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  • Writer's pictureDavid Grier Jr

Do I Need a Permit to Build a Fence?

When considering your fencing options, one question that is sometimes forgotten is, do I need a permit to build a fence?


If you live in the Charlotte, NC area, it is essential to understand fence laws and how they pertain to you.


Fence Permit Requirements


Do I need a permit to build a fence bordering city streets?


  • Fences that run along city streets do not require a permit, but a free certificate is needed from the Charlotte Department of Transportation. This is necessary to ensure your fence meets the proper placement and height restrictions.


Fences within your property:


Generally speaking, no permit is required if your fence meets these guidelines:


  • Stays within your property line.

  • Does not exceed height limits.

  • Doesn’t obstruct required sight triangles at street intersections.


Permits are required:


  • If the fence height exceeds 6 feet, a permit is required. Backyards are fine, up to 8 feet. After that, a permit is required.

  • Fences that are located in the designated “front yard setback” exceeding 5 feet in height require a permit.

  • Fences with electrical parts like automatic gates or lighting also need a permit.


What is a setback?


When applied to fencing, a setback is the minimum distance your fence must be away from property lines, easements, or public rights-of-way. This distance varies depending on several factors, including:


  • Local regulations. Different areas have different setback requirements. They are generally found in zoning codes and building regulations.

  • Type of structure and Location on your property.


Setbacks ensure property access for utilities, safety for sightlines, and neighbors’ privacy.


Fence height limits: When do I need a permit to build a fence?




Up to 42 inches for ornamental fences or 5 feet for solid fences do not need a permit.




Up to 6 feet between the required setback and established rear yard are fine without a permit.




Up to 8 feet is allowed before needing a permit.


Additional Considerations



Fences are not allowed to obstruct the view at intersections. You must be able to have clear sight triangles.




There are no specific material restrictions in the Charlotte code for fences. They do stress that materials must be safe and structurally sound.




If you live in an area governed by an HOA, it is crucial to check their rules, which may override city regulations.


These are general guidelines put out by the City of Charlotte, NC. It is always wise to consult with your local building department for accurate information and the most up-to-date laws and regulations.


Consulting a professional like Premier Fence is a smart decision to understand how fence permits apply to your specific project.


A fence is a significant investment, so make sure it is installed correctly with all the proper permits before your job begins.


Schedule a free fence estimate with Premier Fence.



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