Land Use Questions & Answers
Q: How do I find zoning information about my property?
A: You can find a copy of the Zoning Map here. If you can't determine the zone by the on-line zoning map, and you know the address or parcel number of the property you are inquiring about, then you can find out the zoning of that parcel. You can either visit the City of Puyallup Development Services Center located at 333 South Meridian, second floor, or call (253) 864-4165 Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm.
Q: I want to build a fence. Where can I place the fence, and how tall can the fence be?
A: A permit is not required for the construction of a fence. The fence can be built on the property line with the maximum height of a fence in the front yard setback area as outlined in the "Zoning Reference Chart" not to exceed 3-1/2 feet in height. The remaining portion of the property can have a fence height not to exceed 6 feet in height.
Q: I want to build a small storage shed on my property. How large can it be, and do I need a building permit?
A: For any RS zoned lot, a one-story detached accessory building may disregard the rear and interior side yard setbacks if such accessory building is no more than 120 square feet in floor area and not more than 15 feet in length on any one side. A building permit is not required for any structure under 120 square feet.
Q: I'm planning to build a deck in the rear yard off the back of my house. Do I need to meet the setback requirements for my area?
A: Open, unenclosed decks not covered by a roof may project into any required rear or interior side yard setbacks, provided however, that said decks are constructed at grade elevation, or in no event, exceed 18 inches above adjoining grade.
Q: I want to build a detached garage on my property. Where can I place it on my lot, and how large can it be?
A: A detached garage (600 square feet or less) can disregard the rear and side yard setbacks on a lot 8,000 square feet or less (or any size lot with public alley access) provided that the garage is located in the rear 30% of the lot or further than 75 feet from the front lot line and is no closer than 12 feet from the centerline of an adjacent alley. In no event shall an accessory building have a height greater than 12 feet. The total area of all accessory buildings located within a required rear yard shall not exceed 25 percent of the area of the required rear yard. Lots over 8,000 square feet in size, or those that don't have public alley access, shall comply with all required yard setbacks but may build a garage greater than 12 feet in height. No accessory building shall be larger than 50 percent of the ground floor area of the primary structure (the residence) on any lot less than 1 acre in size.
Q: I want to build a "mother-in-law" apartment for my parents on my property. What are the zoning regulations?
A: One accessory dwelling unit on each lot is permitted, subject to the following standards and criteria:
(a) The property is zoned RS-04, RS-06 or RS-08 and meets the minimum lot area requirement for a single-family dwelling unit in the applicable zone district; and
(b) An accessory dwelling unit shall not exceed 600 square feet of floor area nor have more than two bedrooms; and
(c) An accessory dwelling unit may be created either through internal conversion of a portion of the primary structure or through construction of an addition to the primary structure; and
(d) Any additional entrance resulting from the creation of an integrated accessory unit may face the same side of the lot facing the street only if such entrance is adequately and appropriately screened in a manner that does not substantially detract from the single-family appearance of the primary dwelling; and
(e) Utilities for the accessory dwelling unit shall be metered jointly with the primary dwelling unit; and
(f) Roof pitches, siding and windows of any new structure constructed to house the accessory dwelling unit shall be similar to and complementary to the principal dwelling unit structure; and
(g) Either the primary dwelling unit or the accessory dwelling unit shall be physically occupied by at least one property owner of record during the life of the accessory dwelling unit. Owners shall sign an affidavit which attests to their residency for at least six months of every year. This affidavit shall be binding upon the owner or successive owners during the life of the accessory dwelling unit; and
(h) Accessory dwelling units shall not be subdivided or otherwise segregated in ownership from the primary dwelling unit.