Building & Zoning Guidelines
ZONING COMPLIANCE PERMITS If you plan to erect, alter or repair a structure in Garrett, you must first obtain a “Zoning Compliance Permit”. These permits are available in the Garrett Planning Department, Room 24, City Hall, 130 South Randolph Street (email@example.com) A “structure” is defined by the “Garrett Zoning Ordinance“…as anything constructed or erected that requires location on or in the ground or attachment to something having a location on or in the ground.” This includes houses, garages and commercial buildings. Permits are Required for the following: New Residences Manufactured homes / modular / sectionals / mobiles Additions and remodeling Accessory structures / additions to Residences: (decks, sheds, garages, carport, roof, porches and any other structure not intended for human occupancy). Roof: (overlaying, rebuild, re-shingle, and anything associated with doing your roof) Driveway: (new and extended) Dumpsters: (needing placed in the right of way) Electrical upgrades or remodel Fences (in-ground swimming pools with 18 inches in depth and above ground pools with 42 inches in height require a fence permit). Signs (building, pole, façade, canopy, sandwich and other similar signs). Demolition of residence / commercial / Industrial sites Mobile Construction Offices Foundation replacement or repairs for existing home or structure The permit fee is $25.00; payable at the time you are issued the permit. A late fee of $50.00 will be charged to you if you start work before getting a permit. Permits are valid for 1 year from the date of issue. No Permits are required for the following: Grade level patios (concrete or pavers) Painting Paneling Siding Gutter and downspout replacement Insulation Window replacement of a exact size and not requiring a change to existing structure Storm windows or Storm doors Chimney replacement Dumpsters located on your property Garage Sales Other cosmetic improvements not affecting electrical, plumbing, mechanical or structural. Please provide a simple drawing showing your proposed work when you apply for your permit. After obtaining a permit, you will need to obtain a building permit from the DeKalb County Building Department. Garrett contracts with the county for building inspection services. A building permit costs 5 cents per square foot. The county building inspector will inspect your work as required during construction. You will also need to locate any underground utilities on your property. You’ll need to call 800-382-5544 (aka, “Holey-Moley”) at least 2 or more days prior to starting your work. If you are denied a permit, you may petition the Garrett Board of Zoning Appeals for a variance.
FENCE PERMITS If you want to erect a fence in Garrett, you must first obtain a “Fence Permit”. These permits are available in the Garrett Planning Department, City Hall. The permit fee is $25.00; payable at the time you are issued the permit. A late fee of $50.00 will be charged to you if you construct a fence on your property before obtaining a permit. Fence permits are valid for 1 year from the date of issue. Please provide a simple drawing showing the buildings on your lot and where you propose to build your fence. You will also need to locate any underground utilities on your property. You’ll need to call 800-382-5544 (aka, “Holey-Moley”) at least 2 or more days prior to starting your work. The following restrictions apply to the construction of commercial-residential fences: No fence, or artificially erected man-made screen or barrier, can be erected beyond the front of a dwelling or primary building. This allows fire truck or EMS vehicle access to your house in the event of an emergency. However, a split rail decorative fence may be erected at the front corners of a lot, provided that the fence is set back 2 feet from the side lot line and 2 feet from the front lot line. Such a fence may not extend more than 6 feet from the corner along either the side or front lot lines. A fence can be up to 7 feet in height. No fence may be located closer than 2 feet to any alley right-of-way line. No fence may be located closer than 2 feet to a side lot line. No fence may be located closer than 2 feet to a rear lot line. If you wish to place your fence on your side or rear property lines, you will have to obtain the written consent of your neighbors. You can obtain a form for this purpose in the Garrett Planning Department. You should take care to note whether any utility easements or drain rights-of-way exist on your property. You cannot erect a fence on or within a utility easement. You’ll also need to provide access to any utility meters that may be enclosed by your fence via a gate. You will also need to petition the Dekalb County Drainage Board for a variance to construct a fence on or within any county regulated drain right-of-way that may exist within your property. You should also check to see if there are any restrictive covenants attached to your property that prohibit the construction of fences or other structures. If you are denied a fence permit, you may petition the Garrett Board of Zoning Appeals for a variance.
SIGN PERMITS If you want to erect a business sign in Garrett you must first obtain a “Sign Permit.” These permits are available in the Garrett Planning Department, City Hall. The permit fee is $50.00; payable at the time you are issued the permit. A late fee of $50.00 will be charged to you if you erect a sign before obtaining a permit. You need to provide a simple drawing of your sign, indicating how and where it will be mounted, placed or erected, when you apply for your permit. Sign permits are valid for 1 year from the date of issue. If you are installing a free-standing sign mounted on posts you will also need to obtain a free dig permit when you obtain your sign permit. If you are denied a sign permit, you may petition the Garrett Board of Zoning Appeals for a variance. No permanent sign, whether an awning, free-standing, illuminated, portable, projecting, roof or wall sign can be erected within, or extend over, a public right-of-way. Most public rights-of-way in Garrett are 65 feet wide. A right-of-way line also serves as your front property line. A right-of-way line may also serve as one of your side or rear property lines if your property is a corner lot, or if it is adjacent to an alley. A quick way to estimate where the right-of-way line is located is to measure 32.5 feet from the middle of the street pavement in front of your property. Your business sign must be located behind this line. The setback requirement for your sign is determined by the sign size. The exact location of the line will have to be determined by checking an aerial plat or through a land survey. The size and number of signs permitted for a business depends on which zoning district the business is located. Please check with the Garrett Planning Department to find out how many signs are permitted in your district. One of the primary reasons for sign regulations is to ensure that a sign does impede traffic safety or block the vision of motorists. You can attach a sign to your building, however you can’t erect the sign to a height greater than the height of your building. Businesses located near neighborhoods, as well as downtown, can keep peace with their neighbors by following a few simple rules, as follows: Illuminated signs are permitted within 50 feet of a residential property if the sign is designed so that it does not reflect or shine light onto such property. No freestanding sign shall be erected or maintained within 10 feet of any side lot line. All signs, temporary or permanent, shall be constructed or maintained in a presentable manner for the life of the sign. If your business is located downtown, you may hang a sign over the sidewalk if 25 percent of the lots on the block are already occupied by business uses and overhanging signs are already established. Semi-trailers are made to haul things. Semi-trailers, whether operational or not operational, cannot be used as stationary advertising signs.