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Municipal Code


Municipal Code

Chapter 18. General Zoning Ordinance

Sec. 18-73. Intrusions into Required Yards

The minimum setback requirements of each zoning district shall establish the minimum required yards for all uses, except those exempted by the provisions of this Section.

(1) All Street Side or Front Yard Setback Areas. With the exception of fences and Subsection (2) below, no residential and nonresidential accessory buildings shall be permitted within any portion of a street side yard or front yard, except where there is a shore yard. In instances where there is a shore yard, shore yards shall be treated as front yards and street yards as rear yards, whereby accessory buildings may be located between a principal building and a street frontage on the same lot.

(2) Permitted Intrusions Into Required Front, Street Side, Side, Rear, and Corner Yards.

(a) Chimneys, flues, sills, pilasters, lintels, ornamental features, cornices, eaves, bay windows, overhangs, and gutters, provided they do not extend more than 2 ½ feet into the required yard.

(b) Entry platforms, provided they do not extend more than 5 feet by 5 feet, provided that such landings shall not extend above the entrance floor of the building and canopies provided they don't extend beyond 5 feet. Existing porches, decks, entry platforms, and landings used for required building exit may be replaced at the existing footprint when the size is not enlarged.

(c) Steps and stairs provided that such stairs and landings shall not extend above the entrance floor of the building and there is adequate onsite landing space for the base of the stairs.

(d) Handicapped accessible ramps. Handicap ramps or other devices required to make reasonable accommodation under the Fair Housing Act or the Americans with Disabilities Act are to be permitted in the required front, side, or rear yard setbacks provided that the maximum encroachment into a required setback is the minimum dimension required by the Wisconsin Commercial Building Code for accessible ramps and that no other location is feasible outside the required setbacks.

(e) Yard lights, ornamental lights, and nameplate signs for residential lots, provided that they comply with the illumination requirements of Section 18-104 and provided they do not encroach on the right of way.

(f) Uncovered porches, decks, or similar appurtenances to residential buildings which do not extend above the floor level of the building entrance, provided they do not extend 8 feet beyond the existing façade of the home, but shall not be nearer than 5 feet from any lot line. Such structures may not encroach into the vision triangle unless approved by the City Engineer.

(g) Attached terraces, uncovered porches, decks, or similar appurtenances to residential buildings that do not extend more than 18 inches above grade, provided they do not locate closer than 8 feet to the rear lot line, 3 feet from the side lot line, or 5 feet from the front or street side lot line. Detached decks that do not exceed 18 inches above grade shall meet the required setbacks for a detached accessory structure.

(h) Additions (including vertical additions, additional floors, and architectural features), balconies, terraces, covered porches, decks, or similar appurtenances not extending beyond the setback of the existing façade, may be located in the provided or required yard setback, whichever more permissive. If the addition is a garage or garage addition, the minimum setback when facing the front yard, or the street side yard, shall be at least 20 feet except where the provisions of Section 18-65 (8)(i) are met. In no instance shall any new encroachment be within 5 feet of an adjacent structure or 3 feet of a property line unless approved by the Building Inspector to have adequate fire protection. See Figure 18-73.

(i) Fences meeting the requirements of Section 18-106.

(j) Fire escapes required by the Building Inspector which do not extend more than 4 feet into the required yard.

(k) Accessory buildings and structures meeting the requirements of Section 18-65(8)(g) or 18-65(9)(d).

(l) Any other provisions identified elsewhere in this Chapter (landscape features, tents, and other features where specific setbacks are established).


Figure 18-73

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