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Posted on: October 3, 2019

Storage sheds and outbuildings may have restrictions

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

 “It is not uncommon to find sheds, greenhouses, canopies and other types of outbuildings placed in areas not allowed by our Longview Municipal Code,” says Community Development Director John Brickey.  “Before placing any 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.  Some of these structures are not designed to be used long term, and placing them in property setback areas can create unforeseen problems.” Brickey asks that the following guidelines be considered before purchasing and placing a shed or small structure on your property:

•    Check with Community Development prior to purchasing or placing a shed or outbuilding type structure for placement and permit requirements by calling 442-5086.

•    There is no size exemption for permits.  Installation or construction of structures of any size require a placement and/or building permit.

•    Even if a structure is to be temporary, it still may require a permit.  Permits for temporary structures are valid for 180 days.

•    Sheds, greenhouses or other types of outbuilding type structures may not be placed in front or side yard areas defined as setbacks, even if the structure is to be temporary. 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 from neighboring property lines and 20 feet from public right-of-way.

•    Structures also may not be placed in a manner that reduces or eliminates required off-street parking spaces.

•    Membrane structures and steel pipe structures are often required to be designed by a Washington State engineer.  Be sure that the required engineering is provided with the structure you are purchasing.  


Questions regarding sheds and outbuildings may be directed to the Zoning Division at 442-5086 Monday through Thursday between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.  


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