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Thread: Outbuildings in residential and rural areas

  1. #1
    Jul 2005
    Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

    Outbuildings in residential and rural areas

    Hello ...

    I am seeking advice and thoughts of other Council's & Municipailities that deal with a lot of large style residential outbuilding developments, from the point of view of our policy review of our Outbuildings Policies.

    Under the Residential Design Codes of Western Australian (2002 edition), an outbuilding is classed as an incidental development under section 3.10.1 (pp 89). This describes a 60sq building with wall heights of 2.4m and a ridge of 4.2, seemingly to match in with the proportions of our standard houses over here.

    The City of Albany is in the throes of the sea change movement, landowners are selling up and retiring to Albany's coastal environment, and bringing their retiree lifestyle expectations with them, such as boats, motor homes, caravans, 4WD, canoe's, jet ski's etc., The outbuilding above would not accommodate such uses, so Council has provided residential zone relaxations of up to 100sq m, 2.7m wall and 4.2 ridge, special residential zones can be relaxed up to 120 sq m, 3.0m wall and 4.2 ridge, with the plethora of special rural zoned land accommodating relaxations of up to 150 sq m of outbuildings with walls of 3.5 and ridges of 4.2.

    For your information, a standard Residential Lot is around 300 square metres up to around 900 square metres. A Special Residential lot is around 2000 square metres, and a Speical Rural lot is a rural amentity type lot is around 4000 square metres. After that, we tend to think that lots should be held to the zone of 'Rural' and not less than 40 000 square metres, but we have a smattering of old style lots that are a lot less than this.

    However, as the aging sea change public want's more space for it's lifestyle accessories, we are now looking at a further relaxation of a wall height in a special residential and special rural zones with wall heights up to 4.2m and ridges of probably in the region of 5m to 5.5m.

    The topic I would like to suggest is ... do other municipalities have wall heights for these types of rural/residential outbuildings in excess of 3.5 metres and what has happened to the amenity of the area? Has there been a greater increase in trucking (and others) businesses occupying these sheds as a result. Does it look ugly and has there been any backlash from the community as a result? Does the community like this, and is there the opposite of a backlash?

    Any comments and other experiences would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance ...

    Thomas Sounness
    City of Albany

  2. #2
    Cyburbian abrowne's avatar
    Jan 2005
    I'm not really aware of any specific rules in my town besides a strict adherence to fire code rules and non-combustible finishes (i.e. an outbuilding should not act as a bridge for fire).

  3. #3
    We have several use and dimensional standards for garages (we lump all outbuildings under the heading "Accessory Structures").

    First, they must be accessory to the primary use (residential) and thus cannot be used for any use of higher intensity without prior approval. They may not be built prior to the principal structure. They may not exceed the size of the dwelling. Each residential property may have just one (1) accessory structure. The maximum permitted area by right is 1000 sq. ft. (basically large enough to store five parked cars). Maximum wall height is 18 ft (+/- 6m) to the wall plate, and 30 ft (+/- 10m) to the roof peak. Last, they must be located behind the principal structure and no closer than 2m from the dwelling (if not attached) as well as 1m from the side property line and 1.5m from the rear property line.

    The fact is that we are an older manufacturing city with mostly one- and two-car garages. We do have a fringe area of larger lots where the retirees wish to park their assorted collections of vehicles (motorhomes, boats, small watercraft, antique cars, tractors, lawn maintenance equipment et cetera). Lot area has a great deal to do with whether a variance for a larger structure is granted. We also require, if approved, written assurances that are formally recorded that the building may not be used for anything other than personal storage for the dwelling.
    Je suis Charlie

  4. #4
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
    Sep 2001
    skating on thin ice
    From my previous "life" in an rural/urban community. I know we made some changes to these provisons, but the updatea re not ont eh web.

    Changes I know were made are that the maximum area is 80.5 sq metres and that sizes were enlarged for lots in excess of 4000 sq metres (1 acre). I think we went to 100 sq. m for those larger lots. We also changed teh heights to allow for buildings to a maximum of 6.1 metres or the height of the main building, whichever was less.

    ACCESSORY BUILDING means a subordinate building or structure on the same lot as the main building and devoted exclusively to an accessory use, but does not include a building attached in any way to the main building.

    3.1.11 Where this By-law provides that any land may be used or a building or tructure may be erected or used for a purpose, that purpose shall include accessory buildings.

    3.1.12 No accessory building may be used for human habitation.

    3.1.13 An accessory building or use shall not be erected or located in any front yard, side yard or rear yard, except as follows:

    a) in any residential zone said accessory building;
    i) shall not be located in a front yard;
    ii) shall be located at least 1.5 metres from the main building and at least 1.5 metres from either side lot line and at least 1.5 metres from the rear lot line;
    iii) shall not be closer to any other lot line than 1.5 metres;
    iv) shall not exceed a height of 4.9 metres ; and
    v) the maximum building coverage for accessory buildings shall not exceed 10% of the total lot area, to a maximum of 70 square metres.

    b) in any industrial zone said accessory building:
    i) shall not be located in the minimum front yard;
    ii) shall be at least 3.0 metres from either side lot line and at least 3.0 metres from the rear lot line or ˝ the height of the building, which ever is the greater; and
    iii) shall not have lot coverage for accessory buildings exceeding 10% of the
    total lot area.

    c) in any other zone;
    i) shall not be located in a front yard;
    ii) shall be located at least 1.5 metres from the main building and at least 3.0 metres from either side lot line and at least 3.0 metres from the rear lot line or ˝ the height of the building, which ever is the greater;
    iii) shall not be closer to any other lot line than 3 metres or ˝ the height of the building, which ever is the greater; and
    iv) shall not have lot coverage for accessory buildings exceeding 10% of the
    total lot area.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Plus JNA's avatar
    Jun 2003
    De Noc
    From my fair city's Zoning Code:

    (A) A structure or use which is clearly incidental to a principal structure or use, and is located on the same lot with the principal structure or use, is an accessory use. All accessory uses are subject to the restrictions in this section.
    (B) All accessory uses must meet the following requirements:
    (1) Be operated and maintained under the same ownership and use as the principal use or structure, and must be a permitted use in the zoning classification in which they are located.
    (2) Be subordinate in height, area, and purpose to the main structure or use. For the purpose of this subsection, area shall be designed as lot coverage.
    (3) All residential accessory structures and uses in a side or rear yard, not attached to or part of the main structure or use, shall be located at least two feet from any lot line, at least fifteen feet from any street line, at least ten feet from the main structure, and total lot coverage for all structures on the lot may not exceed the maximum allowed per Table A. All residential accessory uses attached to or
    part of the main structure must meet all minimum requirements established by Table A.
    (4) May not be erected prior to the principal use or structure.
    (5) May not be located in a required front yard.
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)

    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  6. #6
    Mar 2005
    Keith County, Nebraska
    Keith County, Nebraska has a large recreational area, the largest lake in Nebraska. As such, we attach a large number of weekend visitor. Many of them enjoy the area so much that they purchase land for future homes and/or retirement. We allow the construction of accessory buildings prior to the primary use, i.e. homes. These are used for the storage of boats and other recreational vehicles. This probably won't work in most areas, but it does here.

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