All About Fences

Project proposals for fences often comes across the Town Planner’s.  Here are a few common questions she receives regarding fences.

1.   Do I need to obtain a zoning permit to build a fence in my backyard?

No.  Just avoid placing your fence in any easements.

2.  Do I need to obtain a zoning permit to build a fence in my front yard?

Yes.  Any fence that will be placed in the front yard or extend into the front yard requires a zoning permit from the Town.  Please complete a project proposal and submit it to the Town planner using one of the following:

  • Email to:,
  • Drop off at: the Bridgewater Community Center, 201 Green Street (currently our offices are not open to the public due to COVID precautions, but you can drop your form off in the green drop box behind the building), OR
  • Mail to: 

           Town Planner, Town of Bridgewater, Post Office Box 72, Bridgewater, Virginia 22812

3.  Why is a zoning permit required for fences in the front yard?

Fences in the front yard could present a safety hazard on our streets by blocking sight lines for drivers pulling out of their driveways or maneuvering around corners and curves.  We often ask the Chief of Police to give his opinion for front yard fences to ensure the safety of Bridgewater’s residents and guests.  A good rule of thumb for fences along roads is to allow the depth of a parking space (19 feet) between the public right of way and the fence.  Fences closer than this should be short enough for motorists to see over (around 42” or less.)  

4.  What other guidelines are there for fences?

  • Avoid placing fences or other structures in easements.
  • Fences (like all projects) in the special flood hazard area require extra safety measures.  Contact the Town Planner for details.
  • Check out § 17-105 of Title 17 in Bridgewater’s Code of Ordinances to learn more.

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