What are the fence regulations pertaining to fence height and location?

The following fence information is summarized. For complete information on fences, please reference Section 1218 of the Sunfish Lake Zoning Ordinance on the City’s website (www.sunfishlake.org).

All fences require City approval, as either a minor site and building plan review, or a conditional use. The minor site and building plan review may be approved by City staff. Fences requiring a conditional use shall require a public hearing before the Planning Commission and approval by the City Council.

The following fences require a conditional use permit:

  1. Chain link fence up to 10 feet in height to enclose a tennis or sport court.

  2. Security gates which limit vehicular access to a property.

Fence Locations:

  1. No fence shall be placed on or into a public right-of-way.

  2. Any fence placed within 10 feet of a property line shall require a certificate of survey to demonstrate fence location in relation to the property line.

  3. Split rail fences 42 inches in height may be located anywhere within the property.

  4. Fences six feet in height and no more than 50 percent solid matter shall meet the building setback of the respective district and Shoreland Overlay District.

  5. Fences up to four feet in height intended to protect gardens or landscaping shall be 50 percent open and shall be located a minimum of 25 feet from any property line.

  6. Fences up to six feet in height intended to protect gardens or landscaping shall be at least 90 percent open and shall be located at least 25 feet from any property line.

The following comments are from David Neameyer:

The Code specifically exempts all fences 6 feet or less in height from the requirement for obtaining a building permit. Technically, in order to be in compliance with the law, if the City wishes to require a regulation for fences less than or equal to 6 feet tall, a "Zoning" or "Miscellaneous" permit and fee should be established for same. This local regulation should not be associated with a "Building" permit in any way. (Ref. MN Building Code Sec. 1300.0120 Subp. 4 (2).

We are a small community proud of our heritage and committed to the preservation of our pristine, rural character. We cherish our privacy, yet know we are part of a thriving Dakota County and the greater Twin Cities metropolitan area. With these partnerships in mind, we strive to preserve that unique spirit which is Sunfish Lake, Minnesota.