California Fence Law: Everything You Need To Know Before Installing a Semi-Privacy Vinyl Fence

California Fence Law: Everything You Need To Know Before Installing a Semi-Privacy Vinyl Fence

Whether you are planning to install a basic picket fence around your yard to fulfill your urban home dream or add chain link fences around your farm for the safekeeping of your pets, don’t start the installation yet. Before you start, you must check the California state law and the local building code regulation. You need to consider these before selecting your fencing company, from specific regulations to building codes. We will be discussing the requirements for fencing in California.

Reasons for the California Fencing Law

Aesthetic Appeal: The California Fence Law determines a particular height for the fences installed on the property. This ensures that all the properties have uniformity. All the fences having the same height add to the curb appeal of the property and the entire neighborhood and streets. This helps maintain the neighborhood and also adds to the property’s valuation.

Peaceful Neighborhood: Fencing can often become the cause of dispute amongst the neighbors as two or more properties share it. Such incidents can hamper the peace and relationship between neighbors, affecting the community. Thus, California has established guidelines to avoid such conflicts and ensure harmony among neighbors.

Security and Safety: Most California cities have a set of guidelines for the maximum fencing height for front yards, backyards, and poolside. This ensures that there is no incident that can endanger the residents and also ensures the safety of kids and adults respectively. 

California Fence Height Laws

When installing a fence in California, you need to maintain certain height guidelines. You are required to take a permit. The maximum height restriction set by California building code is 4 feet for the front yard and 6 feet for the backyard.

While California’s building code sets the same rules for fence height across the cities, many individual cities have their modulation in the rule. Like the capital city of California, Sacramento has a different set of rules depending on where you live, whether it is an agricultural or residential zone.

AG Zone: The maximum fence capping for the front yard is 7 feet in AG zones. The interior and side street fence also have a 7-foot limit. You can add a retaining wall of 4 feet high.

RD Zone: For the residential zone, you are permitted to install a fence up to 3 feet high. For chain link fences, the height permitted is 4 feet; for ornamental fences, the permissible height is up to 7 feet.

Height Permits

Fence construction rules include several factors, such as:


Building Codes


Zoning Codes

If you have fences made of wood, masonry, or concrete and with a height of 7 feet tall. Or if you have any other material fence that exceeds 10 feet in height, you are required to use a minor permit, which is mandatory.

For a semi privacy vinyl fence taller than 7 feet or 10 feet, you are required to submit a site plan to the Permit and Resource Management Department, explaining the purpose of fencing and its location. Once the department has received your permit request, the department might ask for the site plan to check if a use permit is required.

Pool Fence

Pools are a great amenity for any property but also represent a safety hazard for kids and pets. In order to prevent incidents of drowning, California has strict rules for fencing in-ground and outdoor pools. If you have a pool that is deeper than 18 inches, section 305 states that you should encircle your pool with a pool fence or any other type of barrier to restrict access. And the pool fences must meet the strict guidelines.

The semi privacy vinyl fence around the pool needs to have self-closing and self-latching gates. This ensures that even if someone forgets to close the fence gate, it will get closed and latched on its own. The release mechanism of the pool fence gate should be placed at a height of 54 inches above the ground. These measures are placed to ensure that kids cannot easily access the pool area, and it offers them additional safety.

There are two expectations of the rule:

Hot tubs and spas with lockable safety covers comply with the ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials).

Swimming pools have a powered safety cover that complies with the ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials).

California Good Neighbor Fence Law

One of the ways by which the state of California tries to resolve and reduce the conflict between the neighbors and focus on the need for community building is through the good neighbor fence law. According to this law under Civil Code 841, neighbors are responsible for sharing a mutual boundary to share the expenses concerning their fence: maintenance, replacement, and repairs. Since the property owners enjoy the benefits of fencing, thus it makes sense to share the costs.

So, if you want to make any renovations to your fences, you must give a written notice to your neighbor 30 days before. The letter should contain the following:

The problem

The proposed solution

Estimated Cost

How the expenses will be split

Estimated Timeline

Lastly, you should leave space for your neighbor to put their signature showing their consent at the end of the letter.

Final Words

In this blog, we have discussed the fencing laws in California. Contact Duramax if you want to install a semi privacy vinyl fence around your property. We offer a limited lifetime warranty on all our products. Our fences can be customized according to your requirements and shipped within two weeks of the order being placed. Our fences can withstand extreme weather conditions without breaking, warping, or cracking. We offer low-maintenance and long-lasting fences which do not require repainting or repairs for up to 30 years. Get in touch with us today. Book a free consultation now.

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