Fencing and Encroachments
There are no permit requirements for building a fence within the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB). That said, there are rules that govern how tall your fence can be and where on your property you can build your fence.
These rules are outlined within the Land Use Bylaw (LUB).
Side- and back-yard fences: For all residential districts in the RMWB, no side- or back-yard fence can be taller than 2.0 metres, measured from grade. This applies to the portion of the fence which does not extend beyond the most forward principle building on the lot, in most cases, your home.
Front-yard fences: For all residential districts, no front-yard fence can be taller than 1.0 metres. This applies to the portion of the fence which does extend beyond the most forward principle building on the lot, in most cases, your home.
Corner lots: For all residential districts, no fence can be taller than 0.6 metres within the triangular area 7.5 metres back of the intersecting front property lines. This applies regardless of whether or not a corner cut has been taken.
Applying the Land Use Bylaw Wildfire Overlay 16/020 to Building a Fence
The intent of the Land Use Bylaw Wildfire Overlay 16/020 is to provide a range of rebuilding options to property owners, including to allow their rebuilt home to occupy the same footprint as before the wildfire. This allows for the interpretation of replacing "like for like" what was lost in the fire.
However, the Overlay does not authorize encroachments onto adjacent property, whether that is Municipal land or private property.
During the rebuild, the Planning and Development Department has identified confusion surrounding the interpretation of a "like for like" rebuild. This phrase has been interpreted by some to mean the replacement of everything on the property, including the replacement of a fence, exactly as it stood before the fire.
Unfortunately, in cases where pre-existing fences encroached on Municipal land or neighbouring private property, this is not the case. Fences that may have encroached before the fire will not be allowed to encroach on Municipal land or private property now.
It is essential that before you build your fence you understand where your property line lies. While you don’t need a permit to build a fence, you do have to follow the location and height restrictions set out in the Land Use Bylaw (LUB).
It is your responsibility as a homeowner to verify the location of your property line to ensure it will not encroach onto neighbouring Municipal land or private property.
Any encroachments onto Municipal land must be removed by the homeowner.
Survey monuments in the areas that were most heavily damaged in the May 2016 wildfire have been lost, damaged, and removed over time and some were damaged in the fire. These monuments need to be replaced to assist with the rebuild process in these communities.
Survey monuments are used to define property boundaries. They are located at the corner of every property.
The RMWB is currently in the process of replacing survey monuments in wildfire affected areas. There are a few different items that could be used to mark property boundaries including metal survey pins and wooden survey stakes.
Property owners and contractors must ensure they do not disturb or shift these survey monuments during construction or when building a fence on their property.
Please call the Planning and Development Department at 780-799-8695 for further information about the installation of fences or about encroachment issues. You can also visit the department at Timberlea Landing, located at 309 Powder Drive.