The Wheeling Zoning Ordinance defines a "fence" as any structure which is a barrier and is used for purposes of privacy, protection or confinement. Fences are divided into two types:
  • Those which interrupt vision (solid)
  • Those which permit vision (open)

Fence Height

The height of a fence is the distance from the existing ground (grade) to the top-most portion of the fence. To avoid creating a drainage problem on both your property and your neighbor's, you cannot change the ground level without first getting approval from the Village Engineer. For safety, light and ventilation purposes, heights of fences are limited depending upon their location.
  • Solid fences may be 6 feet high in side and rear yards and 3 feet high in front yards.
  • An open fence may also be 6 feet high in rear and side yards and up to 4 feet high in front yards.

Fence Location

A fence of approved height may go almost anywhere on your property.
  • If a fence is constructed in the front yard, it must be at least 1 foot away from your front property line.
  • If a fence is to be built across a drainage easement or swale, the bottom must be at least 4 inches above the ground to allow storm water to pass beneath it.
  • If another fence is already built along any property line, it is not a good idea to put another one next to it. To do this creates a lawn area which is impossible to keep up and the outside of the fence cannot be maintained or repaired.

Neighboring Fences

It may be possible, with your neighbor's written permission, to attach your fence to his, or another end post can be installed on your property.

Other Considerations

Property Lines

Since fences may only be installed on your property, it is important to know exactly where the property lines are. If you cannot locate them from your survey, it would be wise to hire a surveyor to establish your lot corners. With these corners established, it will be possible for you or your fence builder to install the new fence in the right location. Do not rely on your neighbor's fence or hedge, a utility pole or the sidewalk when deciding where to install your fence.

Property Value

The installation of a fence affects both your property and surrounding properties. It is a good idea to discuss your plans with the neighbors. The type of fence, location and costs may be influenced when neighbors work together to solve common problems.


A permit issued by the Department of Community Development and payment of a fee is required prior to the installation of a fence. To obtain a permit, you will need:

Homeowner Associations

Most homeowner associations have requirements for the design and location of fences. If you are a member of such an association, check the rules and regulations. Authorization from the association is required, and must accompany the application for construction of the fence. After the permit is issued, J.U.L.I.E. must be contacted for utility locates.

Inspection & Permit Issuance

An inspector will visit your property to be certain that no unnoticed factors will influence the desired fence installation. Upon approval of the permit request and payment of the inspection fee, a permit is issued. The permit and inspection reports are then filed for record and future reference.

More Information

For further information, contact the Community Development Department at 847-459-2620.