Residential Fence Regulations and Codes for Skokie, IL
A prominent northern Cook County suburb of Chicago, Skokie is a city of about 65,000 residents. Most people living in this community enjoy living outside of the big city, but insist on rapid transportation for their daily commute. The Yellow Line train speeds residents into Chicago, and drivers can take a number of routes into the city. More diverse today than in the past, Skokie has a higher than average family income, and about a third of households include children under the age of 13. Roughly 25% of the residents of Skokie are now of Asian heritage.
General Ordinances for Residential Fences
A wide range of single-family home styles is represented in the city, including historic classic Chicago-style bungalows built in the 1920s. Parks, shopping opportunities and an award-winning library system are just some of the features enjoyed by homeowners in Skokie. Property owners planning a fence installation must dig deeply into city codes to decipher the rules and regulations before applying for a permit. That leads most homeowners to rely on local, licensed contractors. Below, you’ll find the basic ordinances in an easy-to-understand listing. The goal of all of these rules is to ensure a good appearance in neighborhoods and to promote safety and security for residents.
- Building Permit Required? – A permit is required for all fence projects. The permit fee is $50.
- Permit Documentation Needed – To apply for a building permit, you’ll need a copy of a current plat of survey, along with two copies of a site plan showing the location of the fence to scale, with specifications. Any contractors used must be licensed in the Village of Skokie.
- Fence Materials Allowed – All normal residential materials are allowed, including wood, metal ornamental, PVC vinyl, and chain link.
- Maximum Height Limits – Maximum height for yard fencing is 6′, but fences 8′ high may be allowed where a property line is adjacent to an industrial or commercial property or next to an alley that abuts a non-residential property.
- Property Line Issues – Fences may be built up to the property line, but must not encroach on neighboring property.
- Inspections Needed – A final inspection is required after completion.
- Building Authority Contact – 847-933-8223
- Building Department Website
Specific Rules and Codes
- Front Yard Fences – These are not allowed on residential properties.
- Side Yard Fences – Height is limited to 5′ if the fence abuts another residential lot.
- Back Yard Fences – Heights in rear yards are limited to 6′, or 8′ when the lot line abuts a commercial or industrial property or alley adjacent to such a non-residential property.
- Corner Lot Restrictions – Sight lines at intersections may not be obstructed. Fences within sight line triangles may not be more than 30" high.
- Swimming Pool Fences – All pools must be surrounded by a 4′ high fence, and constructed of 9-gauge chain link mesh or other approved material. Gates must be self-closing and self-latching. Latches must be inaccessible by small children.
- Other Restrictions
- Barbed wire, razor wire, electrically charged fences and attachments that might cause injuries are not permitted.
- All posts and supporting fence components must face the owner’s side of the fence, unless the finished design is the same on both sides.
- Homeowner’s Association Issues – Where HOA covenants and restrictions are stricter than city codes, the property owner must comply with them in subdivisions governed by an HOA.
Commercial Fence Codes
- Maximum Height Information – Typically 8′, but commercial and industrial fence requirements vary in different zones. For details, contact the Skokie Community Development Department.
- Security Fence Rules – Barbed wire is permitted, but only when installed at least 6′ above the ground and extended inward toward the property being enclosed.
Residential Fence Installation Codes in Skokie, IL
Homeowners thinking about building their own fences should review the ordinance information above, but should also call or visit the Village Community Development Department to discuss the installation in advance. All rules are subject to change, and you’ll get other helpful information from Village officials. If you’ll be hiring a contractor, as most homeowners do, Skokie requires that all contractors be registered and bonded with the Village. Your contractor will know the details of all Skokie codes and can help you select suitable materials and installation details in a consultation. Compare estimates from more than one contractor, too, to get the most value for your investment. Your contractor will typically obtain the building permit for you, as well.