Build a deck, fence, or retaining wall

Permit requirements for decks, fences, and retaining walls frequently vary, depending on the nature of the project. Please be sure you are familiar with the requirements for your specific project before you begin work.

Decks

General permit requirements for decks

Building permits are required for decks in most cases.

When a building permit is not required

You do not need a building permit for your deck if it is less than 2 feet (600 mm) high. If the deck is detached, in addition to being less than 2 feet high, it also needs to be smaller than 108 sq ft (10m2).

When a building permit is required 

You need a building permit for your deck if it is:

  • detached from a house and higher than 2 ft. (600 mm)
  • attached to a house and higher than 2 ft. (600 mm) 

You will also need to make sure the deck conforms to required siting requirements for accessory buildings and structures (when the deck is detached), or for a principal building (when the deck is attached).

Get complete requirements in the Building Decks in Single Family Zones bulletin

Learn more about applying for a building permit

Fences

General permit requirements for fences

You do not need a permit to build a fence. There are, however, height restrictions you need to follow.

Height restrictions for fences on regular lots

  • maximum fence height is 6’ across the front property line and down each side to 25’ back
  • maximum fence height is 8', starting from 25’ down each side to the back property line and across the back

Height restrictions for fences on corner lots

  • maximum fence height is 6’ across the front property line, 6’ down the property line adjacent to the street
  • 6’ across the back property line from the street to 25’ inwards
  • 8’ for the remaining back property line and up the remaining side abutting another property to the 25’ ft, then 6’ of remaining side to front property line

Download our fence height fact sheet, which includes diagrams

Placing your fence

We only regulate the height of fences. Placing your fence and sharing its cost is a private matter between you and your neighbour. 

By mutual agreement, you can place your fence directly on the property line. If your neighbour does not want to participate in the fence or its costs, you can build your fence immediately inside of your property line.  

Other requirements

There are no regulations regarding the type of fencing or its colour

Hedges and shrubs

If you want to plant a hedge, shrubs, or trees instead of a fence, there are no height regulations. Placement is the same as for a fence, on or within a property line. However, traffic vision must not be obstructed, and other safety issues such as wiring and cables should be considered. 

Retaining walls

General permit requirements for retaining walls

You need a permit to build a retaining wall if the wall is higher than 4 feet. Your permit application must include drawings produced by a professional engineer.

Rules for retaining walls on private property

  • You must follow the zoning bylaw requirements 
  • Dry stacked rock walls or rock armoured slopes are not permitted

Rules for retaining walls on public property

  • The material used for your wall must be consistent with existing retaining walls in the area, the construction materials used in the finishing of your home, or reflect the natural setting of your location
  • Dry stacked rock walls or rock armoured slopes are not permitted
  • You must obtain consent from the property owners on both sides of your lot, as well as any other property owner who may be significantly impacted by the wall
  • If you are not able to address concerns raised by affected neighbours, your request for permission to build the wall will be referred to Council for approval

Review the District's policy on retaining walls on public property