perimeter of the property; and

(6) The height of the electrically charged secondary wire fence shall not exceed ten (10) feet or two (2) feet above the height of a non-electrical perimeter fence, whichever is lower; and

(7) Electrically charged wire fences shall be clearly identified with warning signs that read: “Warning - Electric Fence”. Such warning signs in three languages, English, Spanish and Creole, shall be posted on the electrically charged fence at least five (5) feet above finished grade and spaced no greater than sixty (60) feet apart; and

(8) A Building permit shall be required prior to installing an electrically pulsating charged wire fence. Said fence must meet all applicable life-safety codes.

It is provided, however, that the limitations set forth in this section for electrically charged fences shall not apply to United States Military Bases.<<

Section 2. If any section, subsection, sentence, clause or provision of this ordinance is held invalid, the remainder of this ordinance shall not be affected by such invalidity.
Section 3. It is the intention of the Board of County Commissioners, and it is hereby ordained that the provisions of this ordinance, including any sunset provision, shall become and be made a part of the Code of Miami-Dade County, Florida. The sections of this ordinance may be renumbered or relettered to accomplish such intention, and the word “ordinance” may be changed to “section,” “article,” or other appropriate word.
Section 4. This ordinance shall become effective ten (10) days after the date of enactment unless vetoed by the Mayor, and if vetoed, shall become effective only upon an override by this Board.


1 Words stricken through and/or [[double bracketed]] shall be deleted. Words underscored and/or >>double arrowed<< constitute the amendment proposed. Remaining provisions are now in effect and remain unchanged.



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