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Accessory Buildings

The Gwinnett County Zoning Resolution and the Gwinnett County Property Maintenance Ordinance contain requirements regarding the location, material, and maintenance of accessory buildings and structures. These requirements are applicable in the unincorporated areas of the county. Accessory buildings such as detached garages, playhouses, and storage buildings, and structures such as pools, amateur radio towers, decks, and patios are subject to certain regulations. Accessory buildings and structures are considered subordinate in nature to the principal building, that is, the existing home on the lot.
 
On interior lots, that is, lots which are not corner lots, accessory buildings and structures shall be located in the rear yard behind the house. On corner lots, not only must accessory buildings and structures be located in the rear yard behind the house, but they must also be setback from the side street the same distance as the setback for the house. Accessory buildings and structures must be located no closer than 5 feet to any side or rear property line.

The size of an accessory building shall not exceed the size of the existing house. If the accessory building is proposed to be greater than 500 square feet, it shall be finished in siding, stucco, or brick and shall not have a metal exterior finish. A building permit is required to be obtained for accessory buildings and structures that are 32 square feet or greater in size. A building permit is required to be obtained regardless of size if the building or structure is proposed to contain an electrical, mechanical or plumbing system. A "to scale" drawing must be provided showing the proposed building or structure in relationship to the house and property lines. A copy of your loan survey with the proposed building or structure drawn upon it is the best way to satisfy this plan requirement. The fee for the building permit is assessed at $6 for each $1000 of construction cost plus $25 for the Certificate of Completion. The minimum permit fee is $30 plus $25 for the Certificate of Completion.

If the home is served by septic tank, approval from the Environmental Health Department is required prior to permit issuance. The Environmental Health Department may be reached at 770.963.5132.  For further information about accessory buildings, please call the Development Review Section of the Department of Planning and Development at 678.518.6000 between the hours of 8:00am and 5:00pm, Monday through Friday, except holidays.  For further information about building permit fees, please call the Building Permits Section of the Department of Planning and Development at 678.518.6020 between the hours of 8:00am and 5:00pm, Monday through Friday, except holidays.