Blog module icon

Newport News Now

N3 Blog header

Newport News Now is a daily e-newsletter that launched in March 2016. Articles that ran in our newsletter between March 2016 and March 2018 are available on these pages. Newsletters produced beginning in April 2018 can be viewed on our new daily newsletter page.

View All Posts

Jun 03

Proper Guidelines for Building a Fence or Shed in Newport News

Posted on June 3, 2016 at 10:11 AM by Latoya Jefferson

Spring is the perfect time to think about a to-do list which might include getting that fence put up or adding a shed. Before starting, here are a few things Newport News 311 and the Codes Compliance Department wants everyone to know.

First, any neighborhood with an association may have additional regulations besides the City’s so check with them before considering a fence, shed or any home improvement project. 6-3 fence and shed When putting up a fence in a backyard, no permit is required as long as the property is not on a corner lot, not being put around a swimming pool and it is not taller than 6 feet. It is a very good idea to ensure where the property lines are to avoid problems with neighbors. Fences can be placed on property lines and there is no regulation as to which side faces neighbors, but barbed wire fences are not allowed. Finally, before digging, always call Miss Utility at 811 at least 3 days prior to construction to ensure the site is clear of utility lines.

For sheds, a zoning permit is required and if the shed is over 256 square feet, a building permit will also be required. The building permit application can be downloaded at Codes Compliance Permit Applications page and the accessory structure/building certification form and plot diagram, which are required for all sheds, can be found on the Codes Compliance Guidelines & Forms site. It does not matter if the shed is pre-built or being built on site, both have to have at least a zoning permit to ensure the placement is according to the setback requirements for the property.

Submit the required forms along with a copy of the property plat (this is the survey that shows your property lines and house) to Codes Compliance, which is located at 2400 Washington Avenue, 3rd Floor. They are open Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 5 PM. Call 311 Monday through Friday, 7 AM to 6 PM for any city related question or non-emergency service, email us at or go online at to submit a service request or to download our app.