Residential Fence Codes and Rules for Elgin, IL
The historic city of Elgin, with a population over 110,000, is located northwest of Chicago and is in both Cook and Kane counties. With a diverse population, it is a commuter suburb with excellent public transit routes into the larger city. Originally a dairy community, it has grown rapidly, and is still adding new homes within the city limits. Household incomes are above average and Elgin is a popular community for a broad range of families and other residents. It even offers the only riverboat gambling casino in Illinois.
General Requirements for Residential Fences
Elgin residents take great pride in their city, and that is reflected in the well-maintained homes throughout its neighborhoods. Homeowners planning a fence installation will need to apply for a permit, and the city has relatively strict regulations on construction. The presence of a unique historic district and many homeowners associations also has an impact on design and construction choices for property enclosures. The information listed below will help when you’re thinking about your project’s design:
- Building Permit Required? – A building permit is required for all construction projects. If the property is in an Elgin Historic District, a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) is also required. The permit fee is $65.
- Permit Documentation Needed – A plat of survey showing all dimensions of existing and planned improvements is required.
- Fence Materials Allowed – All standard materials are allowed, including wood, ornamental aluminum and steel, PVC vinyl and chain link, with some restrictions for front yards.
- Maximum Height Limits – Rear and side yard fences may be up to 6′ high.
- Property Line Issues – Fences may be built up to the property line. Homeowners are responsible for locating property lines. Fences must not encroach on neighboring properties.
- Inspections Needed – A final inspection after construction is required.
- Building Authority Contact – Building Department – 847-931-5920. Historic District and COAs – 847-931-6004
- Building Department Website
Specific Rules and Restrictions
- Front Yard Fences – No chain link fences. Solid designs can be up to 3′ high. Open designs may be up to 4′ high. Front yard fences may not be allowed in some subdivisions.
- Side and Back Yard Fences – 6′ maximum height.
- Corner Lot Restrictions – All fences adjacent to streets are considered to be front yard fences. They must not obstruct the view of traffic at intersections or driveways.
- Other Restrictions
- A maximum gap of 6" is allowed at the bottom of a fence.
- All posts and supports must be on the interior side.
- Fences are allowed in easements, but owner is responsible for any damage by work done in the easement by the city or utility company.
- Fences within drainage easements must not impede water flow.
- Homeowner’s Association Issues – Many subdivisions and developments in Elgin are governed by associations or boards. HOA covenants and restrictions may supersede city codes and ordinances.
- Commercial Fence Codes – Commercial fence codes and regulations vary with zoning laws. Consult the Elgin Building Department for information on your specific property.
Residential Fence Installation Codes in Elgin, IL
While there are no restrictions on do-it-yourself fence projects in Elgin, the exacting rules and codes within the city lead most property owners to hire a local, licensed contractor to build their fence. These projects require a wide range of construction skills and are complex, time-consuming and labor-intensive. If you have the skills and tools required, there’s no reason not to build it yourself. Still, few homeowners have those skills, and the appearance of your completed yard enclosure is important. You’ll find many talented building contractors who specialize in these projects in Elgin. They’ll get the job done efficiently and correctly. Your handsome new fence will be finished much sooner, too. Get a complete estimate before making a decision.