Does Norfolk Virginia Require Fence Permits?

Posted by Dawn Lowndes on Thu, Mar 03, 2011


fence permits

If you are a homeowner in the city of Norfolk, Virginia and you are considering purchasing a new fence for your home; you may be wondering if the city of Norfolk, Virginia requires a permit for erecting a fence. The answer is yes!  They require a permit on all fencing projects. Whether the homeowner is replacing an existing fence or having a new fence installed a permit is required by the City of Norfolk, Virginia.

The first step you, the homeowner, need to take is to insure that you have a legal copy of the survey of your property. This survey should have an actual drawing of your property that indicates the location of your exact property lines. If you are not sure if you have this document first check in the paperwork you received when you purchased your home. If you cannot locate this document it will not help to contact the City of Norfolk, as they do not keep a copy of residential surveys on file. You will need to contact a certified land surveying company to perform a survey of your property. This document will be required by the City of Norfolk in order to obtain a building permit to erect your new fence. As far as the cost of obtaining a fence permit, the city of Norfolk, Virginia does not charge for a fence permit.

As stated earlier, all fencing projects whether installing a new or replacing an existing fence, will require a building permit. Before starting the procedure of obtaining a permit for you fence project it is beneficial to know what the city of Norfolk will allow you to do as far as height and or style of fencing.

As long as your home is not on a corner lot the rules are fairly simple. The maximum height allowed is 6-feet for any style of fencing that will not to extend past the front corner of your home. For homeowners wanting to fence in their front yard, the maximum height allowed is 4-feet. In both of these situations the fence may be installed up to but not actually on or over your property line. If your home is on a corner lot there are additional requirements you will need to know. If you are installing a 4-foot high fence on a corner, again you may install the fence up to, but not on or over your property line. If you are considering a 6-foot high fence, you have two options to consider. The first option would be to install a 6-foot tall solid privacy fence. For this, you will need to install the fence 10-feet inside your property line. The second option would be to install the fence up to but not over the property line and the fence will must be a semi-private style. This code restriction is in place is to insure that motorists can see oncoming traffic when approaching a corner. As you can see this requirement gives you a few things to consider. You must decide whether you maintain privacy and give up space in the fenced portion of your yard, or do you forfeit privacy in order to maintain as much space in your yard as possible.   

The need for a permit to install or renew a fence can be intimidating or even frustrating. A experienced fence company can certainly help you to design a permit friendly fence and they will have knowledge of how to actually get the permit for you.  If you choose to install your own fence you will definitely needs to do your research and adhere to they local guidelines for building permits.

Article contributed by fence professional Jamie Patterson.

Topics: Code, Fence Permit

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