For several weeks now, Andy Lang has given misinformation regarding building codes in the Southern California area (in general) and Los Angeles in particular.
Regarding last week's Handyman Q&A column ("Discuss Fence With Your Neighbor"), permits are almost never required for fences, if one stops below the 6-foot height in rear and sides, and 30 inches at the front. A variance, without a conventional building permit is sufficient if those heights are exceeded.
Hope this information is helpful--before the building departments are flooded with requests for fence permits.
Nicoletti is an architect.