Howell adjusts ordinance pertaining to sheds

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HOWELL – The Township Council has adopted an ordinance that will permit residents to keep a shed for personal use on their property.

“If you are on a small lot with a reasonable residential shed, instead of requiring the shed to be 5 feet off the property line or the height of the structure (off the property line), depending on your zone, we are saying that we have thousands of these sheds in the township that do not cause any problems or any pain to anyone else. So why are we enforcing an ordinance that just gives everybody grief? Lets make it reasonable and that way everybody can keep their shed,” said Jim Herrman, Howell’s director of community development.

Mayor Theresa Berger, Deputy Mayor Robert Nicastro, Councilwoman Evelyn O’Donnell and Councilman Bob Walsh voted to adopt the ordinance at the Sept. 25 council meeting. The adopted ordinance revised a section entitled “accessory buildings” in regard to setbacks.

The ordinance states that “setbacks for accessory structures shall be 5 feet on lots less than 10,000 square feet and equivalent to the height for lots larger tan 10,000 feet in all residential zones.”

The revision adds, “However, sheds that are specifically designed to be and are in fact used for the storage of residential materials, 120 square feet or less, and 8 feet in height or less will be permitted with a zero foot setback to rear and side property lines. … Only sheds meeting all three of the criteria above shall be eligible for reduced setback. Only two residential storage sheds per property will be permitted with the reduced setback. … Any shed greater than 120 square feet in size or that is taller than 8 feet in height will be required to meet the general accessory structure setback.”