How to Build a High Backyard Fence in Los Angeles

In most residential zones, specifically R1 zones, there are guidelines in place for the height of fences. For the front yard, the maximum height allowed is 3.5 feet. However, when it comes to the side and rear yard fences, the rules change. If the width of the lot is 40 feet or greater, you can build fences up to 8 feet high. On the other hand, if the width is less than 40 feet, the maximum height permitted is 6 feet.

What Is the Fence Law in Los Angeles?

When it comes to building a high backyard fence in Los Angeles, it’s essential to be aware of the fence laws in the city. The Department of Regional Planning has set specific regulations regarding fence heights in residential areas. As per these regulations, the tallest fence you can construct without needing a permit is 6 feet.

The Department of Regional Planning is responsible for overseeing the implementation and enforcement of these laws. Obtaining a permit for a fence exceeding 6 feet in height involves submitting an application and ensuring that the proposed fence meets all the necessary criteria outlined by the city.

These regulations aim to maintain a balance between privacy and aesthetic considerations in residential areas. By allowing for higher fences, homeowners in Los Angeles can enjoy improved privacy within their backyard spaces. However, it’s crucial to ensure compliance with the law to avoid any potential fines or legal issues.

This ensures that your project is conducted legally and in accordance with the guidelines set forth by the Department of Regional Planning. By doing so, you can create a beautiful and functional fence that enhances both the aesthetics and privacy of your backyard.

However, it’s important to note that there are additional rules and regulations that may apply in specific situations, such as corner lots or properties located in hillside areas. These rules are in place to ensure the safety, privacy, and aesthetics of the surrounding neighborhood. Therefore, it’s advisable to consult with the Department of Building and Safety or a licensed contractor to fully understand and adhere to the fencing requirements in Los Angeles.

What Are the Rules for Fences in Los Angeles?

However, there are certain exceptions and restrictions to consider. For example, if your property is located on a corner lot, you may have additional regulations to follow in order to maintain visibility and safety for drivers. In these cases, the street side yard fence can only be 3.5 feet high, and the side yard fence can be 6 feet high.

It’s important to note that these regulations are for residential properties, and different rules may apply for commercial or industrial properties. Additionally, if you live in a historical preservation overlay zone, there may be additional restrictions on the design and height of your fence in order to preserve the historical character of the neighborhood.

Before you begin building your fence, it’s recommended to check with the Department of Building and Safety or consult with a professional to ensure you’re in compliance with all zoning and building codes. They can provide you with the most up-to-date information and any necessary permits or approvals you may need.

When it comes to the materials used for your fence, there are also guidelines to follow. Fences should be constructed with durable and weather-resistant materials, such as wood, metal, or vinyl. Additionally, the design of your fence should be aesthetically pleasing and harmonious with the surrounding neighborhood.

Building a high backyard fence in Los Angeles requires careful consideration of the rules and regulations specific to your propertys location. By consulting with the relevant authorities and obtaining any necessary permits, you can ensure that your fence isn’t only compliant but also enhances the visual appeal and functionality of your backyard space.

Permitted Fence Heights in Different Parts of Los Angeles

In Los Angeles, the permitted fence heights can vary depending on the specific area and zoning regulations. Before building a backyard fence, it’s important to check with the local building department or planning commission to determine the specific rules and restrictions that apply to your property.

In some residential zones, the maximum height allowed for a backyard fence is typically around 6 feet. However, there may be exceptions, such as for corner lots or properties adjacent to major streets, where additional limitations may apply. There are also specific regulations for front yard fences and their height limitations, which are usually lower than backyard fences.

To ensure compliance with the local regulations, it’s recommended to consult the official guidelines or contact the local authorities directly. They’ll provide you with the accurate information and any necessary permits that may be required before constructing a high backyard fence in Los Angeles.

In addition to height restrictions, the city of Los Angeles requires building permits for certain types of fences. According to Section 106.2 of the 2020 Los Angeles Building Code and Los Angeles Residential Codes (LABC, LARC), masonry or concrete fences over 3 ½ feet high, as well as other fences over 10 feet high, require a building permit. It’s important for residents and property owners to be aware of these regulations and obtain the necessary permits before commencing any fence construction in order to comply with the city’s guidelines.

Do I Need a Permit to Build a Fence in the City of Los Angeles?

Building codes and regulations governing the construction of fences vary from city to city, and it’s important to understand the specific requirements for the area in which you’re planning to build. In the city of Los Angeles, for instance, the 2020 Los Angeles Building Code and Los Angeles Residential Codes (LABC, LARC) outline the guidelines for fence construction and the need for permits.

Section 106.2 of the 2020 Los Angeles Building Code clearly states that a building permit is mandatory for masonry or concrete fences that exceed a height of 3 ½ feet.

Furthermore, the regulations set forth by the LABC and LARC state that a building permit is also required for any other type of fence that exceeds a height of 10 feet. This includes fences made of materials such as wood or metal. Therefore, it’s essential to take into consideration the height restrictions and obtain the necessary permit if your desired fence height exceeds the specified limits.

Failure to obtain the required permits and comply with the building codes and regulations enforced by the city of Los Angeles can result in fines, penalties, and potential legal issues. It’s always wise to consult with local authorities or a professional contractor familiar with the local regulations to ensure that your fence construction meets all the necessary requirements.


The height of the fence largely depends on the location of the property within the city. For residential zones classified as R1, the rules dictate that the front yard fence can be a maximum of 3.5 feet high. The regulations become more lenient for side and rear yard fences, allowing for a maximum height of 8 feet, but only if the width of the lot is 40 feet or greater.

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