A fence permit is required any time a fence is being replaced or installed on a corner lot; if you have a swimming pool in the rear yard; if you are changing the height, location, or materials of the fence (going from chain link to wood or from wood to wrought iron, etc.); or if you are installing a fence where one has never existed before. Many subdivisions have specific requirements for fencing materials. Some of these rules are City Ordinances and some are private deed/HOA restrictions. The City will enforce City Ordinances, but it is the homeowner's responsibility to know and abide by private deed/HOA restrictions.
In order to obtain a permit, we request that you bring a copy of your property survey (typically a legal-size sheet of paper that shows the shape of your lot, the shape of your house on the lot, any accessory buildings that were in existence when the survey was done, and distances to property lines marked from the house and accessory structures; as well as the legal description of the home) which should be in with your closing documents. However, if you do not have a copy of the survey, we ask that you draw to scale (1" = 20') the shape of your lot, the shape of your house on the lot, any accessory buildings that are in existence, and distances to property lines marked from the house and accessory structures. Whichever you provide, you will need to mark on the plan where you wish to install the fencing; additionally, please mark the location of your gates. NOTE: If you are installing a fence over your driveway and wish to install gates that swing open, you may not allow those gates to swing into the right-of-way (or into the alley).
When installing a fence on a corner lot with an alley (for fencing that you cannot see through, i.e. wood privacy fences, vinyl fencing, stone or brick fencing) or street to street access, you are required to install what we refer to as a visibility clip. Detailed specifications are given at the Building Inspection Department when the permit is issued. (See the attached Fence Requirements handout above.)
Fences in a residential area may be as tall as eight (8) feet. Fences are measured from grade (the ground) on the inside of the fence.
Fences in the Front Yard
A fence made of wood or wrought iron which is less than 3½ feet in height is allowed in the front yard. A minimum of four (4) inch wide vertical space per each linear foot and a minimum of one (1) foot wide horizontal space between horizontal portions of the fence are required.
A fence made of brick or masonry (excluding cinder block) which is less than 2½ feet in height is allowed in the front yard.
Permits are required, and the cost of the permit is the same as a fence in the rear yard or a retaining wall.