Residential Fence Codes for Waukegan, IL
Waukegan is an outer suburb north of Chicago, located in Lake County. With a population of almost 90,000, it’s one of the larger communities along the western lakeshore and sits near the Wisconsin border. With a diverse population, it’s proud of its heritage and history. Median household incomes are moderate, as are home prices. Its industrial background and harbor are evident in the city, with redevelopment projects working to improve areas that are under-utilized. I-94 and Metra serve Waukegan residents who commute into Chicago, and the city’s schools serve over 17,000 students from the 40% of households in the city with children younger than 18 years of age.
General Ordinances for Residential Fences
Homeowners planning fences in Waukegan will find the city’s simple rules and regulations easy to follow. Many homeowners make a fence a DIY project, while others hire a local contractor to handle the work. While the codes are simple, this community works hard to make every project an asset to the community and its neighborhoods. The regulation information below reflects the ordinances governing residential fences, and building permits are required for every project.
- Building Permit Required? – A building permit is required for all fence installations. Fees for permits start at $50, but may be higher, based on value.
- Permit Documentation Needed – You’ll need a plat of survey with the fence location, height and materials indicated. A detailed drawing of the design and a written description is also required.
- Fence Materials Allowed – All normal residential materials are allowed, with some restrictions based on location on the lot.
- Maximum Height Limits – Residential fences are limited to a maximum of 6′ in height in typical situations. Lower height limits apply in front yards.
- Property Line Issues – Fences may be built up to the property line, with the all posts and supports facing inside, except along alleys.
- Inspections Needed – A final inspection is required after completion.
- Building Authority Contact – 847-625-6868
- Building Department Website
Specific Rules and Codes
- Front Yard Fences – Only open ornamental picket, ornamental aluminum and steel and split rail designs are allowed. Fences must be 4′ high or less. No chain link fences are allowed in front yards.
- Side Yard Fences – These may be up to 6′ high may be of any allowed material, including chain link.
- Back Yard Fences – Maximum height is 6′. Chain link materials are allowed.
- Corner Lot Restrictions – On corner lots, all sides abutting streets are considered to be front yards and front yard restrictions apply.
- Swimming Pool Fences – All swimming pools must be enclosed by a fence at least 4′ high, with self-closing, self-locking gates.
- Other Ordinances
- Barbed wire and electrically charged fences are not allowed.
- All utility meters, valves, regulators, transformers, tanks and other similar equipment in front yards must be fenced or enclosed by plantings. Maximum height for these screens is 4′.
- If fences are offset inside property lines, spaces outside of the fence must be landscaped and maintained.
- Fences may not obstruct sight lines at street intersections.
- Homeowner’s Association Issues – If your home is part of a development or subdivision governed by an HOA, additional restrictions may apply. Owners are responsible for adhering to such covenants and restrictions.
- Commercial Fence Codes – Commercial and industrial properties have specific fence requirements and restrictions. All commercial required fences must pass a site plan review. Before planning any project for a commercial property, consult with the Waukegan Building Department.
Fence Installation Codes in Waukegan, IL
DIY fence building is popular in this community, in part due to the simple regulations and a friendly Building Department. Installing fences is a popular “sweat-equity” project for many homeowners. However, before planning your installation, carefully assess your skills, knowledge and available time. All too often, homeowners who take on such a DIY project discover that creating a beautiful finished fence isn’t simple. Contacting a local, licensed contractor is often a better idea. By hiring one to design and build your project, you’ll have access to more types of materials and the expertise they bring to the job ensures that your fence will be finished quickly and professionally. Either way, an attractive fence is an investment that increases your property value and adds privacy and security.