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This quick Guide is designed to help you through the permitting and construction processes associated with a fence project. A fence is defined as a structure that is entirely above ground level. Fences may be constructed of wood, masonry or chain link. For further information on Fences, please review our handout, Wood & Masonry Fences, Form 4604.

A building permit is not required for fences up to 72 inches in height and freestanding masonry walls up to 48 inches in height above the highest adjacent grade. However, fences exempt from a building permit must still comply with applicable local and State building regulations and codes, including, the Chula Vista Zoning Ordinance.  Fences, walls or gates that extend across fire apparatus access roads require a permit from the Chula Vista Fire Department.  All new structures must therefore be reviewed by the Planning Division to ensure the structure meets the requirements of the zone. Please check with Planning staff (619-585-5621) on Zoning regulations applicable to fences.

To apply for a fence permit, you need to stop at our Building Counter at 276 Fourth Avenue, Building B. For us to accept your permit application, you must provide us with a complete submittal package. A complete submittal package consists of the following:

  1. A completed "Residential Accessory Patio Cover, Pool, Wall Application" Form 4562B
  2. Three copies of a Plot/Site Plan showing the general layout of the existing building site, location of the fence, and address. Please review our handout, How To Prepare A Residential Plot Plan, Form 4595, or call us at (619) 691-5272.
  3. Two copies of construction plans and details.

Note: The Planning & Building Department has handouts that show construction techniques for miscellaneous structures such as Fences. These handouts may be used in lieu of construction plans when attached to a properly prepared plot plan. Please review our handout, Wood & Masonry Fences, Form 4604.

During the permitting process you will be asked to pay two separate fees; Plan Check Fee and Permit Fee. You are required to pay the Plan Check Fee before we can take in your application for plan check. As for the Permit Fee, you must pay it at time of permit issuance. If you use a city standard construction plan, the Plan Check Fee is included in the Permit Fee and is paid at time of permit issuance. Both fees are determined by the type of construction and square footage.

After our Development Services Technicians (DST's) verify that the application package is complete, and you pay the Plan Check Fee, they will forward a set of plans/documents to each of the three departments/divisions; Building, Planning, and Engineering. Approval from all three departments/divisions is required prior to permit issuance. To contact any of the departments/divisions, please see the contact list shown at the end of this document.

The plan check process is then tracked in our Automated Tracking System and the project is assigned a standard turn-around-time. The standard turn-around-time is 7 calendar days. If you use a city standard construction plan, the plan check can be done "Over-The- Counter" and the permit may get issued the same day.

After you obtain all the required approvals and pay the Permit Fee, a DST will issue you a building permit. Now you can start construction. At certain stages of the construction, you must schedule for an inspection. The following list represents the sequence of required inspections for a typical fence:

Wood/Chain Link Fences:

  1. Footings - when footings have been excavated but before concrete is placed.
  2. Final when work is complete.

Masonry Fences:

  1. Foundation - after excavation for footing and after the steel is tied securely in final position.
  2. Pre-grout - after the blocks have been laid up to the full height of the wall, with steel in place but before the grout is placed.
  3. Grout.
  4. Final when work is complete.

City Dept. / Division
Phone Number
Fax Number


(Permits Section)


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