Does Your Storage Measure Up?

Thinking of ways to corral the bikes, lawn furniture and other outdoor paraphernalia? Considering the addition of an accessory structure or garden shed to your yard? Below are a few things you need to know before you purchase one for your Goleta home or business.

In general, sheds are not allowed in front and side yard setback areas. They can, however, be situated in back areas of a house when the placement is twenty-five feet (25’) from the rear property line extending toward the main residence. The problems begin when residents place the accessory structures in an area of their property where these structures are not permitted or require a Land Use Permit. These unpermitted areas are known as “setback areas.”

Accessory structures generally do NOT require a permit under the following conditions:
• The combined square footage of the accessory structure is no larger than 120 square feet of roof area, including eaves or overhangs.
• Structures cannot exceed twelve (12) feet in height.
• Structures cannot have plumbing, electrical or cooking facilities. Accessory structures can have sinks and electricity, but a Land Use Permit is required and such structures must be constructed to current City building code standards.
• Structures can be no closer than five (5) feet from the main residence, including eaves or overhangs.
• Structures can be no closer than five (5) feet from property lines, including eaves or overhangs unless fire rated building materials have been used.
• Under no circumstances can accessory structures be used for habitation. The staff at the City of Goleta encourages residents to check with them before purchasing or placing a structure on any property. A few minutes of information and investigation may save some heartache.

If you have questions or would like to report a structure that you believe is out of compliance,
contact Greg Nordyke, Code Enforcement Officer, at (805) 961-7556.