Sunnyvale Fence Requirements Guide

Fences have always been an essential aspect of home privacy and security. To ensure the safety and privacy of Sunnyvale residents, the city has specific requirements for fence installations within its jurisdiction.

The city of Sunnyvale has a set of zoning regulations that govern the installation, maintenance, and repairs of fences. These regulations are meant to ensure that the fences meet certain standards in terms of height, design, and location.

Fence Height

The height of a fence in Sunnyvale depends on the site location, zoning district, and proximity to the street. For instance, front yard fences can be a maximum of four feet in height, while side and backyard fences can be up to six feet high. If a resident desires to place a fence higher than six feet, it is necessary to apply for a building permit.

It is essential to note that the height of the fence is determined by measuring from the ground level on the higher side. If there is a difference in ground elevation, Sunnyvale regulations provide for solutions to address the situation.

Fence Materials

Fences in Sunnyvale should be sturdy and durable to withstand weather conditions prevalent in the area. According to the city’s zoning regulations, wood or vinyl are acceptable materials for fences, but permitted material varies depending on location within the yard. Barbed wire, electric fences, or chain link fencing is not allowed within the city limits.

Solid brick or cement fences are legal and can be up to five feet in height on the front, side, or rear yard. If a resident wants to build a solid brick or cement fence higher than five feet, an engineer or architect needs to design and build the wall to conform to local standards.

Fence Location

The placement or location of fences is crucial in Sunnyvale, and zoning regulations govern it. Fence placement is particularly critical when building around a street or alley. Front yard fences shouldn’t be located past the front wall of an adjacent home or property. Side and rear yard fences should be placed at least six inches inside the perimeter of the rear and side property lines.

Additionally, it is essential to note that fences should not encroach on public property. Inaccurate placement of a fence can lead to liability issues or violations of zoning regulations.

Fences in Sunnyvale, particularly those surrounding swimming pools, require self-closing and self-latching gates as a safety measure. The gate should be able to accommodate an automatic locking device and should not offer any footholds, handholds, or any opening to allow children to climb over the fence.


Q: Do I need permission from my neighbor to build a fence?

A: It is essential to have the approval of the adjacent property owner to install a fence on shared property line. It is also critical to follow up with the city of Sunnyvale for compliance with zoning regulations regarding the fence location.

Q: Does the city require a permit to install a fence?

A: The city of Sunnyvale requires a permit for building fences that exceed six feet in height, as well as for those that require concrete footings. The permit allows the city to ensure the fence meets zoning regulations and safety requirements.

Q: How high can a fence be installed in Sunnyvale?

A: Sunnyvale codes stipulate that front yard fences should not exceed four feet in height. Side and rear yard fence heights should not exceed six feet, except under special circumstances that allow for a higher fence. Please consult with the importance of fence specifications in your area.


Fences serve as an important aspect of home privacy and security for Sunnyvale residents. To build a fence that meets zoning regulations, it is important to adhere to Sunnyvale’s zoning regulations that govern fence installation in the city. For guidance on fence placement, size, and material requirements, residents should consult with the city and get accurate information to adhere to guidelines. With proper installation procedures, fencing can enhance privacy and security, and also increase your property value.

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