Government Affairs Update

Virginia Troi Hicks, Joint Government Affairs Director

Government Affairs Local Update – Nov. 28, 2018

From the Desk of Troi Hicks
Joint Government Affairs Director 

Proposed Winston-Salem Fence Ordinance: In an effort to regulate the appearance of fences and maintain visibility in public right-of-ways, the City of Winston-Salem has drafted an ordinance pertaining to fences. The proposed ordinance specifies that the height standards apply to fences in front yards with an opacity of greater than 50%. Fences in front yards higher than 4 feet above grade will be permitted if no more than 50% of the fence is opaque. The draft ordinance includes the following provisions:

  • Prohibits residential fences within public-right-of-way or on public utility easements without written permission, or in areas that would obstruct visibility for motorists at street intersections.
  • HeightProhibits installation of fence higher than 4 feet in front yard setback; prohibits fence higher than 8 feet in side or rear yard.
  • Materials: Ornamental iron, steel, or aluminum, wood, composite materials designed to appear as wood, metal, or masonry, chain-link, and vinyl fence panels are PERMITTED fencing materials. PROHIBITED materials include barbed wire, razor wire, concertina wire, and debris, junk, rolled plastic, sheet metal, untreated plywood, or waste materials.
  • Currently, the amortization period for removal of non-conforming fences is 6 months.

Enforcement of the ordinance would be complaint-driven. Temporary fences for construction purposes are exempted from the provisions in the ordinance.

The City is seeking public feedback on the ordinance. You can find the draft here. Please forward any comments or questions to me at

Downtown Streetscape Master Plan: WS/FC Planning is seeking input on improvements to Downtown. Please take a moment to complete a short survey to tell us your thoughts on sidewalks, lighting, parking, trees, and more in Downtown. The survey is available online at

For more information on the project, go to

Forsyth County UDO Update: Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Planning will be working in the next year to make updates to the Unified Development Ordinances. These updates are intended to make the UDO more user-friendly.  You can find an initial draft of the Code Assessment here, and more information about the project here.

System Development Fees: The new utility fee structure will go into effect on January 1, 2019. Click here to see the new fees.

Troi Hicks | Local Government Affairs Director


Mail:  4511 Weybridge Ln | Greensboro, NC 27407

Telephone: Office 336.808.4233 | Mobile 336.491.1316