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Fence Heights

May 20, 2021

At the top of the list of reasons to build a fence are security and privacy. For the front yard up to the facade of the house, the code is usually 42" high in Los Angeles County. On the sides, it can vary. Usually 6' high is what most people opt for. But it is fairly common to go 7' or 8' high if both parties agree. For rear fence lines that border alleys, I have seen as high a 9' or 10'.

"In the front yard, I know the code is 42", but what's your opinion about going higher?" I have to respond to this question a couple of times per week. And my answer depends on a number of factors:

First, has anyone in the immediate vicinity set a precedent? That is, do any of your neighbors have fences and gates in their front yard that exceed 42" in height?

Secondly, are you ready to pay a fine or variance fee by the city?

And finally, let's ask for forgiveness rather than permission. We erect the fence and basically hope no one says anything.

But here is the real skinny...

As of June 2020, a high ranking official from Building and safety told me that the city is not enforcing overages. This can be interpreted a couple of ways. You can break height restrictions/codes if precedents have been broken or the heights are not causing safety concerns. Sometimes a fence on a corner can cause drivers issues. These of course will not be tolerated.

I will look at the overall totality of the situation and give advice on a case by case basis.

Please feel free to contact me directly if you are unsure about your particular situation.

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