Permits & Codes: Raleigh, NC Fence Building

Raleigh, NC: Fence & Wall Building Codes, Permits & Regulations


Raleigh Fence Permits and Codes(a) Definitions.

(1) Closed fence in Raleigh. A solid fence or wall which has no openings and contains shiplap, or tongue and groove or similar overlapping design if made of wood.

Cross references: Fence or wall as part of a transitional protective yard, §10-2082.9(g); outdoor storage yard for unlicensed, uninspected, wrecked, crushed, dismantled, or partially dismantled vehicles, §10- 2144.

(2) Decorative fence in Raleigh. A designed open or solid fence or wall which meets all of the following:

a. It contributes to the identification and beauty of the principal use.

b. It is not erected to satisfy any other provision of this Code.

c. It does not act as a retaining structure.

d. It is made of material that typically is not found in security structures, such as chain link.

e. It is not available for purchase in stores.

 Cross reference: Tract identification signs on fences §10-2083.2(1)(e) and §10-2083.2(2)(f).

(3) Open fence in Raleigh. A wall or fence through which clear vision is possible from one (1) side to the other for seventy-five (75) per cent or more of the structure, as viewed on a horizontal plane.

(4) Solid fence in Raleigh. A wall or fence that is not an open wall or fence.


(b) Height and Street Right-of-Way Landscaping Standards for Fences and Walls in Raleigh.

(1) Fences and walls located outside the minimum frontside or rear district yard setbacks, as shown in the Schedule of Zoning District Yard Setbacks §10-2075(b) may be erected to any height permitted for buildings according to the Schedule of Zoning District Height Standards, §10-2076(a).

(2) Solid fences and walls located within minimum frontside or rear district yard areas shall not exceed six (6) feet in height unless specifically required as a screening device by this Code, or approved by the City Council as part of a special use permit, or approved by the Board of Adjustment as part of either a variance or a special use permit.

(3) Excluding decorative fences and fences erected on single-family detached and duplex lots, all fences taller than forty-two (42) inches high which are visible from the public street right-of-way, other than thoroughfare rights-of-way which are regulated in subsections (4) and (5) below, and which are constructed after the application of this section* shall be installed with planting materials so that no more than two-thirds (2/3) of its surface area will be visible from the street within three (3) years of erection of the fence. Forty (40) per cent of this plant material may be deciduous.

*Editor’s note: This subsection was first applied on January 1, 1987 (Ord. 799 TC 267, §39).

Cross references: Fences prohibited in floodways, §10-4007; permit fee required for erection of a fence, §10-6039(e); fencing required surrounding swimming pools, §13-2028; barbed wire fences generally prohibited in City limits, §13-3011; electric fences regulated, §13-2030

Annotation: Retaining walls. A solid wall that retains grades resulting from the cutting into existing grades of interior lots only are retaining walls and are not subject to the regulations in §10-2085relating to solid fences and walls: A-72-79 Chief Zoning Inspector, Board of Adjustment (Sept. 10, 1979).

(4) Except as otherwise regulated by subsection (5) below, all fences and walls constructed and replaced after application of this section* and located less than twenty (20) feet fromthoroughfare rights-of-way shall either be less than forty-two (42) inches in height or situated at least fifteen (15) feet from any thoroughfare right-of-way and screened with evergreen planting materials, so that no more than one-fourth (¼) of its surface area will be visible from the thoroughfare within three (3) years of erection of the fence or wall. Except as otherwise regulated by subsection (5) below, all fences and walls constructed and replaced after application of this section* that are more than forty-two (42) inches in height and located between twenty (20) and forty (40) feet from any thoroughfare right-of-way, shall be installed with planting materials, so that no more than one-third (1/3) of its surface area will be visible from thethoroughfare within three (3) years of erection of the fence or wall. Forty (40) per cent of this plant material may be deciduous. Decorative fences that are more then fifty (50) per centopen, or solid fences located within the Downtown Residential Housing Overlay District, shall be exempt from these provisions.

(5) After application of this section*, no fence or wall greater than forty-two (42) inches in height shall be constructed or replaced within any landscaped street protective yard required by anyResource Management Zoning District. In all other zoning districts, no fence or wall greater than forty-two (42) inches in height constructed or replaced after the application of this section*shall be situated closer than fifteen feet (15) feet to any thoroughfare right-of-wayDecorative fences that are more than fifty (50) per cent open, or solid fences located within the Downtown Residential Housing Overlay District or any Transit Oriented Development Overlay District, shall be exempt from these provisions.

*Editor’s note: The regulations of this provision first became applicable on July 7, 2002.

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