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What happens if New Hanover County finds out about the shed I built in my backyard without a permit?

Tim Buckland

Q. I live in New Hanover County and build a 12×12 shed in my backyard without a permit. Can the county come in and make me take it down if they find out?

For this one, we’ll turn directly to the source, Ben Andrea, current planning and zoning supervisor for New Hanover County. Here is his answer:

“We wouldn’t necessarily make them take it down but would want to make sure it is in compliance with any applicable regulations. Although a building permit shouldn’t be required for that size, zoning regulations still require that it be set back at least 5 (feet) from any property line.

“Other considerations could come into play if they are applicable such as flood zone regulations, coastal management regulations, stormwater regulations, drainage easements, utility easements, etc. All of these things are reviewed during the permitting process, even if a building permit is not required.”

Andrea said interested property owners can contact the county’s planning department at 910-798-7165 with questions.

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