Author Topic: zoning and height limits  (Read 1889 times)

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Offline GreenPointGuy

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zoning and height limits
« on: July 09, 2007, 09:00:15 AM »
Greetings Gang,
I am new to this very fine site and also the forum. I am also brand-spanking-new to building a home.
I am getting ready to order some plans (either the 'Enchilada kit' or the '1 1/2 story' .. or maybe both!) but have 2 general questions.
Zoning requirements state that my structure can not be more than 28 feet in height. However, I have an outstanding view if I can get my eyes above 30 feet or so. What I'd like to do is build a garage with 12' walls, then build the first floor with 12' walls and finally build the 1/2 story as high as practical. This will violate the 28' rule.
Question 1: If I back-fill landscaping around the garage (3 sides) to a height of 6-8' does my man-made hill become the new 'ground level' to measure from?
Question 2: In general, does adding a Cupola violate height zoning rules?
I am asking here first because I don't want to give the zoning people any 'heads ups'.
Thx Much

Offline MikeT

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Re: zoning and height limits
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2007, 09:51:58 AM »
You can always ask for a variance on building height.  Generally a cupola would count, I believe.  A chimney, however, would not count.  Where I am building they measure from existing grade to the highest point immediately above.  So if you had a garage door as your basement and your roof was a gable with the peak above the garage door, that would be your highest point.  


Offline John Raabe

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Re: zoning and height limits
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2007, 11:49:22 AM »
Some zoning/building departments will give credit for a steep roof. While a flat roof has to be measured to the peak, a steep roof may be able to be measured to the mid point of the slope, or some formula based on pitch.

These are local issues and will vary from location to location (and each will think their's is the only valid way to measure).

And, you may also want to ask how to determine the starting grade on a sloping site... That is a whole other argument.
None of us are as smart as all of us.

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: zoning and height limits
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2007, 12:00:42 PM »
In some places the fill trick has worked --

If the garage floor goes below the grade I would guess they would count it but all you can do is ask to be sure.
"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

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Please put your area in your sig line so we can assist with location specific answers.

Offline GreenPointGuy

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Re: zoning and height limits
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2007, 06:54:10 AM »
Thanks much for the information. This will help get me started in the right direction.


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