A permit is required to construct any fence 2½ ft. in height or greater. Permitted materials consist of wood, vinyl, masonry, wrought iron or chain link. Any other type of material requires approval by the Director of Community Services.
Retaining walls over 4 ft. in height, measured from the bottom of the footing to the top of the wall, require a permit and must be designed by a licensed professional engineer.
Richardson's Comprehensive Zoning Ordinance limits fences to a maximum height of 8 ft. from the rear property line to the front wall of the house. Fences beyond the front wall of the house to the front property line are limited to 3 ft. in height and must be decorative in nature and may not create a traffic hazard. Any fencing in the front yard area requires approval by the Building Official.
Fence Permit Application
Situations requiring a permit include:
- Replacing 25% or more of an existing fence
- Erecting a new fence line
- Extending an existing fence line
- Fence isolating a swimming pool, spa, or hot tub
- Installing a retaining wall over 4 feet in height
General area and height restrictions
- Property lines must be located and established prior to erecting fence
- Fences may not be constructed on public property
- Fence gates may not swing out into alley easement
- Fence height shall be measured vertically from the inside natural or mean grade elevation of the yard
Fences around swimming pools
- Must be a minimum of 4 ft. in height and have no opening greater than 4 in. in any direction
- Must have self-closing, self-latching devices located in the upper quarter of all gates
- Must completely enclose the swimming pool area; An electric sliding gate or similar does not satisfy this requirement.
- Fence shall not be more than 20% (18 degrees) out of vertical alignment
- Damaged, removed, or missing portions of any fence shall be repaired or replaced with comparable materials to the remaining portion
The fence permit must be approved and posted at the property prior to any work commencing. As with any other contractor in the city, fence contractors must be registered to perform work in the City of Richardson. If you have any questions regarding these requirements, please contact Building Inspection at 972-744-4174 or email your questions or concerns to Community Services. Regular office hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.