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Old 06-16-2021, 10:46 AM   #1
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RV carport install issues with building dept

I put a deposit down on a 12 ft wide, 10 ft high & 35 ft long metal RV carport for my travel trailer only to find out that the local building dept. says it has to have a minimum of a 5 foot setback from the side property line. That totally quashes that metal RV carport idea.

Now I know why so many metal RV carports are installed without a permit. But I live in the city limits and donít want to take that chance of having them tell me it has to come down. The city has down that with some RV carports already. Have any of you living in the city limits run across this problem, and what did you do?

Iím even considering (even though itís not my 1st choice) getting one of those metal framed, HD tarp covered, with concrete in buckets to hold it down types of RV covers.

Any ideas or suggestions at all would be much appreciated!
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Old 06-16-2021, 10:56 AM   #2
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Setback restrictions are common.

Without knowing your property or its layout it is hard to make any recommendations. The metal framed "portable" cover you mention may end up being your best choice.
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Old 06-16-2021, 11:01 AM   #3
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We got fined for installing a car port without a permit, I was told any prefabricated car port 100sf or under does not need a permit in my county.
Set backs and wet lands play roles in my area also.
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Old 06-16-2021, 11:24 AM   #4
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where I am , the same NO carports of any kind in my city limits, however I was able to pour a concrete pad on the font property and store my trailer in the yard without permits. I just then covered it.

I see you're in Lodi hello from San Jose -
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Old 06-16-2021, 01:03 PM   #5
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Set back

Where I live you can reduce the set back from 6 to 4 feet if you get permission from your next-door neighbor in writing.
You might look to see if the same as available where do you live.
My neighbor and I each gave the other permission to build with a 4 foot setback.
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Old 06-16-2021, 01:04 PM   #6
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"the local building dept. says it has to have a minimum of a 5 foot setback from the side property line."
Rules vary in different municipalities. Check with your code enforcement office to see if putting the carport on wheels so it is not a permanent structure is okay. Frame the bottom of the carport with 4x4s or 4 x 6s and put at least 6 or more wheels (like they sell at Northern Tool) on it to be able to demonstrate it is not a permanent structure. Many ways to temporarily anchor the carport if high winds are a concern. This concept can also apply to storage buildings as well. The other benefit, at least in our area, is the tax assessor collector won't add a structure that is movable and not permanent to the value of your home for tax purposes. I'm sure it's different in most places; but, doesn't hurt to ask.
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Old 06-16-2021, 01:13 PM   #7
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"the local building dept. says it has to have a minimum of a 5 foot setback from the side property line."
Rules vary in different municipalities. Check with your code enforcement office to see if putting the carport on wheels so it is not a permanent structure is okay. Frame the bottom of the carport with 4x4s or 4 x 6s and put at least 6 or more wheels (like they sell at Northern Tool) on it to be able to demonstrate it is not a permanent structure. Many ways to temporarily anchor the carport if high winds are a concern. This concept can also apply to storage buildings as well. The other benefit, at least in our area, is the tax assessor collector won't add a structure that is movable and not permanent to the value of your home for tax purposes. I'm sure it's different in most places; but, doesn't hurt to ask.
Setbacks are there to protect everyone. I don't know your layout, but it is nearly impossible to build anything closer than 5 feet without trespassing on your neighbors property in the building and maintenance process.
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Old 06-16-2021, 01:27 PM   #8
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"the local building dept. says it has to have a minimum of a 5 foot setback from the side property line."
Rules vary in different municipalities. Check with your code enforcement office to see if putting the carport on wheels so it is not a permanent structure is okay. Frame the bottom of the carport with 4x4s or 4 x 6s and put at least 6 or more wheels (like they sell at Northern Tool) on it to be able to demonstrate it is not a permanent structure. Many ways to temporarily anchor the carport if high winds are a concern. This concept can also apply to storage buildings as well. The other benefit, at least in our area, is the tax assessor collector won't add a structure that is movable and not permanent to the value of your home for tax purposes. I'm sure it's different in most places; but, doesn't hurt to ask.

Definitely do this. I have on several occasions contacted not the Building Department but the actual person who will be doing the inspection for what is really allowed.

Setback requirements are mostly about fire regulations as fire departments don't like seeing one house that's on fire setting the neighboring house on fire. The total separation is important to them but in the case of a non-flammable structure it may allow some leniency. Especially if here is no permanent foundation. Most codes also state "foundation separation" minimum distances.
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Old 06-16-2021, 03:56 PM   #9
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Setback issue

I would get a copy of restrictions from the agency for the zoning in your area. Read it for yourself as government employees are often wrong and are not responsible for their words or actions.
Sometimes HOAís have their own. Sometimes you can get a variance. I have seen 20í setbacks with a 30í height restriction, but for every foot of additional setback one could provide, the height could increase one foot also. Sometimes it is like others said about fire and you could provide a firewall and go to zero.
My current house is 45í high but I have 500í of setback, so I didnít have an issue.
So many possibilities, I have built 4 new houses for myself and dozens of sight developments for others.
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Old 06-16-2021, 04:03 PM   #10
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We can't even get our rig in the backyard and the front yard it's not allowed.

Are you certain that you need a cover? There is lots of conflicting advice on that subject. Lots of people use your second choice.

We rent a covered completely enclosed metal storage space that we can lock and we did that with our trailer also. Expensive? Well, maybe. A metal rv carport isn't cheap either. We tried open storage at an rv campground for our trailer and didn't keep it there long. The wind and sun were hard on the exterior.

Are they going to allow you to store the trailer on your property? Many cities have zoning that prohibits it.
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Old 06-16-2021, 04:35 PM   #11
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Besides the easement issue, some municipalities also have total roof coverage restrictions. They may only allow so much square footage per lot size, which can be another restriction they haven't told you.

I have just over 5 acres of land, but since I have two storage buildings, and a carport in addition to 6000 square feet of roof for the house, I am at my limit for additional buildings. I wanted to put up a horse wind shelter in the pasture, but between the hay barn and 36 x 80 pole barn, I'm maxed out of total coverage, was lucky to get the car port installed.

Maybe invest in a good quality RV cover instead.
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Old 06-16-2021, 05:26 PM   #12
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Besides the easement issue, some municipalities also have total roof coverage restrictions. They may only allow so much square footage per lot size, which can be another restriction they haven't told you.

I have just over 5 acres of land, but since I have two storage buildings, and a carport in addition to 6000 square feet of roof for the house, I am at my limit for additional buildings. I wanted to put up a horse wind shelter in the pasture, but between the hay barn and 36 x 80 pole barn, I'm maxed out of total coverage, was lucky to get the car port installed.

Maybe invest in a good quality RV cover instead.
Thats why you get a copy of the restrictions and read it yourself, not hearsay or what is told, incorrect or incomplete.
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Old 06-16-2021, 07:00 PM   #13
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Thats why you get a copy of the restrictions and read it yourself, not hearsay or what is told, incorrect or incomplete.
For many they can be difficult to understand.
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Old 06-16-2021, 07:41 PM   #14
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For many they can be difficult to understand.
Sadly that often includes the people who work there.
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Old 06-16-2021, 09:40 PM   #15
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Lodi

I grew up in Lodi, they are terrible for restrictions, one time they made a regulation that you could not park a commercial vehicle in your driveway or on the street, Wow, how about on call service. They did get rid of that restriction. That is why I live in San Joaquin County District in Linden.
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Old 06-16-2021, 10:07 PM   #16
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Little people making big decisions. I was born in Santa Cruz. UCSC came along and 4 lane streets became 2 lane with big bike lanes and drive through restaurants were banned. Some like Der Wienersnitchel were put out of business because the building didnít have seating. Now I live in Mariposa county one of 4 without cities or signal lights.
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Old 06-16-2021, 10:40 PM   #17
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Size

I don't know if it was a typo, but is your building 12' wide by 10' tall or just the opposite. If so there's 2 feet more room.
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Old 06-16-2021, 10:50 PM   #18
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One of my employees drives a company truck home. The state government is my client and requires that we have our company name and phone number on the sides of every vehicle. The HOA where he rents makes him cover the doors with poster boards as they consider it to be advertising when he parks in the driveway. They did the same to a radio station worker who drives the station’’s logo’d van home.
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Old 06-17-2021, 03:56 AM   #19
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There ya are, "Stuck in Lodi Again"

On a serious note, when reading that ordinance, look for he phrase "permanent structure" Because anything on wheels would be a moveable.

I like the wheel idea only probably no 2x4s needed.

Just drill a hole through the base metal runner from side to side to put a bolt, used as an axle for the wheels. Easy Peasy
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Old 06-17-2021, 06:35 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Sbosserman View Post
I put a deposit down on a 12 ft wide, 10 ft high & 35 ft long metal RV carport for my travel trailer only to find out that the local building dept. says it has to have a minimum of a 5 foot setback from the side property line. That totally quashes that metal RV carport idea.

Now I know why so many metal RV carports are installed without a permit. But I live in the city limits and donít want to take that chance of having them tell me it has to come down. The city has down that with some RV carports already. Have any of you living in the city limits run across this problem, and what did you do?

Iím even considering (even though itís not my 1st choice) getting one of those metal framed, HD tarp covered, with concrete in buckets to hold it down types of RV covers.

Any ideas or suggestions at all would be much appreciated!
I feel your pain. What is the size oy your lot?

After reading all the comments so far, I feel the need to remind everyone that all these zoning restrictions and HOA restrictions were democratically instituted, or agreed to by the citizens of the political district when they bought their property.

They are in place to protect property values, prevent excessive rain runoff, fire protection, and your neighbor's sanity.

My suggestion for anyone in the OPs situation is to have a sit down meeting with the Code Enforcement Officer and tell him what you want to do and ask for suggestions on how to accomplish your goal. Many times officials will give you alternatives that may meet your needs. Good luck!
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