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A building on the same lot, but detached from the principal building, for which the use is incidental and subordinate to the principal use. In residential districts, accessory buildings may be detached garages, workshops, storage sheds, hobby-type greenhouses or similar minor buildings (roofed structures).

Note: All buildings are structures, but not all structures are a building.


  • If any dimension of the accessory building exceeds 12 feet, or if the floor area exceeds 144 square feet, a building permit is required from the Town's Inspections Department.
  • Regardless of building permit requirements, an approved Zoning Compliance Permit is required prior to construction of certain residential accessory buildings as noted below.

Section 5.4(b) of the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) places restrictions on height, size and location of accessory buildings.  Approval by Planning Department staff ensures compliance with the following:

  • The maximum height of a garage shall not exceed the height of the principal building;
  • The maximum height of an accessory building other than a garage shall be 20 feet;
  • The minimum setback from a side lot line is ten (10) feet;
  • The minimum setback from a rear lot line is five (5) feet;
  • If an easement or buffer exists along such a lot line, the minimum setback will be the same as the easement or buffer line if it is greater than the applicable minimum stated above; and
  • The combined floor area of all accessory buildings shall not exceed one-half the heated area of the principal building served, except in the R-40 district.

Special Considerations for Lots Recorded Prior to March 1984:
Accessory buildings may encroach into Conservation Buffer Areas, provided that...

  • The combined floor area of those accessory buildings encroaching shall not exceed one quarter the heated area of the principal building served;
  • Accessory buildings may not be located in any floodway;
  • Accessory buildings located in a floodplain shall meet applicable construction standards; and
  • The total impervious surface area of the lot shall not exceed 25%.