Residential Fence Codes and Rules for Oak Lawn, IL
The Village of Oak Lawn is a southwestern suburb of Chicago, with a population of approximately 57,000. Located in Cook County, it has an average median household income, and only about 25% of homes in the city have children under 18 living in them. Many residents of Oak Lawn have Irish, German, Polish and Italian ancestry links. The city grew rapidly in the post-WWII building boom, and considerable rebuilding was done following a disastrous tornado in 1967 that destroyed over 900 buildings. Since the 1980s, the community’s population has decreased somewhat, but re-development to encourage new residents has been underway for many years.
General Requirements for Residential Fences
Well-established Oak Lawn residential neighborhoods are meticulously maintained, and attractive fences are part of homeowners’ pride of ownership. The Village has fence codes and regulations that are designed to ensure that all fences built in the city enhance their properties and are maintained throughout their lives. It’s important that residents planning a new or replacement fences become familiar with the rules and ordinances before making a DIY installation or hire a local, licensed contractor who understands the design requirements. Below, you’ll find the basic fence codes for Oak Lawn properties:
- Building Permit Required? – A building permit is required for all new and replacement fences. A $30 permit fee is required.
- Permit Documentation Needed – You’ll need an accurate plat of survey, a sketch of the fence that shows location, specified materials and type of construction.
- Fence Materials Allowed – All standard residential materials are allowed on residential lots, including chain link, wood, PVC vinyl and ornamental metal. Substandard materials are not allowed.
- Maximum Height Limits – All residential fences have a height limit of 6′.
- Property Line Issues – Where allowed, fences can be built up to the property line, but must not encroach on adjacent properties.
- Inspections Needed – A final inspection is required on completion.
- Building Authority Contact – 708-499-7823
- Building Department Website
Specific Rules and Restrictions
- Front Yard Fences – These are not permitted.
- Side Yard Fences – These are limited to 6′ in height, and must not extend past the front of the principal structure on the lot.
- Back Yard Fences – Maximum height is 6′.
- Corner Lot Fences – Fences may not extend past the side yard on any corner lot adjacent to a street.
- Swimming Pool Fences – Permanent swimming pools must be enclosed with a 6′ high fence, and must have a self-closing latch at least 4.5′ above the ground.
- Easement Restrictions – A release of liability is required for fences in utility and other easements. Such fences should be removable for access when work in the easement is required. Property owners are responsible for any repairs if damage is caused by work in the easement.
- Other Restrictions and Rules
- No sharp points are allowed on fence tops, except for standard picket designs.
- The entire fence must be constructed of the same materials.
- Supports and posts must be installed on the inside of the fence, unless the design is the same on both sides.
- Homeowner’s Association Issues – For homes in subdivisions or developments governed by a homeowners’ association, contract rules may supersede city rules.
- Gates and Access Rules – At least one gate is required for all enclosed areas.
- Fence Prohibitions – Barbed wire, chicken wire, welded square mesh wire, temporary snow fences, electrically charged and solid concrete block fences are prohibited on residential properties.
Commercial Fence Codes
- Maximum Height Information – 8′ is the maximum height allowed.
- Security Fence Rules – Barbed wire is allowed, but must be above a minimum height of 7′ above grade. Barbed wire must be turned to the inside of the property and is not allowed closer than 5′ from sidewalks, streets, alleys, parks or and public right-of-way.
Residential Fence Installation In Oak Lawn, IL
Most homeowners choose to have their fences installed by an experienced building contractor, licensed in Oak Lawn. When you contact a contractor, you’ll be able to see a wide range of designs and materials and compare costs for different types of installations. The contractor you choose will know the local codes and should obtain a building permit on your behalf. Get a cost estimate for your project from more than one contractor to ensure a competitive price. You can build your own fence, but most people are happier with a high-quality, attractive enclosure built by a seasoned contractor. If you do decide to do it yourself, be sure to understand all the codes and ordinances before ordering materials and starting work.