white fence

Residential Fences

Before building a fence in Hopkins, you must have a fence permit. Complete the Fence Permit Application and return with $10 permit fee to Hopkins City Hall.


The following is a summary of zoning code requirements for residential fences in Hopkins. For complete information, see Hopkins City Code 520.13.


Boundary line fences must be located entirely on your private property unless the owner of the adjoining property agrees, in writing, that a fence may be built on the division line of both properties. The City may require any applicant for a fence permit to establish the boundary lines of his/her property by a survey to be made by any registered land surveyor.

Fence Height

In a residential district, no boundary line fence can be more than 4 ft in height except in the following cases:

Illustration showing different fence height scenarios

Side property lines

A fence on a side property line can be as tall as 6 ft for the distance starting from the rear lot line and going to a point where it meets the rear wall line of the house on either side of the fence. If there is more than one rear wall line, this point is determined by the one closest to the rear property line (See illustration, line B).

If a house on an adjacent lot is located within 50 feet of the fence line and its rear wall line is closer to the rear property line of the fence, that determines the point from which the fence can no longer exceed 4 ft in height. See illustration, lines A and B).

Rear property line abutting rear property line

Fences along any rear property line which is also the rear property line of an abutting lot can be as tall as 6 ft.

Rear property line abutting side lot line

Fences along a rear property line which is the side lot line of an abutting lot can be as tall as 6 ft for a distance calculated as in "Side Property Lines" above. Otherwise they can not exceed 4 feet in height.

Side street lot lines

Fences on side street lot lines can be as tall as 6 ft for the distance starting from the rear lot line and proceeding to a point 40 ft distant from the front lot line. In no case can the fence extend forward of the front line of the house. (See illustration, line C.)

Corner lots

Fences on any corner lot erected within 30 feet of the intersecting curb line are subject to Hopkins City Code 520.11 (Traffic Visibility).

Enclosing swimming pools

Fences enclosing swimming pools must be at least 4 ft in height and not more than 6 ft, subject to the other provisions listed here.


A fence must be constructed in a substantial, workmanlike manner and of material suitable for the fence's purpose.

Link Fences: Link fences, wherever permitted, will be constructed so that the barbed end is at the bottom of the fence and the knuckle end is at the top.

Fence support: The side of the fence facing the public right-of-way cannot contain the structure and/or support of the fence.

Barbed Wire: Barbed wire fences are permitted only in areas zoned as industrial districts. (See zoning map.)

Open space on fence plane

Residential fences must be constructed so that at least 25% of the plane between the ground and the top of the fence is open. In calculating the percentage, distances of 50 feet may be averaged beginning at the permitted point opposite the house.

wood fence illustration chain link fence illustration

Wood fence & chain link fence - 25% open

The side(s) of residential properties next to a state or county road may have an opaque fence.


Your fence must be kept in good condition. Poorly kept fences will not be allowed. Any fence which becomes dangerous to public safety, health or welfare will be considered a public nuisance and the City may start proper proceedings for an abatement.


  • City Planner


Call before you dig

Mon - Fri, 7 am - 5 pm

Before conducting any excavation for fence posts in your yard, the law requires that you call Gopher State One Call to have utility lines located in your yard. Calls must be placed at least two business days before digging.

You should mark the digging area with white stakes or white spray paint otherwise the utility may mark your entire yard. You must not dig any closer than two feet from any utility markings.

Utilities will only locate services that they installed. You or a private contractor are responsible for locating such services as sprinklers, power lines to a garage, gas grill line, or invisible fencing.

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