Bylaw Summary: Fencing Rules and Regulations for Fencing in Waterloo

When considering a fence project or an enclosure around your pool, don’t get caught with by-law complaints leading to costs for re-work or fines of ($350- $25,000 for first offences) on your fences. Jay Fencing is your expert advisor on planning and installing by-law compliant perimeters that also impress visually. This article features a highlight of resources for those planning a fencing project, followed by key items to consider when building residential or commercial perimeters.

city of waterloo logoWaterloo Bylaws Resources Relating to Fencing

Once your fencing or pool project is complete, the last thing you want is to be served a notice of by-law infraction. This may  lead a homeowner to have to pay for additional materials and labour to comply with city bylaws. The following content is a summary of key by-law related documents:

bylaw focus topicsKey Items for Fencing Rules and Regulations

For those considering a fence for properties or for enclosing a pool, it is important to be aware of these points before starting a project.

  • When a permit is required: A permit is not required to build a fence unless you are enclosing a pool or adding a hot tub.
  • Residential penalties for non-conformance: $350-$25,000 for first time offence. A maximum of $50,000 for additional offences.
  • Corporation penalties for non-conformance: Maximum of $50,000 for first offence, and maximum of $100,000 for additional offences.
  • Ensure Fences do not obstruct visibility for pedestrians or motorists and do not encroach onto city property.
  • Daylight corner restrictions: No fences are permitted to be erected in the daylight corner to ensure sight lines are not obstructed.
  • Exemptions: The fence variance committee reviews and decisions on fencing exemption requests.

fencing rules and regulationsThings to Know for Fencing Pools or Hot Tubs

Before adding a fence around a pool or hot tub, be sure to apply for a permit and to adhere to these regulations. These points are provided as a general guideline to plan and build pool enclosures and are not substitutes for Waterloo by-laws. Please see here for full by-law information.

  • Prevent circumvention of enclosure: It is prohibited to arrange objects or materials to help a person gain access to the pool by bypassing the enclosure.
  • Minimum height: 1.52 metres (5 feet) measured by effective ground level on the outside of the pool.
  • Maximum enclosure opening diameter: 38 millimetres (1.5 inches) to prevent balls or frisbees from entering, not relating to the gate portion.

Fences that are not chain link or wood lattice

  • Minimum horizontal distance between rails: 1.22 metres (4 feet) measured by effective ground level on the outside of the pool.
  • Maximum opening diameter: 10 centimetres (4 inches).

Chain link or wood lattice fences

  • Minimum horizontal distance between rails: 1.83 metres (6 feet) measured by effective ground level on the outside of the pool.
  • Maximum opening diameter: 50 millimetres (2 inches). See by-law for additional requirements of lattice or horizontal louvers.
  • Minimum distance from fence or structure: 0.6 metres (2 feet).
  • Minimum distance from pools/hot tub: 0.9 metres (3 feet).
  • Minimum distance from pools/hot tub: 1.22 metres 4(feet) for enclosures that are formed using part of building wall.

The city of Waterloo further stipulates requirements for temporary fencing during construction, temporary pools, gates, and entrances through buildings. These may be reviewed under section 11 and onwards from the by-law.

Ornamental #193

Things to Know for General Fencing

Before adding a fence the key to success is knowing and planning for by-law compliance so property owners can save money on re-work or by-law fines. The notes below are provided as a general guideline to plan and build pool enclosures and are not substitutes for Waterloo by-laws; please see here for full by-law information.

  • Prohibitions on fencing: Fences made of barbed wire or that are electrified are not permitted.
  • Prohibitions for fencing on city land: No person shall erect a fence on City property, including any highway, without expressed consent of the city.
  • Replacement of materials: No person shall replace any section of a fence with anything other than similar suitable materials, so as to not appear unsightly.

Residential Zones

  • Maximum height rear and side yard: 2.44 metres (8 feet).
  • Maximum height visibility triangle and front yard: 2.44 metres (8 feet).
  • Maximum height flankage yard: 1.83 metres (6 feet).

measuring rulerOther Zones (including commercial, industrial, agricultural zones)

  • Maximum height: 3.04 metres (10 feet).

Residential Privacy Screens

  • Minimum distance from any property line: 0.9 metres (3 feet).
  • Maximum height: 2.44 metres (8 feet).
  • Additional height provided: 0.3 metres (1 foot) for each additional 0.3 metres ( 1 foot) that privacy screen is setback.
  • Threshold for additional height allowance: 3.04 metres ( 10 feet) if ground level or 2 metres (6 feet 5 inches) above a deck or platform if erected on the deck or platform.

The city of Waterloo further stipulates requirements for privacy screens, visibility triangles, grade elevation differences between lots, and additional prohibitions. These details may be reviewed from the by-law.

Let Jay Fencing Help Simplify Your Next Fencing Project

Having worked with clients on properties of all shapes and sizes, we have the understanding and practical know-how to ensure great looking fences that meet by-laws in Waterloo. Here is what others have said about Jay Fencing:

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The best way to determine which fencing option is right for you is to reach out to Jay Fencing Ltd. Let Jay Fencing deal with the fine print and by-laws while you focus on your business and family, all at the very best value. With Jay Fencing you can expect these services every time we serve you:

  • Careful consideration of community requirements
  • Personal and property security
  • Privacy
  • Protected play for children and pets
  • Over 28 years of experience delivering quality service to our clients

We service customers everywhere from Stratford to Brantford,  Mississauga to Fergus, and everywhere in between. Book a consultation today and Jay Fencing can help you pick the right perimeter for your property.

The following definitions are sourced from section 1.1 of the by-law:
Visibility triangle – Means the area within a triangle formed by measuring a prescribed distance along two specified intersecting lines and a third line joining the terminal points of the two measured lines.
Flankage yard – Means the yard extended to the rear lot line, between the longer lot line abutting a highway and the nearest wall of the main building, or the building line on a corner lot.  This, however, will not include any portion designated as a front yard.