Fences/Walls FAQ

Our office receives a lot of calls and emails with questions about requirements for fences and walls in the City of Tulsa, so we assembled this list of frequently asked questions.

Take a look, and if you need more assistance, feel free to contact us at 918-596-7526 or planning@cityoftulsa.org.

Where can I build my fence?

Fences may be built up to your property line.


How do I know where my property line is?

If you do not know where your property lines are, a survey is the most accurate way to know where these boundaries and any potential restrictions (e.g., easements) are. Older plats and site plans for your property can also be helpful if the property lines have been included and are accurate, but should be updated to reflect any changes.


How tall can my fence be?

Fences are limited to 8 feet tall within the side and rear setback, and 4 feet tall within required street setbacks. All fences require permits, and a building permit is required for fences taller than 7 feet. See below for more information about permits.

For detached houses and duplexes located on corner or double frontage lots in a residential district, fences are limited to 4 feet tall within the front (street) setback and 8 feet tall within all other setbacks.

Fences taller than what is allowed by the code require a Special Exception from the Board of Adjustment. Section 70.120 of the City of Tulsa Zoning code outlines the process.

For information about Special Exceptions, contact the Tulsa Planning Office at 918.596.7526 or planning@cityoftulsa.org.


What materials may I use to build my fence?

There are no specific requirements regarding design and materials for fences and walls except for screening fences and walls that are required by the Zoning Code. For additional information, please refer to Sections 65.070 Screening and 65.080 Landscape and Screening Material of the Zoning Code.

In Historic Preservation zoning districts, fences and walls visible from the street must be approved by the Tulsa Preservation Commission, and will be subject to design and material standards. Contact the Preservation Commission for more information.

Do I need permits to build a fence or wall?

Yes, the City of Tulsa requires all fences, walls, and retaining walls to go through the permit process.

Fences and Walls

  • Up to 7 feet tall: a Zoning Clearance Permit is required. Note: Engineer-sealed designs are required for precast and masonry construction taller than 4 feet, as measured from grade to the top of the wall or fence.
  • Taller than 7 feet: a Building Permit is required.

Retaining Walls

  • Up to 4 feet tall, measured from bottom of the footing to top of wall: a Zoning Clearance Permit is required.
  • Taller than 4 feet, measured from bottom of the footing to top of wall: a Building Permit is required, and the wall must be designed and sealed by an engineer.

Both processes require a site plan and complete legal description from the property deed. Your site plan should detail the location, length, and height(s) of all proposed fence/wall segments, and the distance from the center of all streets to the proposed fence/wall.

For more information on site plan requirements or the permitting process, visit the City of Tulsa Permit Center’s Forms and Booklets pageFor additional assistance or questions regarding permits, call the City of Tulsa Permit Center at 918-596-9456.

Historic Preservation Permits — If your property is within the boundaries of a Historic Preservation zoning district and the fence, wall, or retaining wall you’re proposing is visible from the street, you will also need to apply for a permit from the Tulsa Preservation Commission.


Are barbed wire, razor wire, or electric fences allowed?

Barbed-wire and razor-wire fencing is prohibited in all zoning districts except AG, IL, IM, and IH (subject to Title 24, Section 103 of Tulsa Revised Ordinances). Such fences in other districts require a Special Exception from the Board of Adjustment.

Barbed wire fences cannot be located within three (3) feet of any public sidewalk.

Electric fence systems are prohibited except on:

  • Parcels of land with an area of 10 acres or more, provided the system is not readily accessible to the public; and
  • Parcels of land with an area of less than 10 acres, provided that the conductors are located at least 8 feet above grade and are not readily accessible to the public.

For more information, refer to Section 45.080 Fences and Walls of the Tulsa Zoning Code.