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Fences/Walls within the Foothills Overlay Area

In general, walls and fences should be used only where necessary to shield views of parking and other such functions, provide safety and security and contain equestrian facilities and activities. They should follow undulating alignments that reflect the form of the desert terrain. They should not intrude upon or enclose special natural features such as washes, boulder features and major native plant specimens.  A Wall Permit is required.


Allowed Walls, Fences and Hedges:

  1. Walls, fences, or hedges up to 6 feet in height are allowed. The use of undulating walls that follow the land form are highly encouraged.
  2. Walls, fences or hedges taller than 3 feet in height shall not be placed within a required front yard.
  3. The maximum portion of a parcel that may be enclosed by walls, fences and hedges taller than 3 feet in height but not taller than 6 feet in height shall be as follows:
Parcel Size Maximum Permitted Enclosure*
(net lot area)
32,000 to 69,999 sq. ft. 60% of net lot area
70,000 to 189,999 sq. ft. 55% of net lot area
190,000 sq. ft. or more 45% of net lot area

*Maximum enclosure area by walls and building (including the area of any accessory building).

  1. Exceptions:
    1. No wall, fence or hedge may be placed in a location that separates a natural area open space (NAOS) from an abutting street right-of-way or road/access easement or an abutting NAOS.
    2. Walls, fences or hedges up to 8 feet tall may be placed within a required rear or side yard along collector or larger street designation (defined within the General Plan ’s Street Classification Map) provided that the wall is setback a minimum of 50 feet and a maximum of 100 feet from the right-of-way. If a street is designated on the General Plan as a scenic corridor , the walls, fences or hedges shall be setback a minimum of 125 feet and a maximum of 175 feet from the right-of-way.
    3. A corral fence not exceeding 6 feet in height shall be permitted on the property line or within any yard, except that no corral fence may be placed within 10 feet of a street right-of-way or a dedicated public trail easement or pathway easement. Areas enclosed by a corral fence are not subject to the provisions of Paragraph 3 above.

General Guidelines

  • In general, walls shall be setback a minimum of 15 feet from a side or rear property line.  There shall be a 5 foot buffer from dedicated Natural Area Open Space (NAOS)
  • NAOS shall not be enclosed by walls that disrupt its continuity with NAOS on adjacent properties.
  • Walls are prohibited from disrupting the continuity of NAOS corridors and wildlife corridors or habitats located along major and minor watercourses.
  • Walls shall not enclose or disconnect contiguous NAOS or be permitted to cross washes of 50 cfs greater flow in a 100-year event.
  • Fences shall not block wildlife movement in and through NAOS and/or natural watercourses.

Site and Structure Development Design Standards

  • Materials used for exterior surfaces of all structures shall blend in color, hue, and tone with the surrounding natural desert setting to avoid high contrast.
  • Surface materials of walls, retaining walls or fences shall be similar to and compatible with those of the adjacent main buildings.
  • No paint colors shall be used within any landform that have a LRV greater than 35 percent.
  • Exterior paint and material colors shall not exceed a value of 6 and a chroma of 6 as indicated in the Munsell Book of Color.
  • Leave washes in place and in natural conditions where practical. When necessary, modifications to natural watercourses and all walls and fences crossing natural watercourses shall be designed in accordance with the standards and policies specified in Chapter 37 (Floodplain and Stormwater Regulation) of the Scottsdale Revised Code leaving the city of scottsdale web site (gif 340 b) , and the Design Standards and Policies Manual .

Subdivision walls



Call the One Stop Shop at 480-312-2500 or e-mail planninginfo@scottsdaleaz.gov .