Building Codes

This page will provide information on the types of building permits that may be necessary when operating an urban agricultural project or enterprise.

building codes
Disclaimer: The Sustainable Economies Law Center provides periodic updates to this site, however, information presented may be out of date. We encourage you consult with a professional before taking action based on the information here.

Greenhouses and Hoop Houses

  • When is a building permit need for a greenhouse?
  • Are there types of greenhouses that don’t require building permits, such as hoop houses?
  • Is there a size limitation?
  • What cities have adopted specific guidelines about this?

Animal Shelters and Chicken Coops

  • When, if ever, are goat shelters and chicken coops considered buildings subject to building code?
  • Do any cities provide guidelines on building codes or exemptions applicable to very small structures, or structures not meant to house humans?
  • How far away must chicken coops be from residential buildings and property lines?

Rooftop Gardens

  • What are the building code requirements for putting in a rooftop garden?
  • Do you need a permit to put a few plants and trees on your roof?
  • At what point does the size of the garden trigger the need for a permit?
  • What’s involved in getting a permit?
  • What cities have adopted specific policies and guidelines around this?
  • See some resources from Shareable here.