Garages & Accessory Structures (SHEDS)


In order to apply for a building permit to build a garage or accessory structure, you will need to be either a licensed state residential contractor or the property owner with intent to occupy the home.  Access the Garages/Detached Accessory Structures (PDF) handout.

A Building Permit is required for any building larger than 200 square feet. The following information must be submitted before any permit can be issued.

  • A Grading & Erosion Control Permit
  • A completed Building Permit Application (PDF) form
  • Two copies of a certificate of survey or site plan (PDF)
  • Two sets of construction plans showing the following:
    • A floor plan drawn to scale showing size of garage, location of all doors and windows, size of headers, size and spacing of roof rafters, and indicating floor construction type.
    • A cross section of a typical wall indicating the following: size and depth of footings; floor material and size; wall material indicating type of studs, sheathing, plates, siding; header sizes; size and spacing of roof rafters, type of roof sheathing, roofing material and roof pitch; ceiling height; method of anchoring to foundation; finished height of grade.
    • Elevations indicating the following: height of structure from established grade; type of siding and roofing material; door and window locations and header sizes.


All building permit fees are based on the 2017-State Statute 326B.153 (PDF)and are determined by the city's Building Official. Other costs include the state surcharge.

Please contact the city at 651-792-7800 to get a more accurate permit fee total for your specific project.

Zoning Requirements
Garage/Accessory Structure Maximum Size

In R-1, R-2, and R-3 Districts, no accessory structure shall exceed 728 square feet in floor area. Accessory structures up to 1,456 square feet may be permitted with a Site Plan Review following review by the Planning Commission and approval by the City Council. Contact the City Planner for more information about this process.

A Zoning Permit (PDF) is required for any accessory structure 120 square feet and up to 200 square feet in size. A building permit (PDF) is required for any accessory structure over 200 square feet in size. Accessory structures less than 120 square feet in size do not require a permit, however, they still require that the following requirements within this section are met.

Garage/Accessory Structure Maximum Height

In R-1, R-2, and R-3 districts, accessory structures shall not exceed fifteen (15) feet in height or the height of the principal structure to which it is accessory, whichever is lower.

Garage/Accessory Structure Setbacks

In R-1, R-2, and R-3 Districts, accessory structures must be located behind the front façade of the principal structure either in the side or rear yard. The minimum setback for accessory structures is ten (10) feet from all rear and interior side lot lines.

Additional Requirements

  • Accessory structures shall not cause the property to exceed any of the regulations of the underlying Zoning District, such as the minimum requirements for landscaped lot coverage.
  • All accessory structures (garages, sheds, gazebos, etc.) should be located a minimum of six (6) feet from the principal structure on the property and from each other.
  • No more than two accessory structures shall be permitted on a lot.
  • Single family homes are limited to one driveway access from the local street.

Building Specifications


  1. Base plates on concrete shall be of treated wood.
  2. The sill plate shall be anchored to the foundation with ½" anchor bolts, a maximum 6 feet apart, embedded into the concrete a minimum of 7". Each sill plate section shall have a minimum of 2 anchors with no more than 12" from each end.
  3. Studs supporting floors shall be spaced not more than 16 inches on center (o.c.). 2x4 studs, not more than 10 feet in length and supporting ceiling and roof only may be spaced 24 inches o.c. where studs are spaced 24 inches o.c, framing above must be centered over studs.
  4. Rafters shall be nailed to adjacent ceiling joists to form a continuous tie between exterior walls when such joists are parallel to the rafters. When not parallel, rafters shall be tied to 2x4 minimum cross ties. Rafter ties shall be spaced not more than 4 feet o. c.
  5. The masonry foundation shall extend a minimum of 6" above the adjoining grade at all points.

Fire Protection

Garages shall be separated from living areas with approved material such as 1/2-inch thick gypsum board or equivalent, applied to the garage side. A tight fitting steel door, 1-3/8 wood door, or a door with a 20 minute fire rating shall be provided where a doorway penetrates the firewall. No such doorway shall open directly into a room used for sleeping purposes.

Garages built closer than 6 feet to existing dwellings, and building additions built closer than 6 feet to existing garages may require fire protection as required by code. Call building department for specific requirements.

Inspections Required

  • Footing Inspection - shall be made after forms and reinforcing are in place and prior to the pouring of any concrete.
  • Framing inspection – shall be made after the rough-in inspection of plumbing, heating and electrical inspection, but prior to the placement of any covering material. Means of assuring proper attic ventilating must be in place.
  • Final inspection – shall be made after the structure is complete and prior to occupancy.

General Notes

  1. Plan review and building permit issuance normally require ten (10) working days from receipt of the completed application. You will be contacted when the permit is ready.
  2. The stamped "approved plan" and survey shall be kept on the job site until final inspection.
  3. The Inspection Record Card shall be placed in the outside exterior wall near the addition and shall remain posted until the final inspection has been made. Cards should be protected from weather.