Sheds under 256 square feet, used for storage or similar use, and having no connection to utilities do not require a permit. They must be placed at least 5 feet from the property line and at least 10 feet from the building and must be no more than 12 feet to the midline of the roof. While no permit is required, review by several departments is necessary to ensure the shed complies with all codes. As such, prior to installation, a Fence and Shed Waiver form must be submitted and approved by the City. For fences around pools, please consult with staff.
If the shed structure is over 256 square feet, is to be finished space or is to be otherwise occupied, a building permit is required for review by Zoning and Building Safety.
Fences up to 7 feet tall are permitted in required side and rear yards, and up to 4 feet tall in required front yards. Required yards, also referred to as setbacks, may differ from perceived yards on your property. Replacement of existing fences or repairs do not required a permit, but prior to installation must comply with requirements described above.
To obtain a waiver to install a fence or shed, please fill out a Building Permit Waiver for Fences and Sheds and include a plat of your clearly showing the proposed location, height, and dimensions for the shed or the fence.
Utility Equipment on Residential Properties
All utility pedestals, transformers, air conditioning equipment, and their concrete foundation pads shall be placed at or below grade level at least 3 feet from the side and rear property lines, and effectively screened from pedestrian view by shrubbery, fencing, etc. Utilities shall not be located in a front yard or yard adjoining a street.
To obtain a permit for utility placement, please include a property plat with your submission clearly showing the proposed location of the utility.
Residential Setbacks, Lot Coverage, and Building Height
Residential setbacks, coverage, and heights are regulated by Zoning District. Summary of those requirements can be found in the Lot and Yard Sizes by Zone. Below are helpful tips for routine questions:
- Yard: are measured from the property line, and defined as open space that is unoccupied and unobstructed by buildings from the ground upward.
- Front Yards: In any R district, the minimum front yard for new construction, new buildings, and new additions to existing residential structures, except for corner lots in R-1A and R-1B districts, shall be the average of the nearest front yards on either side, or if there be a building on one side only, then it shall be the same as the front yard for that building; provided, no front yard shall be less than 30 feet in an R-1A district and 25 feet in an R-1B district, and that no front yard need be more than 50 feet.
- Detached Garage: Detached garages must be in a side or rear of the property. If in the rear yard setback, it must be at least 10 feet from the house and 3 feet off the property line; maximum height permitted is 12 feet to the midpoint of the roof ridge, and one and half stories.
- Porch: a porch with roof, posts and rails may project 8 feet into a front yard. Consult with staff regarding decks, balconies and enclosed porches before application.
- Historic Accessory Structure: maximum height permitted is 20 feet to peak and 1-1/2 stories.
For substandard lots, as defined in Sec. 48-1102 of the Zoning Code, the City allows the following exceptions to standard requirements:
- Side Yards: reduced to not less than 20% of the lot width, but not less than 7-1/2 feet.
- Rear Yard: may be reduced to not less than 30% of the lot depth, but not less than 20 feet.
- Building Height: shall be determined as a ratio of actual lot area to the required lot area, multiplied by the maximum allowable height in the underlaying zoning district (35 feet for R-1A and R-1B), but not less than 25 feet.
Accessory Dwelling Units
Accessory dwelling units (ADUs) are secondary, independent living units that typically have a separate kitchen, sleeping area, and bathroom. ADUs can assume different forms including basement apartments, converted garages, or new structures detached from a primary residence. However, currently, detached ADUs are not permitted. Interior ADUs (within the principal dwelling, such as in the basement) that meets all applicable standards in Zoning Code Section 48-236(11) is permitted by Special Use Permits, subject to BZA approval.
Residential Zoning Handouts