In addition to the zoning code amendments, the City also made updates to the building code that eased requirements for hoop houses. See Ordinance 1494 adopted by City Council in June 2011. Hoop houses are temporary greenhouses with a semi-circle shape that typically have a plastic covering. Many people use hoop houses as an affordable way to extend the growing season. These structures range from very small greenhouses set up in private backyards, to very large structures used on commercial farms or in retail settings.
The City’s changes to the building code made the regulations for hoop houses more flexible. Now, any hoop house that is 400 square feet or less in size is exempt from building permit. Hoop houses that are 400 to 1,000 square feet in size require a building permit, but they have less strict requirements for wind and snow load. This is because hoop houses typically have a form of plastic or fabric covering that makes it difficult to meet the wind and snow load requirements set for permanent structures. For more information, contact the Building Division or the Planner of the Day in the Zoning Division.
These changes went into effect July 1, 2011.