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City Hall Corner

Fences and accessory structures

By Mike Womack, Cedar Springs City Manager

The Post has been gracious enough to let Cedar Springs City Hall draft short weekly messages for the benefit of city residents. We hope that this weekly City Hall communication will help facilitate exchange both ways between citizens and your local government.

These past few weeks have seen some beautiful weather in Cedar Springs and with it everyone is out and about doing yard work, or if you’re like me, planning to do yard work tomorrow or next weekend. This time of year is also prime time for planning the installation of new fences and placing new sheds in our yards. Each are required to follow certain rules and might require a permit.

Generally speaking, any accessory structure that is less than 9 feet tall, less than 65 square feet in floor space and has a floor less than 30 inches off the ground no longer requires a zoning permit. If the accessory structure is taller than 9 feet or has more than 66 square feet of floor space or has a floor more than 30 inches off the ground it probably needs a zoning permit before you put it in your yard.  

Accessory structures are generally not permitted in a home’s front yard, which is the place between the front façade of the house and the public street but they can be placed in the side or rear yards. Each accessory structure is also required to be set back a few feet from your property line. That distance is determined by the height or size of the structure.

New fences require a permit, but the rules are thankfully simpler. Fences in the front yard can be 3-foot tall opaque or 4-foot tall see-through, but in the side yard either type can be 6-foot tall. The City does not permit chicken-wire or barbed wire of any kind and the decorative side if any needs to be pointed to the outside.

Both the accessory structure and fence ordinances and permit applications can be found on the City’s website cityofcedarsprings.org under FORMS and staff at City Hall are happy to help with any questions you might have. 

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