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Salem Fence Regulations: Permits You’ll Need

Wood fenceEvery city has its own permitting process for building wood fences – Salem among them. Residents who are planning to build a Salem privacy fence should carry out the city’s required steps, as described below. Those who fail to obtain the proper permits and carry out the requisite procedures will face fines and the prospect of tearing down and rebuilding a to-code fence if the city deems it necessary.

In Salem, a Residential Building Permit Application is required for any fence that will be more than 6 feet in height. This restriction also applies to latticework and other architectural features. You and your Salem fence contractor will have to provide quite a bit of information in the permit application, including fence location, height and materials. Salem city code stipulates where fences of different heights may be built, along with a few other standards that must be followed when building a fence within Salem city limits.

  • Check location of utility lines. You can check the location of your utility lines in two ways: Call the City of Salem Public Works Department at 503-588-6211 or the Oregon Utility Notification Center at 877-668-4001; or visit the notification center’s website.
  • Comply with fencing restrictions. Salem code limits fence construction in certain areas to preserve vision clearance at the corners of alleys, driveways and sidewalks. These are called “Vision Clearance Areas.” Additionally, fences in Salem can be no more than 4 feet tall at the front property line. Along side and rear property lines, fences can be a maximum of 6 feet in height. These rules apply to metal, stone and wood fences alike.
  • Know exact location of property line. Fences that are built outside of your property line will likely have to be torn down.

If you don’t research Salem’s city code before building your new privacy fence, it’s highly likely that your fencing investment will be a waste – wasted because you’ll probably have to rebuild any fencing that’s not up to code. For more information, call the Transportation Services Division of Salem’s Public Works department, at 503-588-6211. You may also wish to download and review the Salem City Code governing fences and other accessory structures.

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