Frequently Asked Zoning Questions | Oshtemo Township

Some frequently asked questions about swimming pools

Swimming Pools Handout

Some frequently asked questions about setbacks

Setbacks Handout

Setbacks Basic Facts

Some frequently asked questions about an accessory building.

Accessory Buildings Handout

Some frequently asked questions about fences.

Fences Outline Handout


I have questions about:

Accessory Buildings

An accessory building is defined as a building or portion of a building subordinate to and on the same lot, parcel, or building site as a principal building, and occupied by or devoted exclusively to an accessory use including, but not limited to, a private garage.

The following Q&A has key facts you need to be aware of when thinking about constructing an accessory building within an Agricultural or Residential Zoning District.

Do I need a building permit for an accessory building?

Depends. Please contact the Southwest Michigan Building Authority (SMBA) at 269-585-4150 for details.

Where can I place my accessory building?

– If located in the side or rear yard, Oshtemo requires a minimum 3’(Ft) setback for accessory buildings 200 Sq. Ft. or less. For accessory buildings over 200 Sq. Ft., Oshtemo requires a minimum 10’(Ft) setback OR a setback distance equal to the height of the building at its highest point, whichever is greater. See illustrations on the back page of this document.

Can I place my accessory building in the front yard? And what if I live on a corner lot?

This depends on where your home is located.

• Accessory buildings on properties located within subdivisions or site condominiums cannot be located closer to the street than the front line of your home (nearest edge). See the illustration on the back page of this document.

• Accessory buildings on properties not located within a subdivision or site condominium can be placed in the front yard as long as the front yard setback for your home’s corresponding zoning district is met (outlined in Section 50.60 of the Township Ordinance). If you live on a corner, this setback applies to both streets.

What size of accessory building can I build? And can I have more than one accessory building?

On a property within a subdivision or site condominium, the square footage of any accessory building cannot be greater than the footprint of the livable portion of the house. On all properties, whether or not it is located in a subdivision or site condominium, the combined maximum area of all accessory buildings allowed is based on the following schedule:

Does the accessory building need to be a certain distance from other structures on the property?

Yes, Oshtemo requires a 10’(Ft) minimum wall-to-wall separation between accessory buildings and other structures on the property.

How tall can the accessory building be?

This depends on where your home is located. If your property is located within a subdivision or site condominium, the accessory building height cannot exceed the height of your home. On unplatted parcels, the maximum height is 30’.

Diagram for the Placement of Accessory Buildings

• This is not an exhaustive outline of all requirements for accessory buildings. To find a complete copy of Ordinance Sec. 57.100 – Accessory Buildings Serving a Primary Residence, please visit
• If you reside in a subdivision/site condominium, please review HOA/Deed Restrictions for additional requirements.
• Questions? Please feel free to contact the Zoning Administrator at the Township’s Main Line: 269-375-4260.


Oshtemo logo: 269-375-4260. 7275 W. Main St. Map to the Township Hall Oshtemo Township: Return to Home Page

Receive Oshtemo Township Updates

Sign up today to be e-mailed notifications of news and updates within the township.

**Please check your email to confirm your subscription to receive notifications from the Township. Thank you!

Upcoming Events

Notice Board

Kalamazoo Area Transportation Study Feedback
Posted on October 19, 2021

Notice of Budget Related Hearings
Posted on October 19, 2021

2022 Budget – Public Hearing November 9th, 2021
Posted on October 13, 2021

Sign up for our eNewsletter

Have a copy of the Oshtemo quarterly newsletter emailed to you instead of mailed - sign up today!

To continue to receive the newsletter in the mail, please call 269-216-5224 or email your request to the clerk's office with your name and address.

Upcoming Events