What you need to know about fence laws in Frederick

Frederick City has always been considered a wonderful and exciting place to call home. Residents have the privilege of enjoying all the restaurants, shopping, and attractions the downtown area has to offer. When it comes to your own City residence, folks can sometimes be unaware of the rules that govern any renovation or construction work. If you are interested in conducting fence work within City limits, we urge you to continue reading and make sure you are aware of the rules and guidelines regarding fences in Frederick City.


Frederick City offers permitting services in person at their municipal office location or online through their website. The permit fee for fences being installed at residential properties is $64; $128 for commercial properties. Permit application submittal requirements for fences include. . .

    1. A copy of the application signed by the property owner (not the tenant).
    2. Proof of ownership if the MD tax record is not current.
    3. A site plan showing the location and lengths of the proposed fence in relation to the existing home and property lines.
    4. The Frederick City permit fee. Accepted forms of payment are check, cash, or credit card.
Permits for repairs are not required

Simple repair work on existing fencing that has been damaged does not require a permit. If you are unsure if a permit is required for your project, you can call the building department and ask: 301-600-3808. Always be sure the work you are conducting on your property goes through the proper channels of permitting with the City.

you must have your completed fence inspected

Once the fence work is completed, you must call the building department and request to have the fence inspected. The Frederick City inspector will come out and make sure the fence complies with City codes and adheres to the permitted plans that were approved for the project.


Maximum height allowed is 6’ tall

Fences installed in residential zones are restricted to 6′ tall, measuring from the ground to the top of the post cap (depicted below). Commercial properties are allowed up to 8′ tall in some circumstances. There are also one or two residential developments within City limits that allow 7’ tall fencing due to the standards set by the builder and the Home Owners Association.


Finished side faces out

The finished side or “beauty side” of fences within City limits must face out when it abuts. . .

    1. A public park
    2. A public right-of-way
    3. HOA owned property

If the fence does not abut one of these three areas, you may feel free to have the beauty side of the fence facing whichever way you choose.

No fencing in front yards

Fences can only be constructed in side yards and rear yards within Frederick City. Any fence that extends in front of the front façade of a primary structure is prohibited. Some exceptions apply when it comes to corner lots. See more about that in the next point.


Corner lots make fencing complicated

If you own a corner lot, we suggest checking out the land management code, Article 8, Section 821 to learn more about what is allowed. The motivation behind fence rules for corner lots is grounded in safety for drivers; those on the road and those pulling out of nearby driveways.

Fences for HISTORIC properties need additional approval

Fences in the historic district must adhere to a more narrow list of guidelines than the rest of the City. For instance, the beauty side of a fence must ALWAYS face out, no matter the circumstance. This is because Frederick City is passionate about preserving the City’s historical characteristics. The Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) must review and approve all fences being installed within the Historic District. There is a separate application that must be filled out and submitted for review via email or in person. HPC approval must also be obtained prior to applying for the City permit. The building department will require you to submit the HPC approval packet with your application. Regulations for fences within Historic Frederick can be found here, starting on page 98.


Easements may disrupt your plans for fencing

The City, your HOA, or private utility companies may have easements that run through your property somewhere. The owners of each easement have the right to restrict the construction of a fence if necessary. In many cases fences are allowed under the conditions of an “encroachment agreement”, but there is also a possibility that the fence will be denied.



Do you have more questions about fencing property laws in Frederick? Give us a call or have us out for a free consultation! 301-663-4000