Carports in Historical Neighborhoods

When do carport zoning laws become excessive? In the case of one Richmind, Virginia historic neighborhood, carports are allowed – at all. While we’ve seen restrictions on how large a carport can be and where it can be placed on a property, all of these zoning laws still allow homeowners to add such a structure in some capacity to their properties. In Richmond, such an effort to keep the neighborhood looking historical takes out – and dismisses – the practicality of owning a carport – even if the resident needs it. While such neighborhoods often restrict what colors homes are painted and materials for fences, when does style take precedence over substance?

In the case of Richmond, resident Kate Hearn needs a carport to protect her vehicles from the birds and, considering her property doesn’t have a garage, she had a carport built for $4,000. The structure, as seen in the picture accompanying the article, is a 30 foot-long metal roof supported by poles. Carports in this price range generally cover several vehicles and that’s what this carport appears to be built for. The neighborhood, on the other hand, sees the structure as a deviation from the historical atmosphere they wish to keep up and, in spite of the practicality this structure has for Hearn, they want it taken down.

As we’ve mentioned before, if you plan to purchase a carport, portable garage, or similar permanent outdoor structure, it’s advised to contact any local zoning committee first to see if your town, city, or neighborhood has such restrictions. While most can have such a structure on their property, those living in areas that maintain a specific feel – even at the expense of residents – may face more restrictions. Before searching through a website like Shelters of America or Portable Garage Depot, speak with someone in charge of zoning laws in your area about adding such a structure to your property.