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Your New Cedar Fence: Vancouver Building and Development Permit Rules

FENCEBefore building a cedar fence, Vancouver residents must make sure the design complies with the city’s building and zoning codes. While you don’t need a permit for a fence design that is 5-6 feet in height or shorter, there are different requirements for residential, commercial and industrial zones. Here’s a look at some of the guidelines:

Residential Zones

  • Fences at the front of a home that face the street cannot be more than 5 feet in height. The top inch of a cedar fence must be open to view by at least 80 percent. Materials that have an 80 percent open view include chain link, wrought iron or a thin lattice.
  • A fence design along the sides of a home and around the backyard cannot be taller than 6 feet.

Commercial and Industrial Zones

  • You can build fences that aren’t sound walls in the required setback areas.
  • Fences must be 6 feet in height or shorter unless the site is subject to a Critical Areas Permit/Review.
  • Only a security fence can have barbwire or razor wire. With such a fence design, you can use 2 inches of wire along the top 6 inches of the fence as long as the wire materials are vertical and angled toward the inside of the fence.

Vision Clearance Regulations for All Fences

  • A cedar fence must be 100 percent contained within the property line and cannot hinder access to easements.
  • You cannot build a fence in vision clearance triangles unless it’s 30 inches in height or shorter or made from a material that has an 80 percent open view. A fence should not be in the public’s right-of-way.
  • Your fence should not interfere with the vision clearance of driveways or road intersections.

Cedar is the most popular fencing material in the Northwest because it’s functional, attractive, resilient and naturally resists insects. With the right fence design, installation and maintenance, a cedar fence can last up to a decade or more. Call us to learn more.



[ Photo by: marc falardeau, on Flickr, via CC License ]

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