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Jun 30

Planning and Zoning: Carports and Garages

Posted on June 30, 2020 at 8:16 AM by Public Affairs

This is the third in a series of articles from the City of Roswell Community Development Department discussing permitting and other requirements related to various projects homeowners/residents may do on their homes and property.

Several homeowners recently spent hundreds of dollars on carports that were soon-after condemned and had to be removed. These carports did not have permits, were improperly constructed, did not meet zoning requirements for setbacks from property lines, and could not pass building inspections because they did not meet the Building Code and were unsafe.

All construction projects require a permit, must be built to meet 2015 International Building Code standards, and must comply with zoning requirements.

Before installing or building a carport, garage, or other structure, visit the City’s Planning and Zoning Office. All residential and non-residential carports, garages and accessory structures require a permit and must meet setbacks and other distance requirements established in the city’s Zoning Ordinance. Homeowners may submit a request for a building permit for do-it-yourself projects.

Contractors installing carports, garages and accessory structures are required to have a State of New Mexico contractor’s license and city business license. Licensed electricians are required to obtain electrical permits if electrical work is performed.

In order for staff to assist you with a site plan and expedite the permitting process, bring the following items with you to the Planning and Zoning Office:

  • Property address.
  • Boundary survey for the property (if you already have one).
  • Location of utilities (Underground: water line, sewer line, gas meter/gas line, phone/cable, electric. Overhead: electric.)
  • Also, make sure the property and alley are free of weeds, trash and debris before staff members conduct site visits and/or inspections.

It is a requirement to call 811 for utility locates before you dig. There is no charge for 811 service. Utilities will mark the location of gas lines, phone and telecommunications cables, underground electric, water and sewer. If installing a foundation or footer for a carport, garage or accessory structure, an inspection by a city building inspector is required prior to the concrete pour.

Carports, garages, and accessory structures constructed without a permit are subject to review and possible removal if in violation of the Zoning Ordinance or do not meet Building Code standards. Dilapidated and derelict carports, garages, sheds and structures are also subject to enforcement by Community Development officers and building inspectors. 

For questions about carports, garages, and accessory structures, contact or visit (415 N. Richardson Ave.) either of these two Community Development Planning and Zoning representatives:

--Miguel Martinez, Planning and Zoning Technician, (575) 637-6218,

--Merideth Hildreth, Planning and Zoning Administrator (575) 637-6294,

Guidelines for setbacks and other standards related to carports, garages and accessory structures are contained in the City of Roswell’s Zoning Ordinance in the Article pertaining to Building and Performance Standards (see Section 4).