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Fences & Walls

Probably one of the first things you should know is that the City of Turlock does not require you to have a fence around your property. It is entirely up to the property owner as to whether or not you surround your lot with a fence or wall. That being said, most property owners choose to fence-in their yard for privacy, canine enjoyment, or other noble reasons. With that in mind, here are some frequently asked questions to assist you, and a little diagram to hopefully clarify the specifications regarding fence/wall heights and setbacks (distances) from property lines that you must be mindful of.

How tall can my fence be?

The maximum height of a fence or wall on residential property is 7 feet, including lattice or similar additions. However, fence height in setback areas (required distance from property lines) is limited to a maximum height of 3 feet. In some cases, you may be allowed to go up to 4 feet in setback areas if you can see through the fence (e.g. picket fence, chain link fence, wrought iron fence etc).

Please contact the Planning Division for your setbacks and refer to the diagram for setback areas.

My house is on a corner lot. Do I have to follow the setback rules on the street side of my property?
The City's Municipal Code allows you to construct a 7-foot fence/wall 5 feet closer to the corner-side property line if the house behind you does not have their driveway off of the corner side street.

How do I know where my property line is?
If you can locate the property pins for your lot, just draw a line between them, and you're done! However, it may not be this easy, and you may need to seek the advice of a land surveyor to give you some direction. The City's surveyor may also provide you some help in this matter, but he can not survey your property.

Can I put a 3 foot tall fence in my front yard, right next to the sidewalk?
You can do this, but if there is a "Public Utility Easement" under your fence, a utility company can remove your fence if they need to get to the underground equipment, and they will not compensate you for replacement of the fence.

Do I need a building permit to construct a fence?
If the fence or wall is not over 6 feet tall, you do not need a building permit. However, if it is over 6 feet, you will need to contact the Building & Safety Division to discuss the height and the type of materials you wish to use. Depending on these factors, you may need a building permit prior to constructing your fence or wall.

For more information or concerns about a building permit, please contact:

Building and Safety Division
156 S. Broadway, Ste. 130
Turlock, CA 95380-5454
(209) 668-5560
Monday - Friday, 8AM - 5PM

For more information or concerns about a setback requirements, please contact:

Planning Division
156 S. Broadway, Ste. 120
Turlock, CA 95380-5456
(209) 668-5640
Monday - Friday, 8AM - 5PM

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