The city of Aurora has made many efforts to beautify our city. Street median landscaping, the Art in Public Places Program and requirements that developers provide landscaping along major thoroughfares are evident in a drive through Aurora. Many Aurora neighborhoods built before these efforts began have neighborhood perimeters lined with 6-foot wooden fences. These fences create a "canyon effect" along street corridors, and over time, these fences have deteriorated.
As property owners replace sections of these fences, an unsightly patchwork of old and new fencing is created. With extensive input from neighborhood groups, Aurora developed the Neighborhood Fence Replacement Program, offering numerous masonry or composite-material fence styles that are much more durable than wood fences.
This program offers two options for financing the fence. The organization of a General Improvement District (GID) is initiated by a petition signed by 30 percent of the registered voters within the GID. Following presentation of the petition and a public hearing before the City Council, the question of organizing the GID and of taxing the property owners to pay for the fence is presented to the voters at a November election.
The organization of a Special Improvement District (SID) is initiated first by an interest petition signed by one-third of the property owners within the SID and, second, by a final petition signed by those property owners within the SID responsible for two-thirds of the estimated cost of the fence. An SID is available for masonry fences only. Following presentation of the petition and a public hearing, the SID is organized and the fence is built. Following a second public hearing, each property in the SID is assessed for a share of the actual cost of the fence.
To learn more about the fence replacement program, contact your neighborhood liaison online or at 303.739.7280.
View the Fence Replacement Brochure
Masonry fences require minimal maintenance
How Your Neighborhood Would Benefit
Many neighborhoods in Aurora and the metro area are realizing the benefits of masonry fences along major streets. While a typical wooden fence has a life span of 15 to 20 years, masonry fences are highly durable and will last for decades.
Masonry fences also require minimal maintenance, unlike wooden fences that require staining, picket replacement and regular inspection to ensure that they are holding up in the elements. Masonry fences are extremely attractive and help reflect noise from traffic.
A number of styles of masonry and composite-material fence design have been developed by the city to assure consistent quality and a pleasing appearance, while at the same time providing a range of cost options. Having a variety of styles and colors to choose from ensures that each neighborhood will have its own identity and won't look exactly like the neighborhood across the street.
Each group of property owners will select a design for the border of its neighborhood or neighborhoods. In addition, and where appropriate, landscaping between the sidewalk and the fence enhance the appearance of masonry fences.
Morterless Post fence
The fence program is a way for interested neighborhoods to replace their fence with the city serving as a banker and project manager. The city will advance the money to build the fence. The fence will be owned by the city, and the city will be reimbursed through either a Special Improvement District or a General Improvement District. Each neighborhood can decide which financial option to chose. After the masonry fence is built, the property owners within the district will be charged the cost of the fence on their annual property tax bill.
Masonry fences will be located as close as possible to the property line. However, a masonry fence foundation is wide enough that it may require an additional easement from property owners.
In addition, foundations must avoid buried utilities, and that could require shifting the masonry fences further onto resident lots. Every attempt to avoid disrupting existing landscaping will be made. In some cases, however, this may be unavoidable. Residents may petition the city to create one of two types of special districts as set forth by Colorado law.
The masonry fence will be owned by the city and district property owners will be charged a maintenance fee in perpetuity (for the life of the fence) on their annual property tax bills. The maintenance cost, which is traditionally a minimal amount, may vary from year to year is set annually by the Director of Public Works Department.
Precast Concrete Panel fence
The Fence Replacement Process
The Neighborhood Fence Replacement Program is based on neighborhood initiation and support. The process steps are as follows:
1. Form a Neighborhood Fence Committee responsible for spearheading the project through its fruition and providing ongoing coordination and outreach to neighborhood residents.
2. Hold neighborhood meetings to discuss the program and determine if there is support.
3. Work with the city’s neighborhood liaisons to organize neighborhood-wide meetings so residents can become familiar with the program and process.
4. Organize a meeting between the Fence Committee and the city’s Public Works Department to review photos and the costs for the fence design.
5. Determine which financing option to use:
• Special Improvement District (for masonry fences) or
• General Improvement District (for all fence types)
6. Prepare and circulate appropriate petition for the selected financing option.