Residential Fence Regulations and Codes for Wheaton, IL
Wheaton, IL, located in DuPage County, has a population of roughly 54,000 and is about 30 miles west of central Chicago. The city grew rapidly during the 1950s, and is almost completely built out today. Two Metra stations serve commuters, and major traffic routes into the city are nearby. With almost 40% of households including children under the age of 18, there’s a distinct family feel to Wheaton, and the median household income of over $100,000 makes it above average in affluence. The city’s public schools are highly ranked and private primary and secondary schools are numerous. The community’s parks and recreational facilities are also award-winners. A vibrant downtown district and a wide range of amenities and shopping make this suburban oasis popular with its residents.
General Ordinances for Residential Fences
If you’re planning a fence project in Wheaton, the process is fairly simple, with sensible, easy to understand regulations and rules. Most of the city’s rules are designed to promote an attractive appearance and safety for fences. You can make the installation on your own, or hire one of the many licensed contractors in the city to build it for you. In most cases, homeowners choose to have their fence built by professionals, since even a simple design can be a complex project, requiring a variety of skills and knowledge. Use the basic rules and codes below as a guide to thinking about your new fence.
- Building Permit Required? – A building permit is required for all fence projects in the city. The permit fee is just $50.
- Permit Documentation Needed – You’ll need two copies of a plat of survey with the fence drawn and described on it. If utility company installations exist on the property, they must be indicated, as well.
- Fence Materials Allowed – All common home fence types are allowed, but some restrictions on materials apply to front yard fences and other situations.
- Maximum Height Limits – All fences must be no more than 6′ in height, except when adjacent to railroad tracks and some commercial properties. Then, a fence up to 8′ tall may be allowed.
- Property Line Issues – Fences must be installed within the owner’s property. For corner lots, setbacks are required for fences adjacent to streets. The finished side of fence must face outward.
- Inspections Needed – A final inspection is required after completion.
- Building Authority Contact – 630-260-2050
- Building Department Website
Specific Rules and Restrictions
- Front Yard Fences – Only open, decorative designs are allowed in front yards. Maximum height is 3′ for picket or steel or aluminum ornamental installations and 4′ for split rail fences. No shadow box or chain link fences are permitted in front yards. Fences must be set back at least 12" from walkways and gates may not swing over public walk. No driveway gates are allowed.
- Side Yard Fences – These are generally not permitted between houses.
- Back Yard Fences – Maximum height is 6′ for all design types. If abutting a railway or some commercial properties, an 8′ high structure may be allowed. Gates or removable panels must allow access to utility installations.
- Corner Lot Restrictions – a 30′ x 30′ corner sight triangle must not have fencing higher than 36". Maximum height for side yard fences adjacent to roadways is 4′ on low-volume streets and 6′ on high-volume streets. No chain link side yard fences are allowed. All fencing must be set back 12" from public walkways. Driveway gates are not allowed. The finished side must face outward from property.
- Swimming Pool Fences – These must be at least 4′ high, with gates self-closing and latching, and latches out of reach of children. Other restrictions apply as well. Consult the Wheaton Building and Code Department for more details.
- Other Ordinances
- Posts may not extend more than 6" above the top of the fence.
- Chain link fences may not have inserted slats and must not have barbs at top of fence.
- Gaps over 2" at bottom of fence are not allowed.
- Dog run fences must not take up more than 20% of lot, must be no higher than 6′. These are allowed only in rear yards.
- No fences are allowed in designated floodways. Floodplain fences must not obstruct water flow, require a separate permit, and must be open in design, with chain link fences not allowed, since they tend to become clogged with debris.
- Barbed wire and electrically charged fences are not permitted in residential zones.
- Fences are not allowed on vacant lots.
- Arbors and trellises are allowed anywhere on the property, with no permit required.
- Homeowner’s Association Issues – Where a homeowner’s association rules are more restrictive than city regulations, the homeowner is responsible for complying with association requirements.
- Commercial Fence Codes – Fences in commercial and industrial zones have different requirements and restrictions. Contact the Wheaton Building and Codes department for these projects.
Residential Fence Installation Codes in Wheaton, IL
A great-looking fence is an asset for any home and increases the value of that property as well as adjacent properties. Making a complete installation is a complex job, requiring specific skills and expertise. While some homeowners who have a great deal of experience with construction work can make it a nice DIY project, fence building isn’t for everyone. In Wheaton, a number of licensed contractors specialize in residential fencing. Any of them will be happy to show you a variety of materials and designs and give you a comprehensive estimate on the cost of the complete job. By hiring a skilled, experienced contractor, you can depend on the finished project looking great and ready to last for decades.