Fences and walls are often play a significant role in the landscape. Whether you want privacy, screen an ugly view, protect your pets or simply want to delineate your property any fence or wall is subject to local zoning ordinances and in most cases, will require a permit. In fact, in the City of Sedona, any fence or wall greater than 30” high requires a permit. Knowing that, let’s look at some of the rules.

Fence Regulations in the City of Sedona

Fences and walls up to 6’ feet high are allowed along the rear and side property lines. Within the front yard setback, no higher than 4 feet is allowed with some exceptions. If you are on a corner lot, you may have a 6 foot high fence along the street side yard setback but you must check with the City to confirm which side or the corner is considered your front yard. Just because your front door and mailbox are on one side of the corner, does not necessarily mean the City considers that to be your front yard. Corner lots are also subject to a “visibility triangle” for traffic safety purposes. Check with the building department for your particular zoning to see what is allowed before you hire anyone to build a fence or wall.

Ocotillo fence

What materials are allowed?

Typical wood fences, whether they are solid, picketed or any combination of vertical or horizontal planks are allowed except that they must be of conventional construction built with commonly used materials. Fences built using old wooden pallets are not allowed. Wood may be left unpainted to weather naturally, but if you intend to paint it, you must follow the rules regarding the Light Reflective Value of the paint. A paint sample will be required upon submittal of your building permit. Although the Ocotillo fence pictured here may be the perfect complement to your rustic estate, the City may consider it to be too unconventional so check beforehand.

Metal fences follow the same general rules as well as conforming to the color of the paint or finish. Chain link fences are not allowed in front yard setbacks but are allowed in the rear and side yards in certain zoning districts however, they must be vinyl coated with a black, brown or dark green color. Razor wire fencing is not allowed nor unpainted corrugated metal roofing material.

Block walls are allowed but must be finished and not left in their raw manufactured state. Walls that face a public right of way, street or public trail longer than 20 feet must be buffered with landscaping. If more than 40 feet long, it must contain some sort of articulation such as columns, pilasters or jogging and offsets to break up the massing as well as contain some shrubbery.

You must build within your legal boundaries of your property

If your property corners are not evident by surveyor’s pins, you should consider getting your property surveyed. Just because an existing fence appears to be built along the property lines, don’t count on it as being legal. It may be encroaching one side or the other. It is also important to discuss your plans with your neighbor. Neighbors can sometimes be very territorial and object to your plans even thought you have a legal right to build withing the bounds of your property. That is why its a good idea to build the fence a few inches inside of the property line. That way, the surveyor pins don’t get covered up.

Your property typically does not go all the way to the pavement. Most lots with City maintained streets have a portion of land between the pavement and your front property line known as the Right of Way. This is City owned and is not legally part of your lot. You may not build a fence or wall within the Right of Way.

Right of Ways often contain utilities such as electric, gas and cable. Utility lines can also be located in easement that are not within the public Right of Way such as paralleling a side of your property or along the rear. If you are planning on building a fence or wall within such a utility easement, the City will require you to get permission from the various utility companies who may have a right to that easement.

For more information check out the City’s recently updated Land Development Code at this link:


JSL Landscape Design & Build is a licensed fencing contractor ROC 313211