Public Right-of-Way

Improper placement of fence in public right-of-way

Please be aware that you cannot fence public right-of-way.

The property owner is responsible for maintenance but is not taxed on this area. Call Engineering at (406) 771-1258 before placing fence posts. Street sizes vary throughout Great Falls and so does the public right-of-way.

  • If you have a corner property there is a CVT (clear vision triangle) which is a 45 degree triangle measurement that will determine where your fence can be placed.  In alleys this measurement is 10' and in driveways the measurement is 15'.  (See example in City Code 12.4.010 - 12.4.060 on boulevards/CVT below in supporting documents)
  • For any vegetation CVT (clear vision triangle) issues such as a tree or a bush please contact the Park & Recreation City Forester at 771-1265.
  • Residential fence height: 4' tall in the frontyard (from the end of the public right-of-way to the front of the house), and 6' tall (from the front of the house through the backyard). (See examples in fence setback diagram below in supporting documents)  Contact Code Enforcement at Planning & Community Development (406) 455-8574.
  • Any new fences being installed or old fences being repaired and/or replaced are required to comply with the City Code revised in 2007 listed below.
  • Fire Hydrants are placed in the public right-of-way.  There needs to be clearance of at least 5' to allow for proper hose connection and use.  In case of an emergency and the hydrant access is blocked by fencing or shrubs they may need to be cut.  The property owner would be responsible for any replacement costs.

How is the public right-of-way figured?

Get the measurement of the street or avenue from Engineering, next measure from the back of curb on one side of the street to the other back of curb across the street.

Example: 80' public right-of-way minus 35' street back of curb measurement = 45' remaining right-of-way, divided by 2 = 22.5'. Therefore each property owner on each side of the street would have a 22.5' public right-of-way.  The fence would be placed 22.5' from the back of curb.  (See fence setback diagram below in supporting documents)

City Codes:  (see City Code link below)

                - Fences

                - Boulevards 12.4.010 - 12.4.060 (includes CVT - Clear Vision Triangle)

                - Intersection Visibility 17.32.160 (includes CVT for streets, alleys and driveways)


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Improperly placed fence in the Public Right-of-WayFence moved back to the proper placement out of the Public Right-of-WayFence at improper height for front area of a home, City Code is 4'.Fence at proper height of 4'.