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