Each County that we service has its own set of fencing regulations that we must adhere to. Montgomery County is no different. Any plans to install a fence within Montgomery County have to be submitted to and approved by the permitting department (DPS). Unless you have a lot of experience with the permitting world or take time to research all the material, it can seem impossible to make sure you follow every residential fence regulation.
General Permitting Rules
A permit is required by the county in most cases. The only occasion it is not required is if you are replacing a fence with the same fence design. It must be the same height, have the same layout, and be made out of the same material. In addition, either you or the county must have record of a permit that was obtained for the original fence.
This is not often known, but the county requires an official property plat on which to show the location of the proposed fence. It must have a stamp of certification as well as show the location of the house on your property. If you do not have an official plat, it may exist in the county records, which can be searched via a records request form: https://permittingservices.montgomerycountymd.gov/DPS/online/eInformationRequest.aspx .
If the county has no record of a plat for your property, one must be obtained through a survey company. This is often an unexpected additional cost, but a fence cannot be installed without a permit, and a permit cannot be obtained without a property plat.
The maximum height for fencing in Montgomery County is 6.5.’ Additional residential fence regulations apply when installing fences close to roadways and on corner properties. The county always considers how fencing will affect the visibility of drivers on the road. The general rule for corner properties is that a fence cannot exceed 3’ tall within 15 feet from the corner on each side. If a homeowner wishes to contest this rule, they are welcome to call and request a site visit. An inspector from the county will come out and take a look at the property in relation to the street and either confirm or change the regulation in that specific case.
Taller fences (up to 8′) can be approved for fencing that is meant to keep deer out of your property. It has to be made of either deer mesh or chain link to be considered a deer fence. The county takes deer, specially the danger of Lyme disease, very seriously.
Montgomery County requires that all fencing be installed on the owner’s own property. Written permission from the adjoining neighbor will be required if that is not the case. Frederick Fence has made it a policy to install fences a few inches within the property line. We do this in order to avoid issues with neighbors, HOA’s, and municipalities. Knowing where the property line is located, however, is up to you. There is no way for us to know where it is unless there are property pins, or clearly marked in some other way.
If you own land in Montgomery County, there is a good chance that some of it contains an easement. Easements are portions of land that are technically owned by the landowners, but that the county or service companies have legal access and rights to. Forest Conservation, WSSC, Storm Drain, Public Utility, Flood Plain, and Bridle easements can all affect your potential to have a fence or not. The following picture shows the amount of Forest Conservation area in a portion of Montgomery County.
The company or county that has control over the easement has the right to forbid the installation of your fence within the easement. In most cases, fencing is allowed, but special approval from the appropriate company or county will be required when getting a permit for the fence.
They may also require that you alter the layout or the style of fencing before approving it. For example, fencing located within floodplains cannot exceed 42″ tall. It must also be a very open style of fencing to allow water to move through it, such as paddock or split rail fencing.
If you have any questions concerning the rules for fencing in your area, ask your sales representative when he comes out to meet with you! Our guys have specific areas that they work in, so they are well versed in the county, city, town, and even HOA rules that apply to you and your fencing. Give us a call at 301-663-4000 when you are ready to meet with someone and get an estimate.