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Accessory Buildings
Accessory Building Regulations
  • Accessory buildings are not allowed in required front yard setbacks or within side yards in the front 2/3 of the lot.
  • In corner lots, accessory buildings are not allowed in required street side yard setbacks.
  • Accessory buildings located in the setback areas within the rear 1/3 of the lot are subject to stringent height limits.
    • Height and lot coverage restrictions can be obtained from the Planning Division at (650) 522-7202
  • Accessory buildings shall not be constructed within any recorded easements without the written approval of the agency who has jurisdiction over the easement (i.e. Dept. of Public Works, PG&E, etc.).
    • Determine where easements, if any, are located on your property, by referring to the underground utility maps located at the public counter.
  • Accessory buildings are allowed in side or rear yards, in the rear 1/3 of the lot, and can be right up to the property line.

Accessory Building Permit Requirements
  • A building permit is required for any storage shed or accessory building over 120 square feet in area.
  • A building permit is not required for accessory buildings less than 120 square feet, but setback requirements in the front 2/3 of the lot must be met.
Obtaining a Building Permit
  • You must provide a site plan.
    • Show the location of the proposed construction.
    • Show the lot size
    • Show all existing buildings and what their distance is from the property line(s).  
  • You must submit four sets of building plans for a plan review.

If you have any questions regarding the construction of a storage sheds or other accessory buildings, please call the Building Division at (650) 522-7172.

If you believe an accessory building is being constructed without a permit or violates zoning regulations, please call the Code Enforcement Division at (650) 522-7150.


San Mateo City Hall – 330 West 20th Avenue, San Mateo, CA 94403

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