Fence or Trash Enclosure

Terms and Conditions for Fence or Trash Enclosure


Work authorized by this permit must comply with the General Terms and Conditions for New Construction and Temporary Structures.

Permitted height

The permitted height is measured from the lowest surface within 12 inches horizontally on either side of the fence to the highest point of the fence, excluding fence posts. Fence posts may exceed the permitted height by up to 6 inches. A fence or trash enclosure that does not meet this requirement at the time of inspection, subject to normal construction tolerances, must be rebuilt to be consistent with the permit at the contractor or owner’s expense.

Structural design

A fence or trash enclosure must be designed and built to withstand a horizontal wind pressure of at least 30 pounds per square foot from any direction.

Trash enclosure

A trash enclosure is an unroofed, gated structure used to enclose or screen dumpsters, trash collection bins, recycling collection bins, or a trash compactor. 

Zoning compliance

This permit does not authorize a fence or trash enclosure that will violate the requirements of the Chicago Zoning Ordinance. In general, fences on residential properties are limited to 6 feet in height. Fences in the required front setback of residential properties are limited to 54 inches in height if they are more than 20 percent opaque or solid.

Additional material and dimensional requirements apply to trash enclosures required by the Chicago Zoning Ordinance.

Trash enclosures in parking lots

This permit does not authorize a trash enclosure that will reduce the number of off-street parking spaces available on the zoning lot.

Barbed wire or razor wire

Barbed wire or razor wire may not be installed under this permit unless explicitly described in the permit application. Barbed wire and razor wire may not be installed less than 7 feet above the ground.

Mason work

Walls constructed of stone, concrete, terra cotta (including clay brick), structural tile, or any combination of these materials may only be installed by a Chicago-licensed mason contractor.

Electrical work

This permit does not allow installation of an electrified fence or any other electrical work.