Title 27 of the Municipal Code is our Zoning Code, you can search our code (https://sanmateo.ca.us.open.law/) for Section 27.84, which covers Fences, Trees and Hedges. This section regulates the height and location of fences and hedges.

Single-Family Residential Districts
  • Front Yard: fences or hedges up to three (3) feet are permitted.
  • Rear and Side Yard: fences may be six (6) feet high or up to eight (8) feet if your adjacent neighbor agrees and the design of the fence in the area between six (6) foot and eight (8) foot is at least 50% open, using a lattice material.
  • Corner Lots: fences or hedges in the side yard adjacent to the street can be no taller than three (3) feet. Fences or planting within a 45 foot triangle from the intersection is also limited to a three (3) foot maximum height so that it does not obstruct visability.

What does the street side yard include?

The street side yard includes that area within 7.5 feet (seven feet, six inches) of the property line adjacent to the side street, or, 15% of the lot width, whichever is greater, up to a 15 foot maximum in most single family areas.

Maximum Street Side Yard is 25 feet for properties in the area(s) of: San Mateo Park, Grammercy Drive Area, and Crystal Springs Estates.

How is fence height measured?

Fence height is measured from the ground to the top of the fence or post. For fences between two lots which are terraced, the fence height is measured from the ground level of the upper lot.

Which fences require permits?

Building permits are required for fences greater than seven (7) feet above grade.

Which fences do not require permits?

Fences that are seven (7) feet tall or lower and comply with fence regulations do not require permits.