Most of the jurisdictions requires some sort of Open Space provided on a property. One or more of the following types of open space may be provided such as: a plaza, an urban park, an urban garden, a view terrace, a sun terrace, a greenhouse, a small sitting area (a snippet), an atrium, an indoor park, or a public sitting area in a galleria, arcade, pedestrian mall or walkway.

What are the typical standards for a space to be considered open?

  1. Be of adequate size to be attractive and practical for its intended uses;
  2. Be in locations and provide ingress and egress as will make the area convenient, safe, secure and easily accessible to the general public;
  3. Be well designed, and where appropriate be landscaped;
  4. Be protected from uncomfortable wind;
  5. Incorporate various features, including ample seating and, if appropriate, access to food service, which will enhance public use of the area;
  6. Have adequate access to sunlight if sunlight access is appropriate to the type of area;
  7. Be well lighted if the area is of the type requiring artificial illumination;
  8. Be well signed and open to the public at times when it is reasonable to expect substantial public use;
  9. Be designed to enhance user safety and security; and
  10. Have convenient access to toilet facilities open to the public if it was intended for public use.

Residential and roof decks are a popular component of building design to provide access to air and outdoor space, especially in dense urban environments.

While decks are allowable as an addition to many residential homes, the Planning Code and Residential Design Guidelines outline certain regulations for decks to minimize potential adverse effects on building design, privacy, light, noise, and safety.

Typically, all decks over 3 feet above grade require a building permit and Planning Department review.

You can also find out the size of the required open space for your lot in your CityStructure report.