Accessory Structures


Chanhassen City Code Section 20-904 regulates the placement of accessory structures, such as detached garages, storage sheds, swimming pools, and tennis courts.

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Non-Riparian Lots

  • Detached Garages and Storage Sheds

    : All detached garages and storage sheds must maintain a 10-foot side yard setback. In the A2, RR, RLM, RSF and R-4 zoning districts, an accessory structure is limited to 1,000 square feet in size. The shed may not occupy more than 30 percent of the rear yard. In the RSF, R-4 and RLM districts, the rear yard setback is based upon the structure size:

RSF, R-4 & RLM Districts

 Structure Size (square feet)
Rear Yard Setback (feet)
1 to 140
141 to 399
400 or more
  • Swimming Pools and Tennis Courts

    : A swimming pool or tennis court must be located in the rear yard, maintain a minimum 10-foot side and rear setbacks, and not occupy more than 30 percent of the rear yard.

Riparian Lots

Per City Code Section 20-481, most accessory structures must maintain the minimum lakeshore setback (for sewered properties) shown in the following table, which are determined by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
Shoreland Setback (feet)
Natural Environmental
Recreational Development


  • Water-oriented structures (e.g. boathouses, gazebos, screen houses, fish houses, etc.) that are 250 square feet or less in area and 10 feet in height can maintain a minimum 10-foot setback from the ordinary high water level. View the city's Base/Street map to locate the ordinary high water level for each lake.
  • Water-oriented structures solely used for watercraft storage may be up to 400 square feet, provided that the maximum width of the structure is 20 feet as measured parallel to the shoreline. These structures must also be treated to reduce visibility from public waters utilizing vegetation, topography, increased setbacks or color, assuming summer, leaf-on conditions.
  • Stairways, lifts and landings are permitted within the shoreland setback, subject to the criteria regarding shoreland management in City Code Section 20-481.

Wetland Setbacks

Per City Code Section 20-411, accessory structures must also meet the required wetland setback. Chanhassen has five types of wetlands and all structures must meet the required setbacks as shown in the following table:
Wetland Type
Buffer (feet)
Primary Structure Setback from Buffer (feet)
Secondary Structure Setback from Buffer (feet)
Percent of Buffer in Native Vegetation
Manage 1
Manage 2
Over 50%
Manage 3
Over 50%

Process for Building Accessory Structures

  • Review City Code for location and construction requirements of the proposed structure.
  • Minnesota State Law requires that utility lines be located prior to construction. Contact Gopher State One Call at 651-454-0002 or 811.
  • Contact Carver County Recorder’s Office at 952-361-1500 to determine if your neighborhood’s restrictive covenants prohibit detached garages or sheds.
  • If the proposed structure location is within a drainage and utility easement, an encroachment agreement may be required. Contact Engineering Technician III Steve Lenz at 952-227-1163 or by email. In most instances structures may not be placed in the drainage and utility easement.
  • Include two (2) copies of a site plan with your building permit application showing the exact location of the proposed structure, including setbacks. Additional information on structure size and materials is also required.
  • Once your application is approved by the Planning, Engineering, and Inspections Departments, the City will contact you. After permit issuance, you may begin construction and/or installation.

Contact Info

  • For general accessory structure information, contact the Planning Department as shown on the right-hand side of this page.
  • For questions specific to wetlands or shoreland, contact Matt Unmacht, Water Resources Coordinator, at 952-227-1168 or by email.

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