Fence Permits

Residential Fence Permits*

To determine if you need a residential fence permit, answer the following questions:

  • Is there an existing fence?
    • If no, you will need a permit. See the fence permitting process below for necessary drawings and information.
    • If yes, read the next paragraph and answer the questions below.

If you answer "yes" to any of the questions below, you will need a fence permit.

  • Will the height be changed? Will the location be changed?
    • If you answered yes to either of the above questions, your project requires a permit.
    • If you answered no to both questions, the project is considered to be a repair and does not require a permit.

Fence Permitting Process

Items needed for a fence permit:

  • $20
  • Residential Permit Application  
  • Site Plan (a survey or a drawing by hand is acceptable)

The site plan must show:

  • Property lines
  • Location of fence
  • Height of fence
  • Fence material (e.g., wood, wrought iron, etc.)
  • Fence builder (homeowner or contractor name)
Residential fences are usually reviewed for plan approval at the counter. The applicant usually leaves with a permit in hand the same day he/she applies for permit.


  • Fences in the Historic District must have prior approval by Guy Giersch, the Historic Preservation Officer. He can be reached at 972-547-7416 or by email. Fences in the historic district must not exceed 6'8" in height.
  • The maximum height for fences in the rear yard (not located in the historic district) is 8'6".
  • The maximum height for fences in the front yard is 48", and the fence must be at least 50% open.
  • Fences enclosing a pool / spa are subject to pool barrier requirements.
  • You may need to contact your homeowner's association for additional requirements from deed restrictions or covenants.
  • To ensure safety, please be sure to call 1-800-DIG-TESS (1-800-344-8377) before you dig, so the utility companies can mark underground electrical lines, gas lines, etc.
*Not applicable in the ETJ, unless fence is over 8' in height

Commercial Fence Permits

For commercial fence permits, please call 972-547-7400 and ask to speak with a commercial plans examiner. The commercial plans examiner will determine if you need a permit. The plans will be submitted at the Building Inspections front counter and the plans will be transferred to a plans examiner. After the plans are submitted, the plans examiner will review the plans and contact the applicant upon approval.

Retaining Walls

A permit for any retaining wall is required in the City of McKinney, regardless of height. Retaining walls more than two feet in height require engineered plans. For questions about residential retaining walls, please email or call Marlene Johnson at 972-547-7446. For questions about commercial retaining walls, email or call or Jeff Harris at 972-547-7452.