Gloucester County, Virginia

Commonly Requested Guidelines – Fences


[Definitions: Boundary: periphery of fence in relationship to the property line]
[Setback: position of the fence across the side yard in relationship to the front of the house.]
[ARB: Architectural Review Board]
a. No fence may be higher than 6 feet,(“approximately” 75 inches from ground level including free space under the fence).

b. No fence setback may extend further forward than eight (8) feet from the rear corner of the house unless constructed to conceal utilities or mechanical equipment, and then in no case may a fence extend further than the front corner of the house. In addition, on all corner lots, no fence shall be installed beyond the sideyard Building Setback Line (BSL) of the adjoining street.


c. Fence boundaries shall follow the property line except for the adjoining street side on all corner lots.  On all corner lots, no fence boundary shall extend beyond the sideyard Building Setback Line (BSL) of the adjoining street noted on the plat.  It is recommended to place all fences approximately 3 inches inside of the property line to avoid potential boundary disputes.

d. Should properties adjacent to the proposed fence have an existing sideyard setback, the new fence must use the same setback or request an exemption and provide justification.

e. If properties adjacent to the proposed fence have an existing fence, permission must be requested to connect to the existing fence. If adjoining property owners cannot agree, the Board of Directors of the Association will rule on the behalf of the requestor, answering if the new fence request follows Association and county guidelines and may join the existing fence for cosmetic AND functional concerns and preserve the appearance of the neighborhood.

f. If properties adjacent to the proposed fence have an existing fence along the boundary, the new fence cannot be placed 3-6 inches away creating a 6-12 inch hallway between fences. This is a maintenance concern and A visual detractor to the neighborhood.  In cases where a new fence is proposed along a property line where a fence already exists, must consult county ordinance for what distance is required between fences, gain county approval an AND also must gain ARB approval before construction may commence.

g. If the fence panel is located on a hill it may be necessary to position the panel level making one side higher than another.  When this occurs part of the proposed plan should indicate how the fence panels would be placed to best fit the hills contours.  The ARB may request changes when there is extreme gap underneath the fence panels on steep hills.

h. If the homeowner erecting the fence has a neighbor who is also erecting a fence, both fences must match setback dimensions for adjoining side yards.

i. Setback on one side of a yard may be different than setback on another side of the same yard.  It is visually apparent the setback of adjoining fences but not as much for side yards separated by a house [were this stipulation not stated, every yard would need to apply the identical setback for side yard fences.]

j. Except as specifically approved by the ARB, fencing material shall be wood, vinyl, aluminum, iron or brick in either a split rail, board on board, solid board, or picket style with all bracing supports and structural member facing the interior of the Lot.

k. Barbed wire, chain link and all other wire, metal, industrial, farming or livestock fences are specifically prohibited

l. Fence designs must be types of fence documented by fence contractors for private homes.  Fences must be built of fence materials. No “similar” material substitutes, no “unique designs” and no “unique or uncommon colors” will be permitted in order to protect the character of the neighborhood.

m. No fence or any portion thereof shall be constructed with a maintenance easement area without express written variance from the Board of Directors of the Association.  Construction of the fence must be completed within ninety (90) days of the date of the ARB’s written approval of such fence; otherwise, the Owner must reapply to the ARB for approval of such fence.

n. Fences must be regularly repaired/maintained to a “like new” condition.  No warped, rotted, loose, or damaged boards, pickets, rails, or posts shall be permitted.  Painted fences shall be regularly painted, same color as installed. Fences will not be permitted to have faded or chipped paint.  If  fence is not properly maintained by the owner after proper written notice to maintain has been given by the Association, the Association may at its discresion, correct the issue and assess the owner the cost of the repair as a special assessment as allowed in the governing documents.


o. Damaged fencing should be repaired within thirty (60) days of damage being reported, and repairs must duplicate the original or approved fencing.

p. Any modification or addition to existing fencing requires an Application to the ARB.
q. Except as herein provided or as otherwise specifically approved by the ARB, must fully comply with applicable law as to construction, design, height, location, and/or other requirements.

r. Not following these rules or county ordinance, the Association reserves the right to report any incident to allow county law to correct the non-compliance.