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The City of Colorado Springs’ Unified Development Code permits a range of residential accessory structures and uses, including detached garages and home occupations. For general guidelines, please reference the information below as well as UDC Subsection 7.3.304 ‘Accessory Uses’.

General Information

This page covers accessory uses and structures that are permitted in residential zone districts, but is not all-encompassing.  In some cases, a Pre-Application Meeting may be necessary for approvals.  For questions, please call 719-385-5905 or email

Before making a submittal, become familiar with dimensional standards (setbacks, lot coverage, height) in the respective zone district.  Consideration must be given to the subject property’s –

  • Zone district;
  • Setbacks (based on subject property’s zone district); and
  • Lot coverage (based on subject property’s zone district).

This information can be found on the ‘Zoning and Standards’ webpage and expanded upon in UDC Article 2 ‘Zone Districts’.

To find a property’s zoning designation, review SpringsView or contact a Planner by calling 719-385-5905 or emailing

Accessory Structures (General)

Accessory structures are defined as “a structure that is located on the same lot and detached and separate from the principal building. Accessory structures are incidental to the principal structure and devoted exclusively to an accessory use. Some examples of accessory structures are garages, carports, sheds, storage buildings, play structures, gazebos, arbors, greenhouses, barns, saunas, and other similar buildings. Fences and walls that exceed seven (7) feet in height are considered accessory structures.”

Pursuant to UDC Subsection 7.3.304.A ‘General Standards’, the following apply to accessory structures –

  • Setbacks
    • Less than 200 square feet may locate in the rear setback; and
    • Greater than 200 square feet –
      • 10’ if in the A, R-E, and R1-9 zone districts or if garage doors face the alley.
      • 0’ in the GI zone district.
      • 5’ in all other zone districts unless specified in an approved Development Plan.
    • Exceptions may be found in UDC Table 7.4.2.E ‘Authorized Exceptions to Setback Requirements’.
  • Height
    • For accessory structures in the A, R-E, R1-9, R1-6, R-2, R-Flex Low, OR, MX-N, and MX-M zone districts –
      • 12’ maximum height in required setback.
      • 16’ with a roof pitch of less than 6:12 if not in a required setback.
      • 20’ with a roof pitch of equal or greater to 6:12 if not in a required setback.
  • Dimensional Restrictions
    • The gross floor area may not exceed that of the primary structure.
    • Requirements for detached Accessory Dwelling Units can be found on this page.
  • Use Restrictions
    • Not permitted in front yards unless specified in the UDC.
    • Vehicles may not be used as accessory structures.
    • No accessory structure shall be constructed and occupied on any lot prior to the time of the completion of the construction of the principal structure to which it is accessory.

For accessory structures less than 200 square feet, no building permit is required through Pikes Peak Regional Building Department.

Residential Additions and Decks

Property owners may modify their homes including expanding the building footprint and adding a deck; however, compliance with the subject property’s dimensional standards associated with the established zoning must be met.  This includes, but is not limited to, setbacks and lot coverage (as applicable).  Additional information can be found in Part 2 ‘Agricultural and Residential Zone Districts’ of Article 2 of the UDC.

To find your zone, review SpringsView or contact a Planner by calling 719-385-5905 or emailing

Note – Accessory structures located in the HS-O Hillside Overlay, SS-O Streamside Overlay, or HP-O Historic Preservation Overlay Districts are subject to additional review requirements to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Overlay.  General information can be found on the Overlay Districts page.

Accessory Uses (General)

An accessory use is defined as “a use which is subordinate to and serves a principal building or use and is located on the same lot as the principal building or use served.”  Several uses are permitted in the UDC and below outlines the more common.  Reference to UDC Section 7.3.304 ‘Accessory Uses’ for additional information. 

Carports and Garages

Requirements for these structures can be found in UDC Subsection 7.3.304.D ‘Carport or Garage, Accessory’

General requirements for garages are as follows –

  • Size
    • Maximum of 1,650 square feet of garage space per detached single-family dwelling.
    • Maximum of 800 square feet may be dedicated per unit for an attached single-family, two-family, or multi-family dwelling.
  • Height
    • 16’ with a roof pitch of less than 6:12.
    • 20’ with a roof pitch of more than 6:12.

Note – additional standards may be applicable depending on the subject property’s zone district. 

Requirements for Front Yard Carports can be found in UDC Subsection 7.3.304.C.2 ‘Carports’. This accessory use type requires a separate application and a Pre-Application Meeting with a Planner.  Additional information can be found in the Development Assistance Bulletin (DAB) below –

Garage Sales

Garage sales are Temporary Uses permitted in all residential zone districts and NNA-O North Nevada Avenue Overlay district no more than two (2) times per calendar year for no longer than two (2) consecutive days (UDC Subsection 7.3.305.B ‘Garage Sale, Temporary’)

Home Daycares

A small daycare home, defined as a total of six (6) children full-time plus to two (2) additional children part-time, is permitted in most residential zone districts.  Additional standards can be found on the Home Daycare Permit page.   

Home Occupations 

A home occupation may be permitted in any residential district in compliance with UDC Subsection 7.3.304.I ‘Home Occupation, Accessory. Additional information, including permit requirements, may be found on the Home Occupation Permit page.

Short Term Rentals

Information pertaining to allowances and making an application may be found on the Short Term Rental website.

Additional Information

Note – While accessory uses and structures may be permitted by the City of Colorado Springs, covenants and restrictions for your particular development and/or subdivision may prohibitions.  Prior to submitting an application, be sure to check if your property has any prohibitions for an accessory use or structure.  Covenants and restrictions are not enforced by the City of Colorado Springs as the City does not have jurisdiction over them.