Setbacks Rules for Properties in St Johns County, FL

If you’re building a new home in St. Johns County, Florida, the chances are your lot is going to be subject to setback restrictions. Setbacks are imposed by municipalities to specify the minimum distance between a boundary line and your property. This stops you building your home too close to the street or your neighbor’s house.

Setbacks can vary and do not always fit into simple zoning areas. Therefore, it is important that you contact the appropriate building department to verify the setbacks relating to your property before you start the house design process. If you don’t, you may end up facing hefty penalties from the municipality and redrafting fees from your house designer.

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Warning: Do not search the Internet to find the setbacks relating to your lot. The risk is high that the information will be incorrect or out of date. Be safe and make that call instead.

You need to ask for Front, Rear and Side(s) setbacks. For example, your lot may be Front 25’, Rear 10’ and Sides 8’. This indicates that your property must be set back 25 feet from the front boundary line, 10 feet from the rear boundary line and 8 feet from the side boundary lines.

If you have a corner lot, you will likely have two fronts. Therefore, you’ll have to decide which street will be the Front and which will be the Second Front (e.g. Front 25’, Second Front 20’, Rear 10’ and Side 8’).

It is very important to find out if setbacks are to the walls or the roof edge (eaves and/or overhangs). If they are to the roof edge, the size of your exterior wall footprint may need to be reduced.

It is your responsibility to verify any setbacks on your lot. If your house does not fit within the setback restrictions due to improper information, you’ll be charged extra to have your plans redrawn.

Make sure you call the correct department for your lot location (and please be very patient):

  • St Johns County Planning & Zoning
    (904) 209-0675
  • City of St. Augustine Planning and Building Department
    (904) 825-1065
  • St Augustine Beach Building Department
    (904) 471-8758

Read more: St. Johns County Impact Fees and Lot Restrictions