Single Family Residential Sheds

Shed buildings used for storage of bicycles, lawn equipment or other residential items are permitted on a single-family property, subject to meeting certain zoning requirements limiting their size and location as outlined below.  

Building Permit Required

To ensure that a shed meets zoning and building requirements, a building permit is required for any shed.  A building permit application form can be found here.

Zoning Requirements

Setback Requirements:  Each zoning district has minimum requirements for how far a structure must be setback from a property line.  Setback requirements vary by the size and shape of the lot, the zoning district, and whether it is a corner lot, interior lot, or through lot.

  • Sheds are not permitted in a required front yard.  
  • Sheds may not be placed nearer the street line than the house, except on a through lot.  On a through lot, the shed must still meet the front setback requirement. (Note: A through lot is a lot having two opposite lot lines along two more or less parallel streets, or along one street and Lake Michigan or some other body of water, and which is not a corner lot.)
  • Sheds are not permitted in a required side yard, except when wholly located within the rear 25% of the lot. Sheds located in the rear 25% of a lot’s depth are allowed a reduced side yard setback of 2 feet (R5, R4, R3 Zoning Districts) or 3 feet (R2, R1 Zoning Districts).  Note: per the building code, if a shed is within 5 feet of a lot line, the walls must be fire-rated; if the walls are not fire rated the shed must be setback at least 5 feet from the lot line.   
  • Sheds are generally allowed in the required rear yard area of a residential property, subject to meeting a minimum setback distance of 2 feet (R5, R4, R3 Zoning Districts) or 3 feet (R2, R1 Zoning Districts). However, if your rear yard abuts a neighboring property’s side yard, you will need to provide an increased rear yard of either 6 or 12 feet.
  • Important Note:  Building Code standards intended to prevent spread of fire require that shed buildings less than 5 feet from a property line be constructed with materials that slow the spread of fire and as such may require use of gypsum wallboard, cement board siding, or similar materials.
  • Contact the Community Development at 847-716-3587 or via email for help determining what the required setbacks are for your property.  If possible, please have your plat of survey available.

Maximum Height: Sheds are permitted up to 7 feet in height from the lowest adjacent grade to the highest point of the roof.

Floor Area Requirements: Sheds are counted towards the maximum floor area allowed on a lot, except the first 64 square feet of floor area of a shed shall be excluded if the shed is wholly located in the rear quarter of the lot provided this allowance has not already been utilized for a different shed or playhouse on the lot.  The maximum permitted floor area varies by lot size.

Impermeable Lot Coverage RequirementsSheds are included when determining compliance with the maximum impermeable lot coverage requirement for all impermeable surfaces on a lot.  The maximum amount varies by lot size.

Roofed Lot Coverage: Sheds are included when determining compliance with the maximum roofed lot coverage for all roofed structures on the lot. The maximum permitted roofed lot coverage varies by lot size.

Questions?

Please contact the Community Development Department at 847-716-3587 or by email to discuss the specific zoning regulations that apply to your property.