Can I put a fence around my front yard?
What do i need to know about putting in a front yard fence
We have been getting a lot of new requests from residents wanted to fence in their front yards. It is important for these home and business owners to research the rules for their specific city and property before adding a fence to the front yard. They need to ensure that the style and maximum fence height that they are want to install is compliant. The California fence laws vary by each location. Each city and county planning departments have their own specific set of ordinances regulating this. You can find a list of links to local fence rules and planning departments on our website as well. As well, you might have an HOA or similar association that has specific requirements.
In this article I hope to be able to shed some light on the subject and point you in the right direction to obtain the needed information.
Front Yard Fence Height and Style
As you are trying to decide on a yard fence style, typically the maximum height for a fence in the front yard is 3 or 4 feet tall depending on the city for a non-see through fence such as a wood or vinyl fencing. At the same time, in most areas you are able to install a 6 foot tall ornamental iron see through fence in the same front yard setback.
No matter the material, many fence ordinances require that fences in the “front yard setback” by of an open face style which means that you can see through them. Maybe this means something see through like a iron fence, a hog wire fence, or a short white picket fence depending on the city laws. Dending on the rules your front yard fencing may be able to be wooden fence like a 3 foot tall horizontal fence. Many of our customers are confused by this because they want to increase privacy in their front yards and the open or short fence styles do not help them achieve this. To give you a little explanation as to why cities have their ordinances this way, let me explain what I have been told.
As it has been explained to us, the reason that city planning offices want this more open or shorter fence styles is to increase visibility a driver has pulling in and out of the driveway. Per say, if you can’t see a child riding his bike on the sidewalk till its to late, tragedies will happen. Additionally, many city planning departments are trying to keep an open look and feel of their residential communities. Their ordinances help maintain the community feel, versus it starting to look like a bunch of cubed off compounds.
City Fence Ordinances
Each city and county have specific ordinances that define the maximum fence heights and styles of fence that are allowed in all yard fencing including front yards. You will find that in general Ornamental Iron fences are allowed to be taller than wood or vinyl privacy fences. Additionally, you might find in general that a lot of cities are moving away from allowing chain link in front yard setbacks.
Make sure to check the Sacramento setback requirements, or the city you reside in. Here are a few of the local cities that we get requests from recently and links to their city fence laws:
Ultimately, the specific regulations vary depending on where you live, which is why it’s always a good idea to double-check with your city planning department and HOA as you are coming up with yard fence ideas.
For more direct links to city planning departments, you can obtain more information here.
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