The City Code allows for many different types of residential accessory uses, including detached garages, workshops, and storage structures. Whether or not you can build another structure on your lot depends on several things, including zone, lot coverage allowance, setbacks, and any specific regulations that apply to the type of accessory structure you plan to build. For general guidelines, read the sections below. This page is not meant to cover absolutely every facet of the accessory structure code. Before undertaking your building project, contact the Land Use Review Division to make absolutely sure you have not overlooked a regulation.
General Information: Accessory Structures
The accessory structure provisions in the City Code can be found in Section 7.3.105. Accessory structures are not allowed within the front or side yard setbacks of any property. The specific setback measurements depend on the zone district in which your property is located. To find your zone, consult Property Zoning or call the Land Use Review Division.
If the structure is 120 square feet or less in gross floor area and 8 feet in height or less, it may be located anywhere within the rear yard and does not require a building permit. However, if the accessory structure is greater than 120 square feet and/or greater than 8 feet in height, it must maintain the following setbacks from each property line in the rear yard:
Accessory structures located in a hillside, historic preservation, or streamside overlay zone district are subject to site plan review to ensure compliance with the provisions of the overlay districts. Consult Property Zoning and Overlay Districts for general information.
Accessory structures cannot be any larger in gross floor area than the footprint of the principal structure located on the lot. Additionally, accessory structure height is limited to 16 feet from the average grade to the peak if the roof pitch is less than 6:12. If the roof pitch is 6:12 or greater, height is limited to 20 feet and is measured the same way.
Children’s playhouses are allowed within any residential district. If the playhouse exceeds 6 feet in height, it must meet the setbacks and other development standards of the zone district.
Storage structures are limited to 2 structures per principal use. The total combined square footage of the storage structures cannot exceed 400 square feet.
Carports and Garages
Carports and garages are allowed within any zone district as an accessory use, but only in connection with a principal use (a garage or carport may not be built without a principal structure, such as a home). A maximum of 1,200 square feet of garage space is allowed per single-family residence, unless a storage space of 450 square feet is incorporated. Garages in connection with single-family residences are limited to have garage doors for no more than 4 cars. For multi-family dwellings, a maximum of 600 square feet per unit with garage doors for no more than 2 cars is allowed. If the detached garage is located adjacent to an alley and the garage doors face the alley, it must maintain a 10 foot setback from that property line no matter what the zone district in which it is located.
Stables and corrals are permitted within any residential zone district as long as the lot is at least 37,000 square feet in area and all buildings and corrals are constructed at least 55 feet from the building envelope of the adjacent lot.
Detached Accessory Dwelling Units
Accessory Dwelling Units, or ADUs, are allowed in the R- 2, R-4, R-5, SU and C-5 zone districts as long as all of the requirements are met. An ADU is defined as a dwelling subordinate to the principal residential dwelling located on the same lot. The ADU is under the same ownership as the principal unit.
The property on which an ADU is planned must meet the minimum lot area defined in Section 7.3.104 for two family residential use and only one ADU is allowed per lot. Additionally, the maximum footprint or finished living area of the ADU cannot exceed 750 square feet. Exceptions to this area maximum include decks and porches that are attached to the ADU.
The ADU must be constructed entirely within the rear 50 feet of the property and meet a 5 foot rear yard setback, must be located behind the corners of the principal dwelling unit, and meet side setback requirements prescribed by the zone district in which it is located. There must be at least 20 feet between the principal dwelling unit and the ADU, and height is limited to 25 feet at the peak.
An additional parking space on the property is also required.
A kennel is allowed only in the Agricultural (A) zone. All buildings and runs must be constructed at least 55 feet from any property line.
Also see more information on Residential Accessory Uses.