Accessory Building Permit Guidelines
Accessory Building Permit Guidelines

Licenses and Permits
Detached Accessory Building Permit Application Guidelines (pdf)
Building Permit Fee Schedule (pdf)
Residential Permit Application (pdf)


  1. No accessory building or structure may be erected on a vacant lot. Agricultural parcels used for the production of grains, fruits or trees are not considered vacant.
  2. The maximum allowable size of an accessory building in residentially zoned areas is dependent on the lot size, the size of the “required rear yard”, and the finished area of the house on that lot. A more detailed description of this regulation is given below under Maximum Size of Accessory Buildings. There is no size limit on accessory buildings in agriculturally zoned districts.
  3. In residential zoning districts there may be only one accessory building or structure on the lot. This restriction does not apply in agricultural zoning districts.
  4. Accessory buildings and structures shall be placed in the rear yard only.
  5. Building permits are required for any accessory buildings over 120 square feet in gross floor area.
  6. Accessory buildings shall be constructed as required by the 2012 International Building Codes.
  7. Detached accessory structures greater than 120 square feet in size shall be located at least five feet from the principal building.
  8. If the accessory building will be used for automobile storage, a concrete, asphalt or paver brick driveway must be provided to the new building from the existing driveway.
  9. Accessory structures for nonresidential properties may require Planning Commission review and approval. Contact the Planning Departments at (913) 742-6011 for further information.

Maximum Size of Accessory Buildings

Condition 1. Residential lots one acre (43,560 square feet) in size, or smaller: There are four ordinance restrictions, described below, that act to limit the size of an accessory structure. The most restrictive of these governs:
  1. Accessory structure size shall not exceed 250 square feet per 3,000 square feet of lot area. There is no pro rata for fractions of 3,000 square feet. A lot with 8,900 square feet would be allowed an accessory building of 500 square feet maximum.
  2. Accessory structures may not take up more than 30 % of the “required rear yard” on a lot. The “required rear yard is the full width of the lot between the rear property line, and the rear line of the house, projected to the side property lines of the lot. A drawing of a typical “required rear yard” area is shown below.
  3. The size of the accessory structure may not exceed the total finished area within the house on that lot.
  4. The accessory structure may not exceed 1000 square feet in total floor area.

Condition 2. Residential lots larger than one acre (43,560 square feet) in size, but smaller than 4.99 acres (and zoned other than agricultural):
  1. The size of the accessory structure may not exceed the total finished area within the house on that lot.
  2. Accessory structures may not take up more than 30 % of the “required rear yard” on a lot. The “required rear yard is the full width of the lot between the rear property line, and the rear line of the house, projected to the side property lines of the lot. A drawing of a typical “required rear yard” area is shown below.
  3. An accessory structure may be larger than 1000 square feet in total floor area, provided the size may increase only 250 square feet for each full acre in lot size over one acre, and may be increased on a pro rata basis for each fraction of a full acre over one acre in lot size.

Condition 3. Residential lots larger than five acres:

The only limitation on size for an accessory structure for a lot of this size is that the accessory structure may not exceed the finished area of the house on the lot.

Setbacks for Accessory Buildings
  • For Up To 250 square feet the setback requirement for buildings is 5 ft. (minimum) from rear and side property line.
  • For Over 250 square feet (in total floor area) shall meet the bulk setbacks of the zoning district for side or rear yards.
  • Setbacks for Animals Pets, Shelters, Stables, Etc.

The Shawnee Municipal Code Section 6.08.020 has additional setback requirements for animal shelters.

Required Information for Permit Application

The following information should be submitted to the City of Shawnee to obtain a permit to construct an accessory building:
  1. A completed building permit application.
  2. An accurate, scaled plot plan showing all existing buildings on the property, and the proposed location of the accessory building. The plot plan should indicate the distance from the proposed accessory building to all property lines and existing buildings on the lot. The plot plan should show the size of the lot, and the size of the “required rear yard”. A recent survey may be required if the proposed accessory structure is very close to a maximum size restriction.
  3. Contractors are required to have a current occupational license with the City of Shawnee. Contractors applying for a permit to construct an accessory structure that will be larger than 400 square feet in size must also possess a Class A, B, or C Johnson County Contractors license.
  4. A permit fee, based on project valuation is required when the permit is issued. Checks should be made payable to the "City of Shawnee". The permit fee is only payable at the time the permit is issued.
  5. Indicate on the permit application the finished area of the house located on the property.
  6. State on application if permit is to include electrical work.
  7. Two (2) sets of plans are to be submitted showing how the building will be anchored to the ground with size, species, spacing, and grade of all framing members to be shown. If a kit is to be purchased, please furnish sales brochure showing hold-down information. If using manufactured trusses of any size, original Kansas Engineer’s seals must be on both sets of plans. On structures over 400 square feet, frost-free perimeter footings and slab are required. Plans then must show size, depth and reinforcement and elevations. If any other footing other than a perimeter or trench footing is to be constructed (like a pole barn) plans must have Kansas Engineer’s seal. Show header size of garage door.
  8. Garage door must have a 90 mile wind rated label.
Required Rear Yard Plot Line
Should you need any reasonable accommodation to assist in making permit application, contact the Codes Administration Division at (913) 742-6010.
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