Playhouses & Treehouses
A children’s playhouse or tree house are two different types of accessory structures that are allowed on a single-family property subject to meeting certain zoning requirements limiting their size and location. Please contact the Community Development Department at 847-716-3587 or via email to discuss the specific zoning regulations that apply to your property.
Tree houses are accessory structures supported solely and entirely by one or more trees. Tree houses are not subject to compliance with building codes and do not require a building permit for their construction. Because tree houses are not subject to building code compliance, they are not permitted to be supplied with water or electricity. Though a building permit is not required for a tree house, we encourage a property owner to apply for a zoning certificate prior to commencing construction.
- Height: A tree house with a roof and/or walls is an accessory structure permitted up to 15 feet in height from adjacent grade to the highest point of the structure (typically the top of the roof). A tree house without a roof or walls (such as a platform with safety railings) is permitted up to 35 feet in height from adjacent grade to the highest point of the structure.
- Setbacks: Tree houses are not allowed in a required front or side yard setback. They are allowed in a required rear yard. (The setback measures the minimum requirement for how far a structure must be setback from a property line.) Please call or email us at the contact information above, and we will gladly provide the required setback dimensions for your parcel.
A playhouse is a play structure for children that is fully or partially supported by the ground and enclosed by walls and a roof. A playhouse does require a building permit to ensure the compliance with building and zoning requirements.
The Village has five different residential zoning districts, and each district has differing requirements regarding size and placement on the property. General guidance on zoning standards is outlined below; however, you are encouraged to contact the Community Development Department at 847-716-3587 or via email to discuss the specific zoning regulations that apply to your property.
- Height: A playhouse is permitted up to 7 feet in height from the lowest adjacent grade to the highest point of the roof.
- Size: Playhouses are counted towards the maximum floor area, maximum roofed lot coverage, and maximum impermeable lot coverage allowed on a lot. However, if the playhouse is wholly located within the rear quarter of the lot, the first 64 square feet of floor area may be excluded from the floor area calculation provided this allowance has not already been utilized for a different playhouse or shed on the lot. Regardless of the size of the playhouse, zoning calculations are required to verify compliance with the maximum roofed lot coverage and impermeable lot coverage.
- Setbacks: Minimum setbacks from adjacent property lines vary by zoning district, but the following guidance may help secure zoning approval.
- Front yard setback. Playhouses are not allowed in a required front yard area and may not be closer to the street line than the primary residence.
- Side yard setback. Playhouses are not permitted to be within the required side yard setback, which depending on the zoning district may require that they be located from 6 feet to as much as 12 feet from a side property line.
- Rear yard setback. A rear yard setback of between 6 feet and 12 feet may apply depending on the configuration of adjacent properties.
- Other standards:
- Playhouses should be securely anchored to the ground to prevent uplift during high winds.
- The placement of the playhouse may not interfere with stormwater drainage on the subject property or adjacent properties. If a playhouse is to be located in the floodplain, special provisions may apply.
Please contact the Community Development at 847-716-3587 or via email with help determining what zoning and building code requirements may apply to your property. If possible, please have your plat of survey available.