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Posted on: September 24, 2019

Tents, canopies and other temporary structures may have restrictions

The City of Longview would like to remind residents that the placement of temporary structures of any size or type is a regulated activity within city limits. Placement of this type of structures, whether temporary or permanent, may require a permit from the Community Development Department prior to placement.

 “It is not uncommon to find canopies, tents and other types of temporary coverings set up in areas not allowed under our Longview Municipal Code,” says Community Development Director John Brickey. “Before placing any temporary structure on your property, it’s important to see if you need a permit. Safety is an important consideration in regulating these types of structures. They are not designed to be used long term, and they typically do not meet snow and wind load requirements. If not secured or constructed properly, they can quickly become air born or collapse, potentially injuring someone.” Brickey asks that the following guidelines be considered before purchasing and placing a temporary structure on your property:

•  A temporary enclosure or shelter constructed of fabric or pliable materials supported by any manner or a “membrane structure” is defined as a structure.
• Check with Community Development prior to placement of a temporary structure to see if you need a permit by calling 442-5087.
• Temporary structures are only permitted for a maximum of 180 days.
•Temporary structures may not be placed in front or side yard areas defined as setbacks. These areas on your property must be free of structures. A typical residential front yard setback    is 25 feet, and side yard setbacks are usually five feet.
•Temporary structures may not be placed in any required parking areas.
•Temporary membrane structures and tents are not approved for habitation unless placed within a licensed RV park approved for such use.
• Recreational-type temporary structures on private, residential property may not require a permit. Examples include patio umbrellas and patio cloth gazebos.

Questions about temporary structures may be directed to the Community and Economic Development Department at 442-5086 Monday through Thursday between 7:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.  


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