fencing company el cajon ca

Living in El Cajon and looking to install a new fence on your property? With the city’s sunny climate and proximity to the mountains, fencing can help provide privacy, security, and enhance your outdoor living space.

However, before starting any fencing project, it’s important to understand El Cajon’s fence height restrictions and regulations. This will ensure your new fence complies with city ordinances.

An Overview of El Cajon Fence Height Limits

In El Cajon, the maximum allowed fence height depends on where on your property the fence will be located. The city has specific height limitations for front yard fences, side and rear yard fences, fences around pools, and fences on corner lots.

Generally speaking, El Cajon allows for taller fences in backyard areas while restricting height in front yards and side yards adjacent to streets.

Front Yard Fence Height Restrictions

For fences located in the front yard or side yard adjoining the street, El Cajon municipal code sets a maximum height of 3 feet if the fence is solid or closed.

A see-through fence with at least 75% open space can go up to 6 feet in a front or side street-facing yard. The code defines a front yard fence as one located within the required front yard setback area.

Side and Rear Yard Fences

Fences along interior side property lines or rear property lines have fewer restrictions. Solid fences up to 6 feet high are permitted in these interior side and rear yards in El Cajon.

While rear and interior side yard fences can technically go up to 6 feet, there are additional limitations for any portion of the fence above 3 feet high:

  • The fence cannot encroach into the front yard setback
  • It must be 3 feet away from any public right-of-way
  • A building permit is required for fences over 6 feet

Corner Lot Fences

For corner lots, El Cajon considers the portion of the yard facing the side street as the front yard when applying fence height limits.

So any fencing along the side street will need to comply with the 3 foot height limit for solid front yard fences. The interior side and rear yards then follow the 6 foot height allowance.

Pool Barrier Fences

Around swimming pools, the fence height regulations differ to meet safety pool barrier requirements. Pool enclosure fences can be up to 8 feet high with no visibility or opening requirements.

However, any portion higher than 6 feet does need a building permit. Pool barrier fencing also needs self-closing, self-latching gates.

When a Permit Is Required for Fences in El Cajon

While many residential fences under 6 feet don’t require permits in El Cajon, there are some instances where you will need to obtain approval and permits:

  • Fences over 6 feet in height anywhere on the property
  • Masonry or concrete fences over 3 feet high
  • Any retaining wall over 3 feet high
  • Fences enclosing tennis courts or other sports courts
  • Fences on top of retaining walls
  • Fences in community plan overlay zones

Permits are also needed for fence construction along slope easements or stormwater channels. The permit process helps ensure the fence won’t impede water flow or contribute to soil erosion.

Overall, I would recommend connecting with the El Cajon Building Division early in your fencing plans to see if permits will be required. The permit approval process can take 4-6 weeks.

Special Guidelines for Hillside Lots or Open Space Areas

For homes on sloped hillside properties, El Cajon has additional fencing considerations to take into account:

  • Hillside fences cannot disrupt existing drainage patterns or cause erosion
  • Natural appearing open fencing may be encouraged to blend with the landscape
  • Vegetation clearing for fence installation is restricted in some open space zones
  • Unique setback, footing, or height limitations may apply based on slope percentage

Meeting with El Cajon zoning staff is recommended if your property has significant slopes or is adjacent to designated open space. They can clarify the fence height allowances and permits needed for your specific lot.

Why Follow El Cajon’s Fence Height Regulations?

Complying with El Cajon’s fence height ordinances may seem restrictive, but there are good reasons for these city rules:

  • Maintains openness and visibility on streets for public safety
  • Allows for neighborly interactions and aesthetics in front yards
  • Keeps line-of-sight clear at intersections for traffic visibility
  • Encourages gradual transition to taller fences farther from streets
  • Reduces conflicts over views or sunlight access
  • Oversight for structural safety and high wind risks from excess height
  • Ensures fences near slopes or channels won’t create runoff issues

By getting the right permits and following the height limits, you can install an attractive, compliant fence suited to your property. Fencing El Cajon is ready to help with your fencing needs while adhering to El Cajon’s regulations. Reach out today to get started!

Typical Fence Styles That Meet El Cajon’s Standards

Fortunately, El Cajon’s fencing height allowances still give you plenty of options for creating a beautifully fenced yard. Here are some of the most popular fencing styles that can work within the city’s guidelines:

Wrought Iron

Ornamental wrought iron fencing lends an elegant, decorative look. It can easily comply with front yard height limits as a short garden fence or taller perimeter fencing by using mostly open designs.


Lightweight, no-maintenance aluminum fencing is ideal for pool barriers or side/rear yard privacy fences up to 6 feet. The semi-open picket look complements both traditional and modern homes.


For affordability and low-maintenance, vinyl fences make an excellent choice. Vinyl’s durability handles San Diego’s climate beautifully. Scalloped, curved, or semi-privay picket vinyl designs work well within code requirements.


The natural beauty of wood fencing adds warmth and texture to a landscape. Redwood, cedar, and pressure-treated pine offer options for front yard garden fences or side yard privacy fences up to code height.


Composite wood-polymer fencing blends the look of wood with the durability of PVC. It’s perfect for rear and side yards when you want real wood’s aesthetics without the maintenance. Stays within height regulations too.

Decorative Concrete/Masonry

For a modern, long-lasting fence, precast or poured-in-place concrete offers sleek lines and solid security. Keep masonry fences at 3 feet or under in front yards or get a permit for taller side applications.

Plant Hedges

In front yards, clipped hedges or bushes can provide greenery and privacy while staying within 3 foot height limits. They’re a great way to define a yard’s edges without excess visual barriers.

Living Fences

Make fences work even harder by growing vines, espaliers, or trellises on them. It softens fences while adding canopy and greenery. Height-compliance just means being diligent about trimming.

Key Takeaways About El Cajon Fence Height Regulations

To summarize El Cajon’s main fence height restrictions:

  • Front yard: 3 foot limit for solid fences, 6 foot limit for 75% open fences
  • Side/rear yards: 6 foot limit normally, measured from existing grade
  • Pool safety fences: 8 foot height allowed
  • Building permit required for fences over 6 feet
  • Special rules may apply for sloped, corner, or cul-de-sac lots
  • Always check with El Cajon permitting office to confirm requirements

Following the height allowances per fence type and location will keep your new fence compliant.

El Cajon also requires fences be well constructed, properly anchored, durably built and aesthetically suitable for the neighborhood. Respecting the city’s fence height ordinances allows everyone to enjoy beautiful, peaceful outdoor spaces.

Fencing El Cajon is here to help with all your fencing needs while working within El Cajon’s guidelines. Contact us today to get a quote on your new fence that enhances security and privacy while meeting code requirements!

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