What do I need to do before I build or replace a fence?
If you live within city limits and have a 3-4 digit property address, you need to purchase a Fence Construction permit.
Fence applications can be found on our website.
Regulations can be found in the City of South Bend Zoning Ordinance:
If you live beyond city limits and have a 5 digit address within St. Joseph County, you are not required to purchase a permit before erecting or replacing a fence, but still must follow regulations, which can be found in the St. Joseph County Zoning Ordinance:
How much does a construction permit for a fence cost?
The permit fee is based on the value of the job (cost of labor and materials).
Our Permit Fee Schedule can be found here.
Who is involved in fence regulations and permits?
The contractors that are performing the work must be either a Registered Building Contractor or the property owner in order to purchase a permit through the Building Department.
Building Contractor Regulations can be found on our website.
When does my fence project need to be completed?
After purchasing a permit (if within South Bend city limits) you must start the job within 6 months and complete the job within 2 years.
Fence regulations are stated in our Zoning Ordinance:
- City of South Bend Zoning Ordinance
- St. Joseph County Zoning Ordinance
- Other Towns/Cities Zoning Ordinances
Maximum allowed height of privacy fences is 6 feet. If in the front setback (the area between the house and front property line, which is determined per zoning and is listed in our zoning ordinance) the maximum allowed height is 3 feet.
Maximum allowed height of chain link or 70% open fences is 8 feet. If in the front setback (the area between the house and front property line, which is determined per zoning and is listed in our zoning ordinance) the maximum allowed height is 4 feet.
Keep in mind some additional regulations, when applicable:
Flood Plains & Wetlands