No, the City does not have an ordinance regulating property line fences or private disputes between neighbors. And does not have an ordinance requiring property owners to share fence repair or rebuilding costs for any reason. Private disputes between neighbors are considered private nuisances and private nuisances are administered in Solano County Civil Court.
However, the City investigates all Code Enforcement related complaints received. The first step in the scheduled investigation of a complaint is to determine if a Public Nuisance exists. If it is determined that a Public Nuisance exists then the next step is to determine if there is a violation of the Uniform Housing Code or the Abatement of Dangerous Building Code. In general a property owner in California is required to maintain his or her property under the laws that were adopted at the time a home was built. If not maintained then more than likely a Public Nuisance exists but not always. State law requires that any remodeling done to a property must meet the Building Codes in place just for the work shown on the permit at the time of permit application. The entire property is not required to meet current code standard when a maintenance, remodel or repair permit is issued, just the work being performed must meet current law.
This is an important concept to understand, especially when it comes to Single Family private swimming pools or spas. Pools or spas for which a new permit, alteration or repair permit were issued prior to January 1, 2018 are required to have one pool barrier if no remodel work has been done on the pool or spa. Pools or spas (without a lockable cover) for which a new permit, alteration or repair permit is issued after January 1, 2018 are required to have two pool barriers. The key to understanding the Code enforcement issue is the date of the last permit issued for work associated with the pool or spa. If not maintained under those code requirements then it is likely a Public Nuisance exists.
Statewide pool barrier requirements began on January 1, 1998. That law said that whenever a building permit is issued for
construction of a new swimming pool at a private, single-family home, the
pool shall be equipped with at least one of 5 specified safety features,
including: (1) a pool enclosure; (2) a safety pool cover; (3) exit alarms on
doors providing direct access to the pool; (4) self-closing, self-latching
device with a release mechanism on doors providing direct access to the
pool; or (5) other means of protection. Permits issued between January 1 1998 and December 31 2006 must be maintained to meet this law. If not maintained under those code requirements then it is likely a Public Nuisance exists.
The Pool Safety Act was modified in 2007 and it said; on and after
January 1, 2007, whenever a building permit is issued for construction of
a new swimming pool or spa (without an lockable cover), or for the structural remodeling of an
existing pool or spa (without a lockable cover), at a private, single-family home, the pool shall be
equipped with at least 1 of the 7 drowning prevention safety features,
including the 5 devices specified above, except that a device as specified
by an ordinance governing child access to pools would no longer be an
authorized device and a spa must also be covered with a lockable or
latchable cover, plus (6) removable mesh fencing meeting standards of the
American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM); and (7) swimming
pool alarms meeting ASTM standards. The bill would provide that prior to
the issuance of any final approval for the completion of permitted
construction or remodeling work, the local building official shall inspect to
ensure that the above standards are met and that the drowning prevention
safety features are in good working condition. Permit issued between January 1, 2007 and December 31, 2017 must be maintained to meet this law.
The pool or spa (without a lockable cover meeting ASTM F1346) requirement for two barriers beginning January 1 2018 is as follows:
Health and Safety Code 115922. (a) Except as provided in Section 115925, when a building permit is issued for the construction of a new swimming pool or spa or the remodeling of an existing swimming pool or spa at a private single-family home, the respective swimming pool or spa shall be equipped with at least two of the following seven drowning prevention safety features:
(1) An enclosure that meets the requirements of Section 115923 and isolates the swimming pool or spa (without a lockable cover meeting ASTM F1346) from the private single-family home.
(2) Removable mesh fencing that meets American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) Specifications F2286 standards in conjunction with a gate that is self-closing and self-latching and can accommodate a key lockable device.
(3) An approved safety pool cover, as defined in subdivision (d) of Section 115921.
(4) Exit alarms on the private single-family home’s doors that provide direct access to the swimming pool or spa. The exit alarm may cause either an alarm noise or a verbal warning, such as a repeating notification that “the door to the pool is open.”
(5) A self-closing, self-latching device with a release mechanism placed no lower than 54 inches above the floor on the private single-family home’s doors providing direct access to the swimming pool or spa.
(6) An alarm that, when placed in a swimming pool or spa, will sound upon detection of accidental or unauthorized entrance into the water. The alarm shall meet and be independently certified to the ASTM Standard F2208 “Standard Safety Specification for Residential Pool Alarms,” which includes surface motion, pressure, sonar, laser, and infrared type alarms. A swimming protection alarm feature designed for individual use, including an alarm attached to a child that sounds when the child exceeds a certain distance or becomes submerged in water, is not a qualifying drowning prevention safety feature.
(7) Other means of protection, if the degree of protection afforded is equal to or greater than that afforded by any of the features set forth above and has been independently verified by an approved testing laboratory as meeting standards for those features established by the ASTM or the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).
(b) Before the issuance of a final approval for the completion of permitted construction or remodeling work, the local building code official shall inspect the drowning safety prevention features required by this section and, if no violations are found, shall give final approval.
Please note that it is only Spas that do not have a lockable cover meeting the requirements of ASTM F1346 that must have two barriers.