Accessory Structures

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Current Size: 80%

Accessory Structures and Additional Permit Information
Accessory structures include any structures on the property other than the principal structure. This includes decks, sheds, detached garages, gazebos, pools, and pool fences, among others. Not all accessory structures require a building permit, however, all accessory structures must comply with applicable zoning requirements. 

How to Apply for a Permit

Online: Submit applications, track and pay for permits online via the LAMA Permit Portal. If you are a contractor and need a registration code, call the Department of Community Development at 540-432-7700 or email

Via email: Building Permit Application [289KB]PDF icon Permit applications may be emailed to

In person: Visit us at Community Development, 409 S Main St, 2nd Floor, Harrisonburg, VA 22801.

General Guidelines

Zoning Requirements


  • Decks (uncovered) located in the rear or side yard shall be at least five (5) feet from adjoining side and rear property lines.
  • Decks (uncovered) located in the front yard shall project no further than 1/3 of the front setback.

Accessory buildings for residential properties:

  • Must be located in the rear of the property.
  • Shall be at least five (5) feet from adjoining side and rear property lines.
  • Shall not occupy more than 30% of the required rear yard.

For additional information about zoning, visit or call 540-432-7700.

Building Codes Requirements

Accessory structures building code information [130KB]PDF

Site Plan Information [145KB]PDF

Building Permit Application [289KB]PDF icon

Impervious Square Footage Form [143KB]PDF icon


New decks or replacement or modification of the support structure of decks require a permit.


Sheds that are 257 square feet or larger, have more than one floor or will be used for car storage require a permit. See accessory structure building code information above.

Swimming Pool:

Swimming pools and swimming pool fences/barriers require permits.

Swimming Pool

Swimming Pool Fence [423KB]PDF icon

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