TTY : 503-823-6868
1900 SW 4th Ave, Portland, OR 97201
A building permit is required when building a fence taller than six feet. The height is measured from the ground where the posts or supports enter the ground to the top of the fence, including any lattice, posts or any other material added to the top. Fences under six feet tall do not need a building permit but may need a zoning permit, depending on where the fence will be located on your lot.
For more information, visit the Planning and Zoning staff at the Development Services Center or call (503) 823-7526.
Your building permit will be reviewed under provisions in the Residential Specialty Code (formerly the One and Two Family Dwelling Specialty Code) based on the 2003 IRC. More information on building codes.
The following information must be submitted when applying for a permit to construct a fence. Since every project is unique, there may be some situations where you will be asked to provide additional information.
|Site Plan (Scale site plans to most appropriate scale, e.g. 1”=10’ or 1/4”=1’|
|Structural Plans (Scale of plans to be ¼”=1’)|
If you are hiring sub-contractors to do work on your project, and know who they are when applying, they will be listed on your permit at that time. If you don't know when you apply for your permit, they can be added after issuance. Sub contractors you hire must be registered with the State of Oregon and carry a current CCB license.
|Important Things to Consider When Planning Your Project:|
Fences may be built on private property, so long as they meet certain height and setback requirements. A setback is the distance measured from your property line to a point inside the property. A setback creates a border inside your property lines. Setback requirements are different in each residential zone. A front setback is usually larger than the side and rear setbacks. For purposes of determining setback, the front is the side that borders a street. On a corner lot, the front is the shortest side of the lot that borders a street. If the street frontages are of equal length, you may choose which to call the front.
Visit the Planning and Zoning staff at the Development Services Center or call (503) 823-7526 for help with:
Fences taller than eight feet must meet the requirements listed below:
|(2) Front Yard Fences|
If you are planning to build a fence in your front yard, call the Portland Bureau of Transportation/Engineering at (503) 823-7002 for help in locating property lines along a street. Property lines that divide your lot from your neighbors may be harder to find.
|(3) Structural Engineering|
Fences taller than six feet measured from the owner's side at grade level must be built to resist winds.
|(4) Pressure Treated Materials|
Any part of a wood fence that touches concrete or that is within six inches of the ground must be pressure-treated wood or wood that is naturally resistant to decay, such as cedar or redwood. Pressure treated wood installed below grade must be stamped as approved for ground contact.
After you pay intake fees, your project will be "under review". The bureaus/review groups that will check a typical fence project are:
The yellow inspection card lists all the inspections you will likely need during your construction project, and what work needs to be done first.
Once your building permit is issued, erosion control measures must be installed, inspected and approved prior to beginning any further ground disturbing activities.
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