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Decks and Building Separation


OK here's my question. Are decks considered a portion of a building when building is defined as ...materials that form a structure which is permanantly affixed to the land and is used for human or animal enclosure.....

The type of deck i am dealing with here is secured by footing on the ground, no foundation. I would think this is part of the building but others say no.

Problem arises with a townhouse development I'm looking at which requires the rear of dwellings to be erected no closer than 80 feet from each other. By the buildings foundation all is OK. Throw on a 10' deck and we have problems.

Any opinions?? I'm also looking for any case law that may pertain to the subject if anyone knows of any.



Cyburbian Emeritus
Heard it before...

Same issue, different town. Sounds like your Code has a problem with definition.

We tackled it here by saying that any structure over 6" above grade had to comply to the setback & offset requirements of the principal structure. Foundation or footing doesnt matter by our definition.

Don't know of any published case law, but I know we have had the Wisconsin DNR sue riparian land owners and win.