What are the requirements for building decks?

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.

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1. When do I need Planning Department approval for my home remodeling?
2. How long will it take to get Planning approval of my home addition?
3. When is Design Review Board approval required?
4. How long does it take to get Design Review Board approval?
5. What is the maximum building height?
6. Is Design Review Board approval required for a second story addition?
7. What if I want to build closer to a property line than the setback allows?
8. What are the Town's requirements if I want to build a shed on my property?
9. What are the setbacks for an arbor or gazebo?
10. What are the requirements for building decks?
11. What are the regulations for an accessory dwelling unit at my home?
12. Can a basketball hoop be placed in the public street?
13. What are the regulations on children's outdoors play structures (tree house, etc.)?