A fence is a structure that encloses an area, typically outdoors, and is usually constructed from posts that are connected by boards, rails or netting. A fence differs from a wall in not having a solid foundation along its whole length. Fences are constructed for a variety of reasons. They are generally used to restrict the movement of people and animals into or out of a parcel of land. Often, they are placed to denote boundaries, delineate specific-use areas, provide privacy or for aesthetic reasons. Common fence types are split rail, picket, board-on-board and chain link. Fences may be constructed of any approved materials, including pressure-treated wood, aluminum and vinyl.
For aesthetic purposes, the Zoning Ordinance prohibits the location of support posts and rails on the exterior side of the fence. All structural (vertical and horizontal) rails/posts need to face the inside of the lot per CB-4-2016, so the “finished” looking side of the fence faces outwardly.
IMPORTANT NOTICE FOR CORNER LOTS
Per Prince George’s County Zoning Code, Section 27-421. – Corner lot obstructions, all properties located on a corner lot, must possess a permit to install a fence, regardless of height.
In addition, on a corner lot, NO VISUAL OBSTRUCTION MORE THAN THREE (3) FEET HIGH (above the curb level) shall be located within the triangle formed by the intersection of the street lines and points on the street lines twenty-five (25) feet from the intersection.
- Fences that encroach into a public road right-of-way are not permitted.
- Fences cannot encroach into a public utility easement (PUE). Exceptions to this can be made only if the permittee provides written confirmation from the utility companies that govern this easement (electric, gas, telecommunication, phone, cable TV).
- Fences cannot encroach into a storm drain, surface drainage and floodplain area or easement, unless a waiver is issued by DPIE.
- Fences cannot encroach into conservation or woodland preservation areas or easements unless the permittee provides written concurrence from the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC).
- Fences cannot encroach into other easements controlled by other agencies or parties (such as WSSC, PEPCO, etc.) unless the permittee provides written concurrence from the easement holder.
- For fences that cross swales or streams, the bottom of the fence must be raised at least six (6) inches above the bottom of the swale. See Site/Road Bulletin 2013-01 for Fence Permit for details.
- To prevent surface stormwater (sheet flow) from being blocked by fences, fences should be constructed at least one (1) inch above the ground level, as per the Fence with Surface Drainage Illustration.
- Fences taller than four (4) feet require a permit. Fences four (4) feet and under do not need a permit unless located in a HISTORICAL/PROTECTED AREA or located on a CORNER LOT. If your property is in a historical area, a Historical Area Work Permit, which is separate from a building permit, is required, as well as approval of allowable work materials. If your property is located within the Chesapeake Bay Conservation Area (CBCA) Overlay, a CBCA approval and permit is required. If your property has 100 year floodplain, and the fence is proposed in the floodplain, this is only permissible if a waiver is granted, and therefore, a permit is required regardless of height.
- Applicants should be aware that M-NCPPC may have additional limitations or requirements for approval that exceed DPIE’s requirements. Applicants should review M-NCPPC requirements for additional information. Information can be found at Planning Information Services to submit an Online Information Request Form by sending an email to PPD-InfoCounter@ppd.mncppc.org.
- Applicants should be aware that municipalities may also have additional limitations or requirements for approval that exceed DPIE’s requirements.
Application and Supporting Documents Permit Applications must be entered online.
Who Can Apply
- Owner: Property Owner name must match Maryland State Assessment records or Proof of Ownership must be submitted. Proof of Ownership: Deed and Deed Recording Receipt from Clerk of the Circuit Court for Prince George's County.
- Agent: Applicants who are not the property owner or a Maryland Home Improvement Commission (MHIC) contractor must submit the following document:
Homeowner Improvement Authorization Letter (PDF)
- Contractor: Must have MHIC license
Plans and Drawings Requirements
- Please Review: "Minimum Plan Submission Requirements for Residential Projects."
- Site Plan (Signed & Sealed): Need three (3) copies, showing location of project.
- Architectural/Structural Drawings: (Signed and Sealed not required.)
Processing and Reviewing Agencies
Bring 3 copies of the entered online application, necessary support documents, and required plans and drawings to the Permit Center.
Select "eplan" on the online application and upload required documents.
Minimum Fee: $110.00
Fee Calculation (if higher than minimum): $110 + Grading Fee + $5 (M–NCPPC)
All permitting fees are assessed an additional five (5) percent Technology Fee. Fees are subject to change based on County codes.
Following agency approvals of plans/drawings and payment of fees, a permit is issued. A permit may be revoked if issued in error. A permit may be voided if construction has not started, has been suspended or discontinued.
Modifications to the permit, plans, or drawing require a Permit Revision. Permit Revision applications cannot be submitted online. The revised application, plans and drawings must be submitted in the Permits Center, using the following two forms:
Inspections must be requested and conducted at least once every six months until the completion of the fence when a final inspection is performed and approved. Visit our Inspections Division pages to schedule an inspection.
- "Currently, the Zoning Ordinance does not provide regulations to prevent fences from being constructed 'inside out.' This legislation amends the regulations, for aesthetic purposes, to prohibit the location of support posts and rails on the exterior side of the fence."