Most communities in the United States have detailed building codes for both commercial and residential structures. The city of Los Angeles is no different. Home builders and homeowners have certain guidelines to follow when it comes to constructing walls around a home. This includes the height of fencing and landscaping.
In Los Angeles, a fence along the front of a property may not be higher than 3.5 feet. An extra 3 feet is acceptable if the fencing is on top of an existing retaining wall. Generally speaking, backyard fencing cannot exceed 6 feet.
Retaining walls meant to hold back soil on an embankment or those used decoratively for landscaping must adhere to many of the same guidelines that apply to perimeter fencing, but the rules are a bit less stringent. A builder or homeowner can construct a wall that's 4 feet or shorter without a building permit. Walls over 4 feet must have the approval of a home inspector and a permit. No wall is allowed to exceed 12 feet in height.
Trees, hedges and shrubbery planted as a barrier must comply with LA building codes. Natural walls such as these can be 5 to 8 feet high.
As of 2011, Los Angeles had no guidelines governing wall height in regard to a home or business. If you're planning to build a structure in Los Angeles, call the building department for guidance.
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