We have 7 foot side yard setbacks. A customer has a non-conforming structure set back 3 feet. His back door is high enough off of grade to actually be almost unusable. He wants to build a smallish (maybe 6x8) deck off of the back door, which itself is about 3.5 feet from the property line. Therefore, any deck built off of his back door would be an illegal structure. Our code specifically refers to decks as structures.
My job is to follow our code, but situations like this make me feel like a mindless bureaucrat.