What are the zoning restrictions for installing a fence on my property?
A permit from the Building Commissioner / Inspector is required to install a fence. Therefore, you should contact the Building Commissioner / Inspector by calling 413-538-5010 when you first begin considering the installation of a fence.
Generally, installation of fences on residential property is governed by Section 7(K) (PDF) of the Zoning Bylaw, which states:
"Fences or walls in residential districts, which are more than 4 feet high and more than 1/4 solid, except retaining walls, shall be erected not less than 3 feet from any lot line.
Fences, including hedges, may not be higher than 3 feet for a distance extending 20 feet off the street right-of-way line.
Fences, except living fences, higher than 6 feet shall require a special permit from the Planning Board.
Fences shall be of safe, non-hazardous construction, not likely to endanger the health or safety to the public."
These restrictions apply to most fences but may be subject to greater restrictions for swimming pools, agricultural uses and other special uses.
Fences on property included in 1 or more of the business or industrial zoning districts are not subject to Section 7(K). However, they may be restricted by conditions imposed as part of the site plan review process or a special permit process. Further, no fence can be installed that would create a traffic or sight distance hazard.