Fence Permits Rules, City of Orlando

"I saw on Channel 9 News that the City of Orlando is not requiring fence permits anymore.  Is this True and Why?"  - Donna L.

Yes and No.

On Monday, April 8th, the Orlando City Council approved a resolution exempting certain types of fences from the permitting process. But there is a catch.  If your fence project meets all of the following criteria, a fence permit is not required: Remember, all the following conditions must be true:

  • Fence is located on a one or two-family residential property
  • Fence is six (6) feet or less in height (All heights shall be measured from the established normal building site grade)
  • Fence materials are one of the following: wood, plastic/vinyl, chain-link, aluminum, wrought-iron, plant material
  • The fence must comply with Orlando Code Chapter 58 Part 5B(5) Orlando Code Chapter 58 Part 5B(5)

Here Is When a Fence Permit is Still Required:

  • If the fence is located on a commercial property, including three-unit or more residential properties.
  • If the fence is more than six feet in height. (All heights shall be measured from the established normal building site grade.)
  • If the fence materials are one of the following: concrete, masonry, or block, including posts or any reinforcement (concrete/rebar).
  • If the fence is utilized as a required pool/spa barrier.
  • If the fence is located on or near any or all public easements as depicted on a property survey.
  • If the fence includes vehicular gates or powered (electric, solar, etc) gates.
  • If the fence is associated with a demolition permit or the demolition of a structure on the property.
  • If the fence is required as part of Chapter 33 Safeguards During Construction – Florida Building Code.

Why Is It Important to Pay Attention?

As one can see, there is still room for confusion.   What is important, regardless of if you need a permit or not, is that the fence installed on your property must still comply with Orlando Code Chapter 58 Part 5B(5).   Failure to adhere to the fencing regulation defined in Chapter 58 will result in code enforcement actions.  Bottom line, know the dos and don'ts.  Don't just trust that fence contractor/company, individual, or your basic understanding of the code.  Know it.  The City of Orlando can and will make you rip down or move that fence.

 

Know How Your Property Is Zoned.

 

Land Use guide

A common mistake made by the homeowner and fence company alike is not paying attention type of property, the positioning of the home, and the location of the lot itself within the City block.  Understand, how one answers those questions above will determine how high, where, and what type of fence can be installed.  Click the photo above and for a direct explanation from the City of Orlando Permitting and Service Division.

The Cities Of Orlando's Fence Guide.

Get Your Information From The Horses Mouth.

The City of Orlando has put forth maximum focus on helping homeowners get it right. Click on the photo and it will directly take you to the City of Orlando's Fence Guide.

Know The Code

Read Between The Lines.

Remember, the fence code is more of a zoning issue than a building issue.  There is nothing in the Florida Building Code that dictates how a fence is constructed or with what type of the material.   What is important is that you understand the City of Orlando's  Code Chapter 58 Part 5B(5).

A Special Thanks

Custom Fence Orlando and Paramount Fencing would like to personally thank the City of Orlando Permitting Service Division Manager and the Head of Economic Development Department for reaching out prior to presenting the resolution to the City Council. We would also like to thank them for allowing us the opportunity of feedback prior to presenting the resolution to the City Council of Orlando.  We would like to thank Mayor Dyer for allowing Paramount Fencing to speak at the meeting on behalf of the resolutions.

 

Fencing on Lakes in Central Florida, Orlando, Seminole County

Attention All Home Owners in Florida.  If you live on a lake or purchasing a new home on a lake in Orange County, Seminole County, The City of Winter Park, or The City of Orlando, be prepared to hear a new term when you are trying to install a fence.  Where is the Normal Highwater Elevation Mark  (NHWE) on your land survey?   Understand, the absence of the NHEM will bring your fence project to a screeching halt.   You will not pass go.  Your fence project will be dead on the water’s edge.

Here is why:   The Normal Highwater Elevation Mark is the base-line from which Municipalities determine the set back of the fence from the water’s edge, both horizontally and perpendicularly? The NHWE, in some municipalities, determines the height, style, and materials that can be used.   Understand, without this mark, you cannot begin the process of permitting.  The application will automatically be rejected.

So chances are if your reading this, you need an NHWE added to your land survey.   The best thing you can do is call the company back who did the original land survey and ask them to add it.   Be prepared, this cost money.  Some land survey companies do not do NHWE, so you might have to have your property completely resurveyed.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  It is important if you are buying a home on a lake to confirm that the surveying company selected includes all necessary marks associated with a titled body of water.   Next, make sure the survey company being suggested by a real estate agent, seller, or title company is qualified to handle lakes.

So how do you determine if your current survey has an NHWE mark? It simple.  Look where the property meets the water’s edge.  You will see words like Edge of Water, Survey Closure Line, Flood Zone ratings, or Elevation Measurements.  These are important and should be included, but don’t be fooled.  These are not the Normal Highwater Mark.  See the two surveys below.   The land survey on the right does not include all the necessary marks

In Correct Survey                                              Correct:

 

Do I Need A Permit To Building A Custom Fence In Orlando?

Yes. Yes! Yes!!  If you want to build a fence or custom fence within the City limits of Orlando, or any Central Florida municipality,  that fence must be permitted.   Yes. Permitted.  Yes. Approved by the powers to be…Don’t let anyone or custom fence company in Orlando convince you otherwise.  In fact, if a fence company says you don’t need a permit, run.  Run fast.  Don’t look back.   Chances are the fence company or individual is not licensed and insured. Chances are what is being requested will not meet local building codes.

If you are still thinking you don’t need a fence permit, think twice.   Build that custom fence in Orlando without a permit and more likely than not you will be cited and fined until you obtain one.  Then when you try to pull that fence permit, a city permit technician will utter words such as:

  • Historical District
  • Special District
  • Signed and Stamped Architectural Drawing
  • Planned Develop Agreement
  • Pool Code
  • Double Frontage Lot
  • Front Yard Set Back
  • Reverse Corner
  • Right-A-Way
  • Maximize Height Limits
  • Urban Design
  • Department of Transportation
  • Visibility Triangle
  • Corner Clip
  • Administrative Modification
  • Variance and much more…..

So Yes!!! You need a fence permit!  Visit the City of Orlando website and find out more: http://www.cityoforlando.net/permits/   When in doubt call Paramount Fencing or visit them on the web at www.paramountfencing.com 

P.S. ALL MUNICIPALITIES IN CENTRAL FLORIDA AREA REQUIRE FENCE PERMITS, even if you’re replacing. THE ONLY EXCEPTION IS UNINCORPORATED LAKE COUNTY.