Bowie recognizes a need to preserve the open and spacious character of our neighborhoods. The current fence regulations found in Chapter 26 are intended to reduce man-made obstructions at intersections, protect the safety of pedestrians, preserve an attractive area and general character of the City.
The installation and maintenance of fences can be divided into 5 topics:
1. Fence: Definition, Conforming/Non-Conforming
2. Fence Repair
3. Fence Replacement
4. Installation of new fence on a regular "interior" lot
5. Installation of new fence on a "corner" lot
Fence: Definition, Conforming or Non-Conforming
A fence is any structure, barrier or partition having the effect of, or erected for, the purpose of enclosing a piece of land, dividing a piece of land, separating two estates, creating an obstacle to pedestrian crossings, and consisting of a section(s) of any fencing materials. Barbed wired fences are prohibited. A fence is an accessory structure which must be maintained structurally safe and sound, in good repair and free from corrosion and graffiti, per Bowie City Code, Chapter 5.
A fence legally existing prior to November 24, 1992 (per Ordinance O-19-92) and not complying with the current setbacks is a "non-conforming" fence. A fence constructed or installed to replace a non-conforming fence must meet current setback requirements.
Repairs do not require a permit except when the structural parts (posts or rails) must be replaced. Non-structural parts such as pickets can be replaced without permits as long as the same materials, design and location are used. A non-conforming fence may be repaired if it was removed or destroyed due to circumstance beyond the control of the owner and the materials used are substantially the same. Such repairs occur when a tree falls onto a fence, graffiti is painted on the fence or a motor vehicle damages the fence
If the any of the structural parts (posts or rails) of the fence are to be replaced or the materials (wood, vinyl, chain-link), design (picket, chain link, split rail, stockade, board on board) or location change, the fence must comply with the current regulations and setback requirements. County and City building permits are required for any of the aforementioned changes if the fence is taller than four (4) feet.
For more information on fences, please contact the Code Compliance Office at 301-809-3008.