Storage Buildings

Types of Accessory Buildings

A residential accessory building is a building that is detached and incidental to a residence. This type of structure includes detached buildings such as garages, storage sheds, workshops, greenhouses, and other similar used structures. This information does not apply to structures that will be used for living space or that are attached to a residence.

Building Permits

A Building Permit is not required for one-story detached accessory structures provided the floor area does not exceed 120 square feet and no power will be ran to the building. All structures exceeding 120 square feet are required to obtain a permit prior to construction. For information on obtaining a building permit, contact the Building and Safety Division.

In all cases, whether a building permit is required or not; all structures must comply with the zoning regulations and maintain the required setbacks.

Size Limitations

You may have multiple accessory buildings as long as the total cumulative square footage does not exceed the allowable lot coverage for the zoning district.

Requirements by Zoning District

AreaRD-1, 2, 3, 4RD-5, 7
RD-10, 15
RD-20, 25, 30
Lot coverage

Maximum percentage of total net lot area occupied by all types of structures but not including swimming pools.
Maximum coverage30%50%





*Note: The maximum cumulative footprint for accessory structures is 2400 square feet, regardless of the allowable lot coverage. To exceed 2400 square feet, a Minor Use Permit (PDF) is required.


  • Structures shall be constructed in rear yard and maintain a setback minimum of 5 feet for all buildings up to 16 feet in height.
  • Buildings exceeding 16 feet in height shall increase the setback 1 foot for each foot above 16 feet. For example, an 18-foot high building requires a setback of 7 feet.
  • In certain situations the setback may be reduced with approval of the Planning Department, but in no case shall a structure be allowed to be built less than 3 feet from the property line or within an easement

Height Restrictions

Accessory structures that are detached from the primary structure are allowed up to 16 feet in height. For structures exceeding 16 feet in height, a Minor Use Permit is required. Contact the Planning Department for information on Minor Use Permits.

Separation Between Structures

Each detached structure must maintain a minimum of 5 foot separation between the structure and any other building.


Many properties have utility easements on which no building is allowed to be placed. This easement area may exceed the dimensions of the required setbacks for your property. In some cases the city has copies of some types of easements that may exist, but it is advisable that you review your title report to help identify if any easements exist on your property.

Additional Information

This information is provided as a courtesy and identifies requirements for accessory buildings. Additional information may be found in the Zoning Code.

For additional information, contact the Planning Division at 916-727-4740 and to find out your lot size.