How do setbacks work with “accessory buildings?”

An accessory building is a structure such as a detached garage, a storage shed, a satellite dish, etc. The ordinance defines an accessory building as follows: “A subordinate building which is incidental to and customary in connection with the principal building or use and which is located on the same lot with such principal building or use.”

The rules for accessory building setbacks are as follows:

  • 1. Location. Accessory buildings may be built in a required rear yard, but such accessory buildings shall not occupy more than fifty percent (50%) of the required rear yard area and shall not be nearer than two feet (2′) to any side or rear lot lines and shall be located ten feet (10′) or more in back of or behind the main building. The two foot side yard setback shall be measured from the overhang or eve of the building.
  • 2. Distance from the Main Building. If the accessory building is located closer than ten feet (10′) to the main building, then the accessory building shall be regarded as part of the main building for purposes of determining side and rear yard areas.
  • 3. Entrance from Alley. If the accessory building is a garage which is entered from an alley and is not located closer than ten feet (10′) to the main building, then there shall be a rear yard of not less than ten feet (10′).
  • 4. Height Restriction. No accessory building in a residential district shall be erected, converted, enlarged, reconstructed, or structurally altered to exceed fifteen (15′) in height at the highest point from the ground level.”