R.H. Estates : Accessory Buildings Limits

The City Council this week said it wants to limit the size of accessory buildings in residential neighborhoods to 500 square feet and 16 feet tall and said they must be compatible in design with the main structure on the lot.

The council, which is reviewing its residential building regulations, determined that the only exceptions to the new accessory building rules are code-required, detached garages and horse barns.

In the past, the city code has generally not limited the size of accessory buildings.

The new regulations will prohibit the construction of such accessory buildings as the two large metal storage structures behind a Dapplegray Lane home that brought public protest in January and led to the current review.

In related matters, the council defined "front yard" as all of the property in front of a home. The building code had previously defined it as the area between the front property line and that portion of the structure extending closest to the line. As the new regulation stands, property owners seeking to build on any portion of the front yard must obtain a variance. Before, owners of L-shaped homes, for instance, could add on to their homes without obtaining the variance if they built in the space between the main structure of the home and that jutting toward the property line.

The new regulations may be given approval by the council in an ordinance on April 22 and final approval three weeks later. They could take effect mid-June.

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