The City of Hickory regulates the location, size, and type of accessory structures that can be constructed on property within the city limits and extraterritorial jurisdiction through its Land Development Code. Common examples of accessory structures include detached garages, storage sheds, carports, gazebos, and fences. Please contact the Permit Center at (828) 323-7410 for questions related to accessory structures.
Residential Accessory Structures
New residential accessory structures must obtain a residential zoning permit. A building permit is required if the structure is greater than twelve (12) feet in any dimension. Accessory structures must comply with the applicable zoning district setbacks and must be located outside of certain easements and the floodplain. Shipping containers are not permitted as accessory buildings. Accessory structures may exceed fifteen (15) feet in height, up to the maximum permitted height for the zoning district, provided that the accessory structure meets the primary structure setbacks. No individual accessory structure shall exceed fifty percent (50%) of the floor area of the principal dwelling unit on the lot. The total of all accessory structures on a zoning lot shall not exceed 2,000 square feet. Additionally, all accessory structures over 500 square feet shall meet the primary structure setback requirements.
Home Occupations and Accessory Structures
Residential accessory structures that will be used in conjunction with home based businesses are subject to additional building and zoning code regulations. Review Chapter 6 of the Land Development Code and contact the Permit Center to discuss home occupation regulations.
Accessory Dwelling Units
Accessory dwelling units are permitted in all residential zoning districts by right, but must comply with the applicable regulations outlined in Article 6 of the Land Development Code and must meet the applicable zoning district setbacks.
Residential Swimming Pools
Residential swimming pools, both above and in-ground, are treated similiar to accessory structures and must adhere to applicable regulations and obtain permits. New residential swimming pools are required to be fenced in accordance to North Carolina building code requirements. Property owners should check with their insurance provider for any additional requirements prior to construction.
Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions
Property owners are strongly advised to determine if there are any deed restrictions, homeowner association regulations, or related that could prohibit an accessory structure from being legally installed on their property. The City of Hickory is not responsible for enforcing any private covenants, conditions or restrictions. The Register of Deeds office is responsible for maintaining copies of all real estate records. Please contact your local Register of Deeds office to review your property deed and any deed restrictions.
Commercial Accessory Structures
New commercial accessory structures must obtain building and zoning permits and are required to go through commercial plan review. Accessory structures must comply with the applicable zoning district setbacks, as well as, the design standards listed in Chapter 3 of the Land Development Code for the applicable zoning district. Shipping containers are not permitted as accessory structures. Commercial accessory structures may exceed fifteen (15) feet in height, up to the maximum permitted height for the zoning district, provided that the accessory structure meets the primary structure setbacks. No individual accessory structure shall exceed fifty percent (50%) of the floor area of the principal dwelling unit on the lot. The total of all accessory structures on a zoning lot shall not exceed 2,000 square feet. Additionally, all accessory structures over 500 square feet shall meet the primary structure setback requirements.
Article 6 of the Land Development Code outlines regulations related to fences. Generally speaking, fences do not require a permit by the City of Hickory, but must comply with the following regulations. Fences may be installed within required setbacks, but must be located on the owner's property. Property owners are strongly encouraged to have a survey completed and property lines staked, prior to having a fence installed. Locating fences directly on property lines is permissible. Fences may be erected to a maximum of four (4) feet in height within front setbacks and a maximum of eight (8) feet in height within side and rear setbacks. Fences must be located outside of road right-of-way and accommodate intersection visibility requirements. Fences that fail to comply with these regulations are considered zoning violations.
Locally Designated Historic Properties
Accessory structures, including fences, that are constructed on a locally designated historic property require a Certificate of Appropriateness prior to installation. These structures must comply with the adopted Design Review Guidelines in order to be approved. Accessory structures no greater than 144 square feet may be considered a minor work item that can be approved administratively. Please contact the Planning and Development Division for more information at (828) 323-7422.