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How to permit and plan for fencing and wall projects

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Pictured is an ‘up to code’ fence. (Submitted Photo)

The city of Roswell Community Development Department is making an effort to educate the public about permitting and other requirements related to various projects homeowners/residents may undertake on their homes and property.

Before installing a new fence or wall — or replacing an old one — visit the city’s Planning and Zoning Office at 415 N. Richardson Ave. All residential and non-residential fences and walls require a permit, according to city officials.

Fences less than 7 feet tall require a placement permit (no fee) and fences 7 feet tall or taller require a building permit (fee based on project cost). At this time, front-yard perimeter fences and walls may be up to 4 feet tall. Fences may be placed on the property line, but are not allowed in the city’s right-of-way.

Fences and walls constructed without a permit are subject to review and possible removal if in violation of the zoning ordinance, are located in the city’s right-of-way or an easement, or obstruct a clear-site triangle and create a hazardous condition. Dilapidated and derelict fences are also subject to enforcement by Community Development Department officers.

Guidelines for fence projects are contained in the city’s zoning ordinance, in the article pertaining to building and performance standards (see Section 8). The ordinance is found at roswell-nm.gov/Zoning-Ordinance.

Residents are required to call 811 for utility locations before digging. There is no charge for 811 services. Utilities will mark the location of gas lines, phone and telecommunications cables, underground electric, water and sewer. Staff may check the placement of stakes or string marking a fence line prior to construction.

Corner lots require additional review by the city engineer to ensure a “clear-site triangle” at intersections and alleys. Contractors installing fences are required to have a State of New Mexico contractor’s license and city business license.

In order for staff to assist with a site plan and expedite the permitting process, residents should bring the following items to the Planning and Zoning Office:

• Property address (or the closest address if the property does not have an address).

• Boundary survey for the property (if the resident already has one).

• It is helpful if residents know the location of the property’s corner markers.

• Also, make sure the property and alley are free of weeds, trash and debris before staff members conduct site visits and/or inspections.

For questions about permitting requirements for fences, contact (or visit at 415 N. Richardson Ave.) Community Development Planning and Zoning representatives: Miguel Martinez, planning and zoning technician, 575-637-6218, m.martinez@roswell-nm.gov.; Merideth Hildreth, Planning and Zoning Administrator, 575-637-6294, m.hildreth@roswell.nm.gov.