Residential Information

Information for Residential Properties

Shelbyville Homeowners:
Are you thinking about a house project?
Are you wanting to remodel your kitchen?
Install a fence?

Get informed before you spend any money. Here are some major points to consider before you take on any house project.  First and foremost, our jurisdiction is the City of Shelbyville. So please make sure you are in the City of Shelbyville before reading, if you are not, seek advisement from the County Plan Commission.
 Tip: Just because you have a Shelbyville address does not mean you are in the city’s limits.

Find out your zoning

In most case, your residential project is acceptable but you should be aware of what zoning district you are in. A zoning district defines the uses that are allowed and defines the development standard regulation for the area.   The classification that is used by other offices, such as the County Assessor and Public Utilities Offices, is NOT the official zoning district for your property.

To find out: Visit our web based mapping program. Click on this link and read the quick help guide on how to use the website which will be on the left hand side. You will need to turn the Shelbyville Zoning layer on from the Layer button on top of the web page.

OR Call the office:  Call us at 317-392-5102, it takes us about 2 minutes to bring up your address.

Know your property lines and easements

It is good to know where your property lines are before you doing anything to your property. Also it is good to know of any easements and the easement language because that area might have more restrictions on your property. Any person with house project that involves constructing a structure will be asked from our office for a site plan of the property.

To get a plat of your property: If you don’t already have a plat of your property you have two options

1. County Recorded Office: This office can provide property plats to you at a cost. Their contact information: 317-392-6370, 25 Polk Street. The Assessor office only provides dimensional data of the existing structures, which is available free on our web based mapping programs. .

2. Hire a private surveyor. Surveyors are license to provide accurate information on property lines and easements. They can do the research for you, provide a surveyed plat and even mark property lines.

As a government entity, we cannot provide a list of recommended Surveyors, please use the internet or the yellow pages to find a licensed Surveyor.

Flood Zone

There are additional regulations on development in flood zones. If you live above Broadway Street, please call our office to confirm if you are in the flood zone or not. If you are, you should meet with the Plan Commission Staff to discuss your project.

Inform yourself with general development codes

The City of Shelbyville has a vast amount of development codes on all types of developments. We don’t except you to learn them all but the most important ones to know in preliminary planning are setback requirements, lot coverage, accessory standards, driveway standards, fence requirements, and pool standards.

Setback requirements

Setback lines determine how far a building must be from a property line. A front yard is any yard that abuts a street (not including alleys). So corner lots will have two front yards.

Standards for R-1 single family residential

Front Side Yard Rear Yard From other buildings
Arterial Collector Local
Road Road Road
Primary structure 50 feet 30 Feet 20 feet 10 feet 20 feet 5 feet
Accessory structure —- —- —- 4 feet 4 feet 5 feet

( For other zoning districts, please click on this pdf. and search for the pages on that district)

In some case, these setbacks are reduced depending on the neighborhood. The plan commission staff will make the determination.

Primary Structure – The main building of a parcel, in this case: the home

Accessory Structure – A structure that is subordinate to a primary structure, in this case: pools, decks, sheds, or detached garages. Accessory structures are not allowed in front yards.

Structures located in easement will need to provide letter of approval from easement holder.

Lot Coverage

In order to ensure proper storm water drainage of lots and to ensure no negative effect on adjoining properties we limit the amount a lot can be covered with pervious surfaces. Pervious surfaces include homes, pools, decks, buildings, and any areas of concrete and asphalt.

Single Family lots lot coverage standard is 45%.

Accessory Structure Standard

The following are permitted accessory structures: Greenhouses, detached garages and carports, Mini barns and sheds, swimming pools. They are only permitted if a primary structure exists on the lot. If you have several lots/parcels next to each other and wish to place an accessory structure on another lot than the house, you will be required to combine the lots into one lot.

You are only to have 4 accessory structures on a lot. Also you may not have more than 2 of the same type.

An accessory structure can not exceed 15 feet in height.


We don’t require permits on fence but we do have standard requirements on fences that shall be followed.

Please click on the following link for the Residential fence pamphlet

Carports and Sheds

Sheds that do not exceed 200 sq.ft. will not be subject to our permit process. Sheds that do exceed 200 sq.ft. will need to obtain approval and permits from our office. Additionally, these sheds will need to be installed on permanent foundations.  This applies to pre-manufactured sheds.

Pre-manufactured Metal Carports that you can purchase at retail stores will not be subject to our permit process IF it is not enclosed. If the carport has 3 or more sides it will be consider an accessory structure.


All new driveways/parking pads must be asphalt or concrete. Gravel driveways are no longer allowed.

Any additions to existing driveways must be asphalt or concrete as well.

Residential Driveway cannot exceed 24 feet in width at the road right of way if your lot’s width is less than 40. Lots that are wider than 40 feet are allowed driveway’s width up to 28 feet.. You can flare out the driveway on your property but it must be a minimum of 24/28 feet at the right of way line.

Swimming Pools

Our department only regulates in ground pools and large above ground pools.  For above ground pools that exceed 42 inch of height from bottom of pool to the skimmer will be required to have a building permit and will be subject to Indiana swimming pool code.

It is required to install either a 4 foot fence that will enclose the pool or an automatic pool cover on all in ground pools and above ground pools that are a depth of 42 inches.

Basements and Attics

When considering converting a basement or attic into livable space to help affect how your property is appraised you should consider the following code requirements:

·         Bedrooms must have two mean of ingress/egress.  Basement windows must be 9 sq. ft of open space that opens open into a window well… Attics windows must be:   (waiting on codes)

·         The space between the floor and ceiling must be 7ft. and knee walls should be at least 5 feet in height.

·         If you are adding a second story to your house, an engineer report will be required to prove that the existing foundation can handle the load.

Determine if you need a permit

Please click on the following pdf to determine if you will need to get a building permit for your house project. If the item is not on the list please contact our office.

An electrical permit is required for electrical work. This does not include changing light fixtures and changing outlet and light switch coverings.

A plumbing permit is required to run new lines, install new drains and for all new construction. If you are replacing existing fixtures in their current location, you do not need a permit.

A mechanical permit is required for installation or replacement of any mechanical equipment and/or ductwork. This is typically installation of furnaces and air conditioners.

Tips on finding a contractor

When hiring a contractor you should make sure they are insured and bonded. If the project needs a permit, we require contractors to be registered with the City of Shelbyville.

For tips on how to hire a contractor and tips to protect yourself please read the following articles,,199776,00.html

As a government entity, we cannot recommend contractors.  We can only advise if they are registered with us or not. You can also use list provided by the Shelby County Builder Association. LINK

How to get permits

Please click here to re-direct you to another page on registration and permits.

Anyone with relations to the permit can submit the paperwork for a permit and anyone with relations to the permit can pay the permit fees. However, signatures of the property owner and the register contractor are required and they must be original.

The only time a homeowner can obtain a building permit without a contractor signature is if the homeowner is doing work on a home they own and live in.

Once permits are issued, a permit must be posted on the site. Typically permits are taped to the front windows.

Call before you dig

Whether you are planning to do it yourself or hire a professional, smart digging means calling 811 before each job WEBSITE LINK

Homeowners often make risky assumptions about whether or not they should get their utility lines marked, but every digging job requires a call – even small projects like planting trees and shrubs. The depth of utility lines varies and there may be multiple utility lines in a common area. Digging without calling can disrupt service to an entire neighborhood, harm you and those around you and potentially result in fines and repair costs. Calling 811 before every digging job gets your underground utility lines marked for free and helps prevent undesired consequences.

House Numbers

All homeowners should have house numbers on their house. Numbers should be 4” in height and shall be placed where numbers can be seen from the public road. This insures faster response on emergency calls.

Home Occupation

Are you considering a home occupation? Please familiar yourself with our home occupation regulations by clicking on this link.

Garage Sales

Garage sales are general only allow for 7 day collectively for the year per property. Garage Sale signs shall be on property only and not attached to any utility pole, street sign, or light pole.