Appearance of Fence
Fences shall be structurally sound and well-maintained, unless determined otherwise in Heritage Preservation Districts. There is no requirement that the "finished" side must face outward. Unsightly or decrepit fences may be subject to enforcement action by the Department of Safety and Inspections.
Barbed Wire Fences
No barbed wire fence shall be constructed within the limits of the City of Saint Paul unless the following conditions are complied with:
- No barbed-wire may be installed in a residential district or lot occupied as residential.
- Barbed-wire - not exceeding three strands - may be permitted on the top of a fence, providing that the arms do not project over public property or another property. The minimum height of the bottom strand of barbed wire shall not be less than 6' from the finished grade.
- In all cases where a barbed wire fence is requested, a building permit must be obtained.
- A certificate of insurance indemnifying the City of Saint Paul shall be submitted with the application subject to the approval of the City Attorney as to form and in amount as set forth in Minnesota Statutes, Section 466.04.
No obscuring fence above a height of 2' from the established street grades shall be permitted in a front yard on the corner side.
No above ground electric fence shall be constructed within the city limits of the City of Saint Paul.
Height of Fence - Commercial & Industrial
Fences on commercial and industrial property shall not exceed the maximum height for buildings in the zoning district in which located.
Height of Fence - Institutional
Fences on properties with institutional uses shall not exceed 8' in height. Exceptions are as follows:
- Tennis courts - 12' in height
- Back stop fences - 20' in height
- Golf range fences - 30' in height
Height of Fence - Residential
No fence shall be erected exceeding 6' 6" in height above the sidewalk or the finished grade of any residential parcel. Fences and all supporting structures shall be completely within the boundaries of such parcel. All fences erected between the front property line and the front setback line shall be no more than 4' in height.
Heritage Preservation District
If the property is in a local Heritage Preservation District or is a locally-designated historic site, design approval must be obtained from the Heritage Preservation Commission (HPC) or DSI staff before the building permit can be issued. Chain link fencing is generally not allowed in front yards or in the front half of side yards.
In addition to a site plan, an elevated drawing will be required illustrating all the details of the fence, including height, general appearance, materials to be used, and whether it will be painted or stained.
Call (651) 266-9070 to find out whether a property is in a historic district or is a historically designated site. To reach a HPC staff person, call (651) 266-9087.
Swimming Pool Fences
All yards containing swimming pools shall be enclosed by an obscuring fence not less than 4' in height. The gates shall be of self-closing and self-latching type, with the latch on the inside of the gate, not readily available for children to open. Gates shall be capable of being securely locked when the pool is not in use.
Commercial and multi-family residential swimming pools require approval from the State Health Department (Ph: (651) 627-5100) and a fence 5' in height, if they are outdoors.