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Fences

A man in a uniform

The City of Waterloo's fence by-law (no. 2013-017) provides a clear regulatory framework for fencing in our community, including fence locations, heights and construction.

You do not require a permit if you are building a fence to enclose your property. However, you must apply for a pool enclosure permit if you are building a fence to enclose a pool or installing a hot tub.

We encourage you to consult the by-law prior to building a fence on your property to ensure it meets the minimum requirements.

Guidelines

Fences on interior lots

  • Maximum 0.9 metres (3 ft.) high in the front yard
  • Maximum 2.4 metres (8 ft.) high in the side and rear yards

Fences on corner lots

  • Maximum 0.9 metres (3 ft.) high in the front yard
  • Maximum 1.8 metres (6 ft.) in the flankage yard
  • Maximum 2.4 metres (8 ft.) in the rear and interior side yards

Fences should not:

Driveway visibility triangle (DVT)

  • No fence over 0.9 metres (3 ft.) high may be constructed inside this triangle
  • You are required to provide a DVT whether the driveway is on your property or the adjacent property

How do you measure the driveway visibility triangle (DVT)?

  • Measure 2 metres (6.56 ft.) up the driveway - from the front lot line towards your house - and measure 2 metres (6.56 ft.) across the front lot line abutting a street

Daylight visibility triangle

  • No fence may be constructed inside this triangle

How do you measure the daylight visibility triangle (DLVT)?

  • Start at the intersection where the front lot line and flankage lot lines meet
  • Measure 3 meters (10 ft.) along the front lot line and make a mark
  • Measure 15 meters (50 ft.) along the front lot line and make a second mark
  • Repeat this action along the flankage lot line
  • Connect the 3 metre (10ft.) mark along the front lot line with the 15 metre (50 ft.) mark along the flankage lot line
  • Repeat this action along the flankage lot line 
  • The two triangles formed in the corner of your lot represent the Daylight Visibility Triangle

 Fence diagram - click to enlarge

 

The fence by-law also looks at pool-related fencing requirements. All pools with a depth that exceeds 0.6 metres (two feet) must be completely enclosed by a fence, building or wall. This includes both above- and below-ground pools. 

By-law to apportion the cost of division fences

Our Apportioning of Costs of Division Fences by-law (no. 09-009) sets out the costs of division fences and outlines the process you should follow to obtain costs for the construction, repair or maintenance of a division fence.

Exemptions

Our fence variance committee reviews and makes the final decision on exemption requests.

Complete this application form and return it to the enforcement division to apply for an exemption to the fence by-law. There is a $589 application fee. We accept cash, debit, cheque or money order payable to the City of Waterloo.

Enforcement

By-law officers may enter and inspect any property - without a warrant - to determine whether or not it conforms with the by-law. If it does not, the officer many issue the property owner an order to comply. If the property owner does not comply, we may undertake the necessary measures at the owner's expense.

If you believe someone is violating the fence by-law and would like to file a complaint, please contact us online or by calling 519-747-8785.