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Fence and Wall Questions

Can't find the answer to your particular question? For more information, please call 480-312-5750 and ask for Building Inspection Supervisor, Steve Gallant

Do I need a permit to put up a fence?

Permits are required when:

  • Building any fence over 3-feet in height
  • Adding additional height to existing fences over 3-feet in height. Engineered plans may be required when adding height to existing fences.
    NOTE: Any wall holding back more than 1-foot of dirt on one side is considered to be a retaining wall.
  • All retaining walls require engineered plans to be submitted and approved by the City.
  • Building Keystone or Keystone type walls over 30-inches in height.

How high can I build my fence? 

  • You can build a fence up to 6-feet in height with standard construction details provided to you by the City. Fences up to 8-feet in height may be allowed but will require engineered plans to be submitted and approved by the City.
  • The City Zoning Ordinance dictates certain requirements for fence heights and locations. You must check the City Zoning Ordinance to ensure that the height and location of your fence meets these requirements.

Do I need a permit when replacing an existing fence?

Permits are required when replacing an existing fence. The same requirements apply when replacing an existing fence as apply when building a new fence.

What inspections are required when building a fence?

  • #38 - Fence footing inspection
  • #11 - Grout inspection
  • #12 - Bond beam inspection (not required on 4inch inter-locking fences)
  • #39 - Fence final inspection

What will the inspector look for when inspecting my fence? 

  • The inspector will be looking for the approved plans and the green "Inspection Record Card". These must be left in a conspicuous location on site, for the inspector to refer to at all inspections.
  • #38 - Fence footing inspection
    •  The property owner is responsible for verifying property boundaries, setbacks, natural area open space (naos) and utility easements and for locating the fence in the correct location per approved plans. NOTE: Fences, retaining walls and associated footings are permitted to be constructed on/or within property lines. The City of Scottsdale does not get involved in property line disputes related to fence and footings locations or fence ownership. These disputes are civil matters and must be resolved between the concerned parties.
    • Footings must be dug to the correct dimensions in accordance with City approved details. Material from the footing must not be placed in the alley, public right of way, naos or on adjacent properties.
    • All footing re-bar must be in place and isolated from the soil by means of; plastic caps, masonry supports or approved equals.
    • Vertical "J" bars must be tied to the horizontal footing re-bar at the proper intervals.
    • The footing inspection must be approved prior to concrete being poured.
  • #11 & #12 - Masonry grout and masonry bond beam inspections
    • For 4-inch inter-locking fence the #11 inspection must be done prior to grouting.
    • For 4-inch, 6-inch and 8-inch masonry block fences, the vertical re-bar must extend into the top course of block and must be visible in the top course for inspection.
    • For 4-inch inter-locking fence, the #11 and #39 inspections can typically be done at the same time. The pilaster cap blocks may be installed only after the #11 inspection.
    • For 6-inch and 8-inch masonry block fences, the #11 and #12 must be done prior to grouting.
    • All re-bar overlaps must be a minimum of 40 bar diameters or 20-inches typically.
    • All horizontal bond beam re-bar must be recessed into the top course of block and must be tied to the vertical re-bar where they intersect.
  • #39 - Fence final inspection
    • The inspector will check for proper grading and drainage and that drain blocks have been installed at the proper intervals.
    • The inspector will verify that the fence is built to the proper height.
    • The inspector will check for clean up of spoil from alleys, rights-of-way, naos, utility easements and adjacent properties.
    • The inspector will check for paint and texturing if required.

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