Gilroy: A Small Town with Big Surprises

Gilroy, California, is a small town nestled in the Santa Clara Valley. Known for its garlic festival, it is home to around 57,000 residents. With its historic downtown, vibrant community, and growing economy, Gilroy is a great place to call home. Part of enjoying that quality of life includes ensuring an attractive and safe living environment, which is why the city of Gilroy has put in place specific fence requirements that residents must adhere to.

The first thing you need to know about fences in Gilroy is that these are regulated by the city’s planning department. Any construction work requires a permit from the city, and fences are no exception. If you are building a fence, you must obtain a permit from the City of Gilroy’s Building Division. Before applying for the permit, you need to contact the Planning Division to see if there are any zoning or setbacks requirements that could affect your fence design.

Permit requirements

The City of Gilroy has specific requirements on the permits needed for building fences, depending on a few factors. These include:

• The type of fence: Gilroy requires permits for all types of fences, from chain-link to ornamental metal, but some types of fences may require specific permits, such as masonry or block walls. Fences exceeding seven feet in height are considered masonry or block walls, which require the filing of a building permit application.

• The location of the fence: Certain locations in the city have different fence requirements, so you will need to ensure that you follow fencing guidelines, as specified in the permit to avoid any violation.

• The height of the fence: The city regulates fence height, depending on your location, zoning district, and lot size. For example, front yard fences can be a maximum of three-feet-tall, backyard fences are 6 feet tall, and corner lots maintain visibility.

• The design of the fence: The City has specific design standards for certain areas of the city, which must be adhered to during installation of fences. You must follow these standards concerning the design of the fence.

Before starting work, it is crucial to get all permits in order which can take 4-6 weeks. Constraints on fence construction help protect the quality of life in the community by ensuring that fences are constructed safely and the general public is kept safe. Additionally, regulations promote the character of the surrounding neighborhood.

Gilroy’s fence regulations are available on the City of Gilroy’s website, where a downloadable copy of the fence permit application and guidelines are provided. You can also visit the Gilroy Planning Division website for more information.


Q: Do I need a city permit to build a fence?

A: Yes, the City of Gilroy requires a permit for all types of fences, and this is to ensure that the fence is constructed to city codes and meets safety standards.

Q: How tall can my fence be?

A: The height of your fence will depend on its location, zoning district, and lot size. Front yard fences can be a maximum of 3 feet tall, while backyard fences are allowed to be 6 feet tall. Corner lots must also maintain visibility.

Q: What are the guidelines for fence designs?

A: If your property is located within specific areas in Gilroy, the city has specific design standards you must follow during the design process, as specified in “Residential Design Guidelines,” published by the City of Gilroy.

Q: Are there additional design requirements if I live in a historic area?

A: Yes, if you live in a historic area, there are additional guidelines provisions provided in the “Historic Design Guidelines” available on the City of Gilroy’s website.

Q: How long does it take to obtain a fence permit?

A: Once all the required application documents are submitted, obtaining a fence permit can take up to 4-6 weeks.

Q: Can I build a fence on the property line?

A: You must follow specific zoning and setback procedures when building a fence on the property line. As per the city of Gilroy, property line fencing is typically limited to a height of six feet. For more information, refer to the City of Gilroy’s website.

In conclusion, when it comes to building fences in Gilroy, it is essential always to adhere to the city requirements; this will ensure that your fence is safe, in compliance with city codes, and maintains the character of the surrounding neighborhood. The City of Gilroy’s website is an excellent resource for all the detailed information you need to obtain a fence permit, stay on top of regulations, and successfully build your fence project.

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