Fort Lauderdale Fence Installation How-to Guide

ft-lauderdale-city-scape

Fort Lauderdale is an extremely popular tourist destination for most of the world. It’s a beautiful city located in one the nicest places in the US, South Florida. Many people visit here each year, but only a small amount of individuals have the distinct pleasure of living here year round.

If you own a property in Ft. Lauderdale, it’s safe to say you are in need of a fence. The residential areas are very tightly engineered which sometimes places you uncomfortably close to your neighbors. Luckily, a fence can certainly resolve that issue for you.

Since you’re interested in having a fence installed on your property, read over the small guide to residential fencing in Fort Lauderdale that we’ve assembled to help you better understand exactly what your options are when it comes to fencing styles, and what to expect when filing for a permit.

Fencing Styles and colors permitted

Fort Lauderdale is pretty lax when it comes to limitations regarding fencing styles and colors. Pretty much every type of fencing is allowed for residential installation with the exception of anything over 6′ in height, and chain-link fences with barbed-wire accents.

If you’re not too familiar with the styles that are typically available for fencing installation in South Florida, here’s a quick picture guide:

 


Vinyl (PVC) fencing:

PVC fence is by far the most versatile type of fencing available. It comes in a variety of forms including privacy, picket, wand semi-privacy, with a huge amount of variations on those base styles.

Aluminum Fencing:

Mechanical aluminum fencing is typically used to enclose swimming pools. They are exclusively rail and picket style.

Chain-link Fencing:

Chain-link fences come in two specific forms – typical galvanized and colored vinyl-coated. You also have the option of installing a windscreen on top of the fence or PVC privacy slats that interweave into the chain-link fabric itself.

Wood Fencing:

Privacy and semi-privacy are the two styles widely available, with board-on-board and shadow-box being the two most used forms respectively.

Each particular style of fencing, especially vinyl fencing, has a small group of base styles available coupled with a nearly infinite amount of variations on those base styles to choose from.

Landscaping

The city of Fort Lauderdale requires landscaping be done when installing a fence on your property. There are two distinctions made when your permit is reviewed:

Landscaping for single family homes:

For single-family homes, fences facing the street are required to be set back a minimum average of 3 feet from the property line and planted with continuous hedges, shrubs, and groundcover in this area between property line and fence. This planting can consist of varied species and shall be planted between the street and the property line as per ULDR 47-19.5C.

  • a. Hedges and shrubs may be 2 feet tall planted 2feet apart.
  • b. Groundcover may be 6 inches tall planted 6 inches apart. Sod not applicable.
  • c. Please clearly note and illustrate this on plans.
Ft. Lauderdale Building Department

Landscaping for other than single family homes:

For other than single-family homes, fences facing the street are required to be setback a minimum of 3 feet from the property line and must be planted with continuous hedges, shrubs, groundcover, AND trees in that area between property line and fence. These plantings shall be planted between the street and the property line as per ULDR 47-19.5C.

  • a. Hedges and shrubs may be 2 feet tall planted 2 feet apart.
  • b. Groundcover may be 6 inches tall planted 6 inches apart. Sod not applicable.
  • c. Trees may be standard or flowering at 10 feet tall, or palms at 8 feet clear trunk, planted an average of 1 tree per 20 feet or portion thereof.
  • d. Please specifically note and illustrate this on plans.
Ft. Lauderdale Building Department

Forms required to be filed

According to Fort Lauderdale’s fence/wall/gate permit checklist, several forms must be submitted at the time of permit application, here are those forms with their descriptions.

Broward County uniform permit application

This permit application is universally used throughout Broward County when submitting a request for a building permit. There are a couple of fields that need to be filled out by you (the property owner) and by your contractor. Once all the fields are filled out, the document must be signed in front of a notary by both respective parties.

Zoning affidavit

Your permit gets submitted to the building department but is also reviewed by the zoning department as well. This form must be filled out and signed in front of a notary by the property owner

Temporary structure affidavit

This affidavit is required to be submitted only if your fencing structure will be erected within a utility and or drainage easement. An easement is the right of the utility or drainage companies to eventually build in those areas, which makes the portions of fence built on them “temporary” in the event that those companies exercise their right to those areas. You or your contractor will verify the existance of easements in the fence line when reviewing your property survey.

Chain-link fence table (if installing chain-link fences)

This form is only required if you are installing any form of chain-link fencing on your property. It’s used to verify the grade of material to be used is in accordance with Fort Lauderdale building codes.

Notice of commencement 

The N.O.C. is required to be filed if the total value of your project cost exceeds $2500.

Documents Required

Property survey

When submitting your fencing permit application you must submit (2) marked copies of your survey. One copy goes to the building dept. and the other to the zoning dept. These surveys must clearly indicate the fence line, the type of fence and the style of fence to be installed.

Product approval or engineering drawings

In addition to the property surveys, you must also submit fencing product approval documentation OR (2) copies of signed and sealed engineering drawings that detail the exact type of fencing or railing you intend to install. These drawings are used to verify that your fence will meet Florida building code and will also ensure that the materials used are the correct quality grade.

Other requirements

Setbacks

Fencing setbacks ensure proper public safety and ease of transition between public ways and private property. Setbacks are measured from your property line except when on a corner lot or when abutting a waterway. Waterway setback is measure in accordance with Section 47-2 of the ULDR.

Here’s an excerpt from Sec. 47-19.5 of the Fort Lauderdale building code describing fencing setbacks in detail:

Note F: To determine the average setback distance for fences, walls, and planters, multiply the total length of the fence, wall or planter, as viewed at ninety (90) degrees to the property line, by a factor of three (3), where three (3) represents the required minimum average setback. The resulting product must be equal to or greater than the total which results when adding the sum of each fence, wall, or planter segment multiplied by its setback from the property line. Walls, fences or planters constructed at an angle to the property line shall use the distance to the center of the structure to determine the actual setback of the segment.

Note G: Exceptions to setbacks:

  1. Residential districts:
    • In order to maintain sight visibility, the following shall apply:
      • For properties abutting a right-of-way, no opaque fence, hedge or wall shall be permitted to exceed two and one-half (2½) feet in height when located within a sight triangle.
      • For properties abutting a waterway, no opaque fence, hedge or wall shall be permitted to exceed two and one-half (2½) feet in height as measured in accordance with Section 47-2.2.G, when located within ten (10) feet of the edge of the waterway.
  2. Nonresidential districts:
    • In order to maintain sight visibility, no opaque fence, hedge or a wall shall be permitted to exceed two and one-half (2½) feet in height when located within a sight triangle.
    • Existing nonconforming fences and walls in nonresidential districts shall be brought into full compliance with the requirements of this Section 47-19.5 within five (5) years of the effective date of such ordinance adopting a provision of this section (Ordinance No. C-78-103 and Ordinance No. C-97-19).
    • Fences or walls abutting residentially zoned property which are required to be constructed by the ULDR, or when deemed necessary by the department to provide lateral support or protect adjoining property from dirt, dust, flying debris, noise, offensive odors or deleterious effects, shall be erected before or contemporaneously with the construction of the exterior walls of a building.
Sec 47-19.5 Fort Lauderdale Building Code

Ultimately, building a fence in Fort Lauderdale can be pretty easy when compared with neighboring cities, especially Coral Springs. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us!

Links: