Decks require a building permit and a railing is required if the deck is 30-inches or more above the ground. Design Review Board approval is required for decks supported by posts that are 4-feet or higher. If the overall height of a deck above the ground exceeds 6-feet the Design Review Board would need to make a design guideline exception. (Design Guidelines SFR2.10). Photographs must be submitted to the Planning Department prior to an application for a building permit for replacement or reconstruction of an existing deck, which may be legally non-conforming to the Town’s Design Guidelines.
Any open, uncovered deck 24 inches or less above existing grade may extend into the minimum required building setback if the design and setbacks conform to Section 8.70.040 of the code. Expansion of an existing deck that does not conform to the Town’s Design Guidelines will require Design Review Board approval. Any deck with a floor higher than 24 inches above existing grade shall comply with the setbacks of the primary building, except that a new or expanded deck attached to a residential building, where such building does not conform with current setback requirements, shall be subject to the provisions of Section 8.20.060. Decks that exceed 6 feet in height shall be substantially screened by landscaping.
The Design Review Board may require the property owner to enter into a landscape installation and maintenance agreement with the Town (Design Guidelines SFR2.12a). Decks built on slopes that are 20% or steeper will also require a Hillside Development Permit and generally required a geotechnical report with slope stability analysis.
For more information, please refer to the Town of Moraga Design Guidelines document.