Fences and Screening Guidelines

Fences and Screening

In most cases building permits are not required for putting up a fence, but the city recommends the below guidelines be followed:
Fences should be placed at least 2 feet (24 in) inside property lines. This is to allow the homeowner to keep the area around (both sides) maintained. (ie. keep the grass and weeds cut on both sides of the fence and also for maintenance of wooden fences so they do not go onto their neighbors property)
Front yard: fences should not exceed 4 feet (48 in) in height and should not be located in the road right-of-way area.  In front yards only, fences, walls, hedges or structures shall be at least 75% open space for passage of air and light.  No fence exceeding 24 inches in height may be erected within 10 feet of a driveway in a required side yard abutting a street corner lot unless such fence is at least 75% open.
Visibility:  No fence, wall or hedge shall be erected, placed, planted or allowed to grow in such a manner as to impede vision or interfere with traffic or pedestrian visibility from a driveway, alley or a public right-of-way.
Visibility at Intersections:  On a corner lot, nothing shall be erected, placed, planted or allowed to grow in such a manner as to impede vision. Fences cannot be higher than 2 feet or within 30 feet from the intersecting curb lines, or within 20 feet from the intersecting property lines if there is no curb.
Fences in side or rear yards should not exceed 6 feet in height and should not extend past the principle building in the front yard.  For fences over 6 feet high; a conditional use permit must be granted and then a building permit & inspection are required.
Utility easement: a fence located in the rear yard should be placed 5 feet inside the property line so they are out of the easement area.  If a fence is placed within the easement area, the utility provider has the right to remove the fence and re-installation is the property owner’s expense.
All posts or similar supporting instruments used in the construction of a fence shall be faced inward towards the property being fenced.
No barbed wire or electric fences are permitted.
Fences on Twin home lots are (usually) on the property line.
Fences in a back yard that abut an Alley s/b 5 feet off the alley. (Alleys are 20 ft wide)
Check your covenants for additional guidelines.
Contact our building official, Steven Schroeder at (218)849-3618, to discuss specific projects. Fence and screening requirements are located in Chapter 27 of the City Zoning Ordinance.