Fence FAQ's

Do I need a fence permit to erect a fence?

Yes. Fence permits are required to construct, relocate, or replace fences in Sioux Falls.

Why are fence permits required?

Fence permits are required to assure compliance regarding the height for location of fences, as well as to ensure clean line of sight for the traveling public. 

What type of fence can I build?

The City of Sioux Falls allows for all but electric and barbed wire fences. However, some covenants regulate what type or kind of fence you can install. To learn more about covenants on your property, please contact your local county register of deeds (Minnehaha: (605) 367-4223; Lincoln: (605) 764-5661). Please note the City does not enforce covenants. 

Are there any exceptions to the fence permit requirement?

Yes. Fence permits are intended to apply to fences designed for screening, security, and privacy purposes. Smaller temporary fences around interior gardens, flowers, or shrubs intended primarily for decorative purposes and snow fences are exempt from the permit requirement. 

Can I build a fence in an easement or drainage area?

You must have permission to erect a fence in easement and drainage areas. Contact your local utility company or the City Engineer’s Office at 605-367-8601 to determine types and locations of easements and drainage ways. 

How far does a fence have to be from the property line?

There are no minimum distances that need to be maintained from the property line. If any easements are present, a fence may not be allowed to be constructed on that easement. All permits are issued with the understanding that property owners know where their property lines are located and that a fence permit is approval to build a fence on your own property. 

What do I do if my neighbor's fence is on my property?

If there is a disagreement about the physical location of a fence on a lot, it is a civil matter between private property owners. The City can only provide what plan was approved, any marking or labeling of property lines should be done by a licensed surveyor. 

Are fences allowed in a front yard?

Yes, subject to height requirements. On corner and interior lots, fences can be up to four (4) feet in height in the front yard, the height and opaqueness is reduced when the fence is located in an intersection safety zone. 

What size fence can I have in my backyard?

On interior lots, fences of not more than six (6) feet in height are allowed on any portion of the rear or side yard. On corner and double frontage lots, a required front yard setback is along each street frontage. Fences not more than four (4) feet in height are allowed in a required front yard setback, exceptions are allowed for properties along arterial or collector streets (see No. 10). 

What exceptions are allowed for properties along arterial or collector streets?

On residential lots that abut an arterial or collector street, the height allowed can be determined by the distance the fence is from the property line and/or the materials used for the fencing. Options allow for a five (5) foot fence at five (5) feet from the property line to a six (6) foot fence at the property line. For more information read the “Residential Fence Regulations” section of this brochure or contact the Zoning Division. 

What is considered an arterial or collector street?

An arterial street carries high volumes of traffic. Arterials are usually section line roadways.

A collector street carries traffic from local streets to arterial streets or highways. A collector street usually is the principal entrance to a residential development and streets for circulation in and out of the neighborhood. 

Do I need an exception?

Yes. When you have completed the installation of your fence, contact the Zoning Division for a final inspection.

Maximum Fence Height for Yards Adjacent to a Street:

Maximum of 4 foot tall, Residential properties with double frontage or corner lots, may not more than 6 foot can be placed in a front yard abutting a fencing arterial or collector street where:

Exception options for double frontage and corner lots: For DD and AD forms, fences not more than six (6) feet in height may be placed in a required front yard abutting an arterial or collector street where:

  1. The required front yard abutting an arterial or collector street is not used as the front yard and it does not have direct access onto the street.
  2. Intersection safety zones are maintained.

When a residential property with a street frontage on a busy street (AKA Arterial Streets or Collector Streets), fence height may be allowed to be up to 6 foot high. Contact zoning (605-367-8254) for more information.


Safety Zone Restrictions:
No fence more than 30% solid within safety zone

Example of required site plan