The edge of the pavement in Old Fig does not define property lines. The County owns large pieces of our front yards. On Van Ness the property lines are sixty feet from the center of the roadway. On other streets the lines are not quite so deep; typically 35 feet from the road center. Everywhere in this neighborhood the street trees plus some area behind them are on Fresno County property. No fences or other structures may be built in the County right of way. The trees in the County right of way belong to the County and may not be cut down without a permit. Landscaping in the County area, except where it might restrict visibility at an intersection is welcome.
Behind our property lines there is a required setback within which no structure or fence taller than three feet may be built. This setback varies from 20 to 35 feet depending on the particular street your property faces. Years ago the Home Owner's Association obtained a blanket variance for homes on Gettysburg, Ashlan, Maroa and Palm that allow fences up to a maximum of six feet within the setback (but not the County right of way) to shield the homes there from the heavier traffic on those streets. No other streets have such variances.
For corner lots, side yard setbacks are also prescribed. These setbacks vary radically depending on your street. Before you plan any building project, please check with the Zoning Division of the Planning and Resource Department of Fresno County at (559) 262-4211 for the particular setbacks for your lot. It could save you a lot of time, effort and money.
For corner properties, not only do the specific front and side yard prohibitions apply, but there are specific restrictions for the corner setback. This setback is typically a triangular area at the street corner, defined by 30 foot lines drawn from the edge of each street pavement. While landscaping is certainly allowed in the cutoff areas, a driver's visibility at the intersection cannot be impaired. No high shrubs are allowed, and trees within the area must be pruned so that all limbs are above seven feet from the ground. No fences are allowed in the cutoff area.
NEIGHBORHOOD BEAUTIFICATION OVERLAY DISTRICT (NBOD)
Fresno County Neighborhood Beautification Overlay District description:
Zoning Regulations Summary
The major components of this ordinance include:
Solid waste containers: Solid waste containers may not be left within a front or a street side yard other than during collection periods. A collection period is defined as the twenty-four hours prior and the twenty-four hours after the normal collection pickup. This means that residents must place their trash cans and waste containers in their side or rear yards at all other times.
Parked vehicles: It is unlawful to keep, store or maintain any vehicles, trailers or boats on any front or street side yard, "lawn" or "landscaped" area.
Yard maintenance: It is unlawful to keep, store or allow dead trees or weeds (which constitute a fire hazard); or to keep rubbish, litter or items or machinery, refuse, scrap metal, etc, (which constitutes an unsightly appearance) on residentially zoned property.
Landscaping: Residents are required to maintain and irrigate trees and shrubs within their front yards and within the County owned landscaped areas abutting the street.
Street trees: Before any tree (with a diameter of six inches or more) is removed from the County right-of-way area, a permit must be approved by the County Department of Planning and Resource Management.
If you have concerns about a neighbor's yard, talking with your neighbor is certainly the best approach. The Beautification ordinances are not intended to replace honest discussion and negotiation between neighbors. Violations of the Beautification ordinances are pursued on a complaint only basis. All information on complaint forms is confidential. To file a complaint, contact the County Department of Planning and Resource Management Code Enforcement:
Phone: (559) 600-4550
Fax: (559) 455-4700)
Download the form from the Fresno County website. At that site, just click on "forms" then "print" and either fax or mail the completed form to the address on the bottom of the form.