Chapter 63 of the Saint Paul Zoning Code contains the full text of all Design Standards. The Zoning Code may be found online at

New Construction and Home Additions (Section 63.110)

Building Entrances

A primary entrance of the house must be located within the front third of the structure. It must either:

  • face a street or
  • be located off a front porch, foyer, courtyard, or similar architectural feature, and set back at least eight feet from the side lot line

A primary entrance must be delineated with elements such as roof overhangs, recessed entries, landscaping, or similar design features.

A primary entrance must have a direct pedestrian connection to the street.

Windows and doors

For principal buildings above grade, window and door openings shall comprise at least 15 percent of the total area of exterior walls facing a public street or sidewalk. In addition, for new houses, above-grade window and door openings shall comprise at least 10 percent of     the total area of all exterior walls. Windows in garage doors shall count as openings; however, the area of garage doors shall not count as openings. Windows must be clear or translucent.

Building materials

Building materials and architectural treatments used on all sides of buildings facing an abutting public street should be similar to those used on principal facades.

Historic properties

For properties with local historic designation, compliance with applicable historic guidelines shall be sufficient to meet these requirements.

Garages and parking (Section 63.501)

Access to parking

Access to off-street parking must be from an abutting improved alley when available unless there are circumstances unique to the property that make this impractical, unreasonable, or unsafe. On corner lots, access to parking may be from the side street.

Location and setbacks

Garages must be set back from the front lot line at least as far as the principal structure (in the case of attached garages, this refers to the non-garage part of the structure).

Attached garages must meet the same setback requirements as the principal structure.

Detached garages and parking spaces cannot be in the front yard or in required side yard setbacks. Detached garages may be located in the rear yard if they are set back at least three feet from a neighboring property and one foot from an alley. Surface parking spaces may be in the rear yard if they are set back at least four feet from a neighboring property and one foot  from an alley. On corner lots detached garages and parking spaces must be set back from the street a distance equal to that required of the principal structure.

Size of garage doors

Except in the rear yard, garage doors that face a public street shall be no more than nine feet in height and shall not exceed 60 percent of the width of the principal structure facing the same street.

Garage height

Detached garages with gable or hipped roofs cannot be taller than 15 feet, measured to the midpoint of the roof. Detached garages with flat or shed roofs cannot be taller than 12 feet, measured to the highest point of the roof surface.

Paving (Section 63.316)

Paving material

All parking spaces and driveways must be paved with standard or pervious asphalt or concrete or with brick, concrete or stone pavers, or material comparable to the adjacent street surfacing.

Amount of paving

The total amount of paving for surface parking spaces shall not exceed 15 percent of the lot area or 1,000 square feet, whichever is less.

Driveways in front yards shall be no more than 12 feet in width, except that a driveway may be up to four  feet wider than the garage door within 30 feet of the garage door.

Driveway limited to two paved wheel tracks are permitted if the paved tracks are each at least two feet wide.

When driveways no longer lead to a legal off-street parking space, the driveway and curb cut must be removed and the sidewalk, curb and boulevard must be restored.

Building plans are required for design review

Building plans must be submitted for design review as part of the building permit application. These plans must have dimensions and be drawn to scale.

Plans for new construction must show all the information listed below. Plans for additions must provide enough information to show whether the addition meets applicable Design Standards.

Building elevations
  • The size and height of the building
  • Doors and windows
  • Porches
  • Steps
  • Roof
  • Building materials
Floor plan
  • The shape and size of all proposed buildings and the layout of rooms
  • The existing and intended use of the property, including the number of dwelling units.
Site plan
  • Survey with property lines
  • All existing and proposed buildings
  • Any other important site features such as driveways, alleys, sidewalks, grades/slopes, retaining walls, drainage, large trees and other significant vegetation.

Zoning staff  may be contacted at 651-266-9008 with questions about these requirements.

Last Edited: August 5, 2022