19th November 2019

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Fencing in Bay Area

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How to set up a residential fence.

Recently, we have done a lot of consultation business. We have had a client who comes to us requesting the services of our architects to help them come up with designs for their fences. In the process, we help them understand the regulations and limits to which you must stay within if you are to build a fence. Out of those we have done business with, they always remain on the right side of the law. Their testimonials on how helpful we have been over the years are what keeps us going.

To decide what type of fence you’re going to use in your home is not a simple task. Some rules and regulations determine how you will build your fence. All these regulations, however, vary depending on the location of the fence, and the location of your building. However, the type of fence you choose to install in your home will also determine the height of the wall. To understand these clearly, you need to understand the types of walls and the regions on your property. With a proper understanding of your property, you can hire services to complete the process without getting into trouble with the state department.

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Types of fences used for properties

When it comes to the kind of fence you choose to install in your property, there are two main types. You can either settle for the open or solid type of fencing. The open fence is a barrier constructed such that no more than 20% of the surface area of the fence hinders the view through the fence. However, the level of obstruction can change from 20% to about 25%.

For the solid type of fence, it is in such a way that the surface area of the fence obstructs the view to an extent greater than 25%. When you settle on a fence to use on your front yard, for instance, there are some rules to follow. The height regulations for different types of fences can now apply. For example, if you purpose to get a solid fence, then, you can only raise it to a maximum of 3-feet. On the other hand, if you want to use a 75% open fence, you can construct one that is up to 6-feet high.

Fencing regulations for different sections of a property

When you decide to fence your property, there are a few rules to consider before you set your tools down and get to work. You need to consult with the state department of planning so that together with an authorized architect, they can approve your plan. The rules vary depending on the location of your property and whether or not you will be using the property for residential, commercial, industrial, or mixed purposes. The rules are also different, depending on the zone you come from, whether or not you have neighbors, or if you live close to a road or not.

Building area

Once you have an outer fence and need another fence around your building area, you can construct a fence, not higher than 10 feet. However, for some commercial and residential districts, you might need to notify your neighborhood and get their approval before you begin. Although you have the green light to build your fence in your building area, the construction is subject to review by the planning board, based on the residential design guidelines.

Rear yard

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The rear yard area has a maximum allowable height of about 10 feet above the grade. Say, for instance, you have a tennis court or a basketball court on your property, or when the topography of your property is not even, you can go above the limit. However, before building a fence that is above the maximum allowable height, make a point to discuss the exemptions with a qualified architect, and clear the issues out with the state planning department.

For your ordinary yard, the rear yard is required to be between 25% and 45% of your total lot size. However, if you have adjacent buildings, you can reduce the size of the yard for consistency in your neighborhood.

Variance

These are the allowable additions to the stipulated sizes of the fence that you can build. If you need to construct a fence around your commercial or residential space and need to go above the limits, you need to understand the farthest you can go. Therefore, you will need to find and justify a variance. There are a few cases where the front setbacks are established through an ordinance. For such legislated setbacks, you cannot seek or explain your variance. For such, only a board of supervisors can modify or abolish the ordinance set on the setback.

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