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Old 09-17-2010, 09:09 PM
9 posts, read 98,251 times
Reputation: 14


Hi Everyone,

2 Primary Questions:

1) I was wondering what the maximum allowable fence height within a residential neighborhood surrounding the backyard can be in the Los Angeles area?

2) How do you determine maximum height: what is considered the base of a fence? For instance:

I've seen some fences where they have a foundation wall that is about 1 foot tall surrounding a side of their property. And, then they put fence posts in front of the foundation wall and have the bottom of the fence stake start at the 'top' of the foundation wall. So, how do you determine the base of a fence so that you know where to start measuring from to determine the height?

Privacy Problem With Neighbor:

Recently, my neighbor built a room that adds on to the their house; it extends their house to about 7 feet from my fence. This portion of the house (newly added room) looks raised: looks like the inside floor starts about 1 feet from the outside ground. And so their patio door facing out to my fence stands about 7 feet tall since the 'base' of their patio door is about 1 feet from the outside ground.

If I stand about 5 feet from my fence on the pavement in my backyard, I can see about 1/3 of their patio door. Because of this, they can often be standing in their patio door looking right into my backyard!

Worst of all, this is next to my pool. When standing on the diving board, from their patio door they can stand their and see () my entire body down to about my knee caps while I am in my bathing suit (practically naked). My diving board is only raised off the ground about 1 foot.

Even when I am walking around the pool on the pavement in the backyard, they can see me from their patio door.

Reality is, I have no privacy! And, so I would like to raise my fence so that I can't see them and they can't see me. I am just not sure how to determine what the maximum height my fence can be? And if there is a maximum height, can this maximum height be fudged in special circumstances to help increase privacy?

Looking forward to responses!


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Old 09-17-2010, 09:37 PM
Location: Los Angeles
10,536 posts, read 12,932,701 times
Reputation: 7604
I have no definitive answer for you although this seems to be a very interesting topic and I'll be interested in seeing the replies (and one reason for my reply is to flag the topic as "posted in" so I'll be sure to read the replies).

One thing is safe to assume, that 6 feet is standard. I've heard ("heard" i.e. no definitive source) is that the generally accepted maximum height is 8 feet.

I'll also assume that the 8 feet is measured from the ground level immediately adjacent to the fence. As far as I know the height of structures or their floor elevation above terrain has nothing to do with it. Also acknowledging that anybody who has a second floor can see into their neighbor's yards and into their neighbor's houses on ground and somewhat the second floor.

And this topic is good illustration why I'm seeking to move out of state and buy a property of 2-5 acres, to get far enough away from my neighbors that it doesn't matter what they see, or at least not unless they have binoculars or a telescope.

So let the topic roll.
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Old 09-17-2010, 09:54 PM
672 posts, read 1,746,548 times
Reputation: 855
Last time I checked, if you want to build a fence without getting a permit, you can build a wood fence up to 6 feet high on the side and back of the yard and up to 3.5 feet in the front yard. You can build an 8 ft fence on the side or back with a permit, and you can build a brick or block fence with a permit.
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Old 09-17-2010, 09:58 PM
Location: Los Angeles
4,379 posts, read 6,585,124 times
Reputation: 5787
I can't speak for all area in Los angeles, but in an area zoned hillside, the max height is 6 feet.
That includes any footing the fence is constructed on.
Also it depends on where the fence is to be built.
In all of LA, in a front yard, max is three feet from the ground and another three feet if it constructed on a existing retaining wall.
There are thousands of fences in violation of the code all over the city.
My next door neighbor put up a twelve foot fence between his property and mine so we couldn't be seen coming and going in and out of our jacuzzi which is installed in the raised deck.
I told him to tear it down because it was to high.
He didn't and I had to call building and safety to get him to remove it.
Presently the fence is the six foot height as is stipulated in the code.
Needless to say, me and the jerk next door don't get along.
I think code is also six feet for a fence on the side of the property.
Check with building and safety department.
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Old 10-26-2010, 09:00 PM
Location: earth?
7,288 posts, read 10,069,371 times
Reputation: 8956
I hate rules about fence heights. Since the 12' fence would have benefitted you too, to bad you were having "issues" and made him tear it down. Trouble-making neighbors are no fun!
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Old 10-26-2010, 10:36 PM
Location: Los Angeles
4,379 posts, read 6,585,124 times
Reputation: 5787
If it had been an attractive fence I could have possibly overlokked it, but it was that corrugated metal which really looks like hell.
On top of it looking bad, it took away my view of the mountains above Pasadena.
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Old 10-27-2010, 09:59 AM
135 posts, read 233,191 times
Reputation: 52
You probably need to call the City. Fence height restrictions vary widely. In my area (so I was told by an appraiser) my particular city allows x number of feet of solid fence and then y number of feet of "permeable" fence, meaning, something that's porous and not 100% solid. He said it was because of fire codes (firemen need to be able to jump over the fence in an emergency). But he did say that specific code was specific to my city.

Therefore, you probably have to check with your own City to get the most accurate information on what you're allowed to do.
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Old 10-28-2010, 08:24 PM
1,465 posts, read 4,326,302 times
Reputation: 849
Plant tall bushes and/or trees
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Old 10-28-2010, 08:54 PM
Location: Ohio
13,803 posts, read 12,033,390 times
Reputation: 18046
How come the people in mansions are allowed to build super high security walls/privacy fences and gates and the "little people" can not?
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Old 07-12-2012, 04:22 PM
1 posts, read 41,779 times
Reputation: 14
over height fences in los angeles can be tricky generally yes there is a 42" limit to fences in the front yard set back and 6 feet for side and rear yards construction of fences and hedges can be of different height limits if they are on a hillside property. If you really really want a fence or hedge over 42" high in front and over 6 ft high on the side and back it is possible. A competent landuse consultant can help you file the necessary applications so you can build or keep the fence or hedge you really want it's not just for the wealthy its for the wise
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