Frequently Asked Questions:
Why Do I Need a Permit? The permit and inspection process gives you, your neighbors, and the City assurance that specific standards are met when expanding, altering, or repairing your property by complying with State and Local Code and Zoning Requirements. These standards are based on well-established health, safety, and environmental considerations intended to protect the integrity of the building, the safety of its inhabitants, and the welfare of the public. Projects not completed according to code can affect your home’s insurability and potential sale. City building records are available from our department upon request. Prospective buyers can use these records to see if permits were obtained and if compliance was achieved for specific projects. When Do I Need a Building Permit? A Building Permit from the Inspection Services Division is required prior to constructing and/or installing any fencing materials on your property. A permit is also required when replacing or altering an existing fence. Who is Responsible for Obtaining a Permit? The property owner is responsible for ensuring that a permit is obtained prior to work being started. Contractors can also apply and obtain permits on behalf of the property owner. Under no circumstances can construction or demolition start prior to obtaining the Building Permit and posting the placard in a front window or door visible from the road. Once a permit is obtained, the work must be started within six months or it will expire. If work is started within six months, the permit is valid for one year from the date of issuance.

Commencing work without a permit is subject to a double fee or $100 plus the normal permit fee, whichever is greater. When unpermitted work is discovered, a Stop Work Order will be issued and a permit that accurately describes the work must be obtained before any work may resume. How Do I Apply for a Building Permit? Permits can be obtained from the Inspection Services Division, Monday through Friday, 7:30 am – 8:30 am and 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm, or by appointment. When applying for a fence permit, applicants must provide the following information to obtain a permit: A scaled site plan which shows the following: ∗ Property lines and lot dimensions. ∗ Location of all buildings on the lot and distances to lot lines. ∗ Location of driveway(s). ∗ Location of public streets, sidewalks and alleys. ∗ Location, height, style, and length of the fence. ∗ Fair market value of the installation. ∗ For fences subject to the 50% solid limitation, an accurate and dimensioned drawing or illustration of the fence is required so that a determination can be made for compliance with the provision. Please use this checklist to ensure you are providing the basic information needed to obtain your permit. Depending on site conditions additional information may be required after City staff has reviewed your site plan. Note: If you do not have a scaled site plan, you may purchase one from the City Planning Services Division, Room 204, Monday through Friday, 8:00 am – 4:30 pm, for a nominal fee. How Much Does the Permit Cost? With few exceptions, permit fees are based on the fair market value of the work being done, including the cost of materials. The Permit Fee Schedule can be found in our Inspection Services Division Information Brochure or on our website, www.ci.oshkosh.wi.us. Where Can I Install the Fence? The fence may be installed in any location as long as the requirements of the City of Oshkosh Zoning Ordinance are met. Please note the fence is allowed to be installed up to the lot line and it is the responsibility of the property owner/contractor to determine the location of their lot line and to ensure the fence does not encroach on neighboring properties or interfere with subdivision drainage features. It is also the property owner/contractor’s responsibility to ensure the fence is not installed in an easement. Does the “Good Side” of the Fence Have to Face the Neighboring Property? No. The City of Oshkosh does not have an ordinance regulating that the “good side” of the fence has to be placed towards the neighboring property.

Do I Need a Permit for Installing Hedges? No permit is required for the installation of hedges; however, the same regulations that apply to fences also apply to hedges. Can I Install a Fence Taller Than 6’? Fences taller than 6 ft. are only allowed in areas that meet the minimum required setbacks for principal structures. If you want to install a fence that is taller than 6 ft, contact the City Planning Services Division at 236-5059 for further information. What Types of Material Can be Used? All framing materials installed shall be approved for exterior use.

Fence Standards
Fences Located in the Front Yard: No fence or hedge more than 30% solid or more than 30 inches high from the established sidewalk elevation may be located within the intersection sight distance triangle, except for intersections controlled by four-way stop signs. In the case of 90 degree intersecting streets, the intersection sight distance triangle is the triangle formed by connecting the following three points: the point of intersection of the property lines adjacent to the lot of the intersecting streets, a point 20 ft. from said point of intersection along one lot line, and a point 20 ft. from said point of intersection along the other lot line. In the case of all other intersecting streets, this triangle shall be as defined by the Department of Community Development after a review of the subject intersection has been completed. Fences and hedges less than 4 ft. high may be located within the required front yard, except fences that are more than 50% solid shall not be permitted within 15 ft. of a front lot line. If a house is closer than 25 ft. to the front lot line, then the 4 ft. fence height limitation applies only to the area between the front plane of the house and the front property lines. Fences constructed within the 15 ft. setback (less than 50% solid) are required to be of uniform construction throughout -- that is, solid materials shall be evenly distributed along the entire length of the 15 ft. setback area. Fences Located in the Side or Rear Yard: Fences 6 ft. high or less may be erected on those parts of a lot that are as far back or farther back from a property line than the principal structure. Fences 6 ft. high or less may be installed on any part of the lot

that is at least 25 ft. from the front lot line. If a house is closer than 25 ft. to the front lot line, then a 6 ft. high fence may be installed on any part of the lot that is as far back from the front lot line as the front of the house. Fences greater than 6 ft. in height may be erected if they meet the setback requirements of the principal structure which are (25 ft. setback for the front/street and rear yard, and a 7.5 ft. setback for the side yards). Fences 6 ft. in height may be constructed in the front yard on the long side of corner lots provided they have a setback equal to that of the existing principal structure, or what would be required for new construction of a principal structure based on the lot dimensions, whichever is greater. Please note that the height of a fence shall be measured from the established grade. Fences Used for Kennels: Any kennel that is unattached to the principal structure (house) must comply with the minimum rear and side yard setbacks of 2.5 ft. NOTE: Unattached means that there is at least 5 ft. between the primary residence and the dog kennel. Any kennel that is attached to the principal structure (house) must comply with the minimum rear and side yard setbacks. The side yard setbacks must comply with a minimum setback of 7.5 ft. The rear yard setbacks must comply with the minimum setback of 25 ft. This handout is intended to provide property owners/contractors with a simplified review of code provisions relating to the topic noted. This handout is not, however, actual code provisions. For a review of the regulations that would apply to your particular site, please refer to the City of Oshkosh Zoning Ordinance.



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