Planning Permit Application Form
A Fence Height Exception is required for fences of any type exceeding:
- Four feet in height located in the front setback, exterior side (street facing) setback, or in the public right-of-way.
- Six feet in height located in the rear setback or interior side setback.
A fence height exception may be granted to exceed the fence height limit by up to 2 feet in height. Lattices are included in overall fence height. All fences exceeding 6 feet in height and masonry fences of any height will require a building permit. If the fence is located in the public right of way, you will also need an encroachment permit from the Department of Public Works. A site distance study by a civil engineer may be required for over-height fences located in the front yard of a corner parcel. Only parcels outside of the Coastal Zone are eligible for a Fence Height Exception. Parcels in the Coastal Zone are shown in Planning GIS.
Steps in the Planning Permit Process
If a planning or zoning permit is required, it generally needs to be processed prior to application of a building or construction permit. The Planning Section of the Planning and Building Department processes these permits. When multiple permits are required (e.g., Coastal Development Permit and Design Review Permit), the longer permit processing time and higher level decision-making body would apply to the concurrent processing of associated permits. In reviewing and processing your permit application, the assigned planner will generally complete the following steps:
1. Initial Review Application
The planner reviews your project to determine whether your application is complete. During this stage, the planner:
- Determines whether your project conforms with Section 6412 of the Zoning Regulations as they pertain to fence height exceptions.
- Solicits comments and recommendations from review agencies (relative to their regulations) and applicable homeowners associations or community groups.
- Discusses your project with a development review committee of senior staff members.
The County has 30 days after receiving your application to notify you if you must provide any additional materials or information before your application can be processed.
2. Public Notification
A public notice is mailed to owners of property within a 300-ft. radius of the subject property.
3. Permit Decision
A staff-level decision is required.
4. Appeal Period
Once a decision is made, both you and the public can appeal most permit decisions to a higher authority within 10 business days of the decision date. Staff-level decisions can be appealed to the Planning Commission. Planning Commission decisions can be appealed to the County Board of Supervisors. A decision by the Board of Supervisors is not appealable.
Approximated Time provides an estimated duration for processing of the specified permit only and does not include processing of any appeals. It is not intended to represent an exact timeframe for a specific project, which may be more or less than the time provided. Required permits and processing times vary depending on project complexity and location. For projects requiring multiple permits (e.g., Design Review Permit and Coastal Development Permit), please use the highest of the estimated times for each required permit. These times do not include processing times for non-Planning permits which may be required for the project, such as permits from the Building Inspection Section, Department of Public Works, Environmental Health Division, sewer or water districts, or state or federal agency. To obtain an estimated processing timeframe for a specific project, please call or visit the Current Planning Section and speak with a Planner to identify the required permits and reviews for your project.
Approximated Fees provide an estimated rounded fee total based on the permit fee and other anticipated review costs of the adopted Planning Service Fee Schedule and does not represent an exact fee amount for a specific project, which may be higher or lower than the fee provided. Required permits and fees vary depending on project complexity and location. For projects requiring multiple permits (e.g., Design Review Permit and Coastal Development Permit), please use the highest of the estimated permit fees and add on the established fees of other required permits from the Planning Service Fee Schedule, to obtain an estimated fee total. Other department review fees, including those of the Geotechnical Section, Department of Public Works, Environmental Health Division, and the applicable fire department, may also apply. To obtain an estimated fee total for a specific project, please call or visit the Current Planning Section and speak with a Planner to identify the required permits and reviews for your project.