As most homeowners know – and definitely those living under the reign of an HOA – property additions, including fences, are usually subject to various rules and regulations. Otherwise, we’d live in a state of fence anarchy. This week we’ll look at a few of the fence codes in larger North Texas cities.
In Dallas, you don’t need a permit to build a fence, as long as it’s not higher than four feet in your front yard and six feet in your backyard. If you’re aiming for a really tall fence, and apply for a permit, keep in mind that codes state, “A fence over nine (9) feet in height is considered a structure and must be designed by a State of Texas registered Professional Engineer (Seal and signature required on plans).” Be ready to lay down some money – beyond the cost of materials – for this humongous fence.
Dallas wannabe fence owners also face restrictions on materials. The code states, “Barbed wire may not be used for fencing unless it is located 6 feet or more above grade and does not project beyond the property line.” If you live in a flood plain area, historic district, or a special zoning area called a “Planned Development District,” be ready for additional rules.
Fort Worth recognizes the difference between solid and open fences. You need a permit if you’re going to build a solid backyard fence that tops six feet, or an open fence taller than eight feet. You can build a front yard fence that’s up to four feet tall without a permit, but it must have an open design with 50% density. And no chain link in the front yard. Historic districts may have additional fencing regulations.
Lubbock lets you build a little higher. You don’t need a permit unless your fence tops seven feet. However, there are caveats about visibility areas. You can see drawings of allowed configurations, depending on whether you have a corner or mid-block lot, on the Lubbock government website here. For fences over seven feet tall, you’ll need to file two copies of a site plan of your property showing the location of the fence, a completed application and a fee. Expect to be inspected throughout construction.
Wichita Falls seems especially concerned with setback areas. Its code states, “Fences may project into the front, side and rear setback areas on all properties except those with single-family and duplex residential uses”. In properties with single-family and duplex residential uses, fences may project into the side and rear setback areas.” To project into the front setback area, the fences can be no higher than four feet tall and must be made of at least 50 percent open materials (rather than opaque). Further restrictions apply to visibility if the fence is near an intersection, and position of the fence vis a vis the mailbox.
In Amarillo, you need a permit for a front yard fence more than four feet tall. However, you can build up to eight feet tall along the side and rear yards without getting a permit. Special conditions apply to corner lots.
Denison is especially strict about fence permits. Any new fence construction requires a permit, as does repair or replacement of an existing fence if you’re altering 20 or more feet of it. Homeowners who are homesteading residential property can apply for a fence permit. Otherwise, fence permits are only issued to registered general contractors.
Need to upgrade your fence but all these rules give you a headache? Call your friends at Buzz. We can help navigate you through the whole process so that you wind up with a gorgeous, fully permitted new fence.