Zoning Permits and Fees

Did you know you needed a permit for that?
More than likely you may need a permit for the building you would like to do this season. Although it doesn’t seem that important to file for a permit, you could find your property can be flagged with a zoning violation and that can make selling an issue later on and in the time being it can be a hassle to correct your error if not taken seriously and fines could be assigned. Which is something our Zoning Office is trying to avoid.
Please keep in mind that there is a need for permits, this is to protect you and your neighbors. Permits include a process that assures that building is done in a manner that suits its needs, environment and safety. For new residential building permits there is a required waste water permit from the State of Vermont that has to be filed and approved before a town permit can be sought after, this insures that there is safe drinking water and a safe means of dealing with the waste water that will be produced. If this was not required we could have homes that simply flush their toilets into your natural spring or well and contaminate your water supply!
When your neighbor wants to build a garage and did not apply for a permit and later you discover that the garage is on your land, this could bring on major lawyer fees for you to protect your rights to your land as it has become a civil issue to be addressed in court. However if they had applied for the appropriate permit they would have been informed that the suggested location was not on their land, and they would have learned that there is a 25 foot set back from property lines, and a 70 foot set back from the road to build (in most districts).
Home business are ever growing in popularity and there are permits required for that under accessory use, basically the amount of square feet of your home that is to be used for the business is what is covered in the permit, if there is to be a sign out for the home business that would also need permit.
One way that our Zoning Office is trying to avoid Enforcement Fees, is by issuing a Certificate of Compliance, this Certifies that the building or other permitted actions were taken in the manner to which they were approved, so the deck that was approved as 12x 18 was built as a 12×18 deck, as some have come to be 16x20x30. Odd because it would have been the same permit fee for those dimensions as it was for the 12×18. We do not charge by the square foot as other towns do. If you want a deck that continues around the corner of the house that is fine. you simply include the actual size it will be at completion. In a case like this tho, when the permit states one thing, and the actual real size has a greater variance then 10%, the Zoning office would request that the home owner resubmit a new building permit with the correct dimensions to have it correctly recorded and then a certificate of compliance can be requested.
The certificate insures that things are done correctly, it also shows future buyers that the property is not under violation of the towns Zoning regulations. A site visit is required for the certificate and will usually be done by the Zoning Administrator and or a Lister from the Town Office.
Previously there was no charge for a Certificate of Occupancy, this has been updated to accommodate the changing times, and the cost of the time that is invested by the Zoning Office to issue the Certificate. The Fairfield Planning Commission and Zoning Board of Adjustment made the suggestion to the Select Board and it was approved, as was the issuance of the Certificate of Compliance as preliminary measure to avoid having to instate Violation and Enforcement fees.
The permit process is important to our community it enables us to protect our resources, to record our growth, and to allow growth with consideration to our neighbors, environment and traditions.
Below is a list of permits that the Town offers and their appropriate fees.
Please make sure you apply for your necessary permit, include the set backs in your diagrams, as well as accurate dimensions that it will be at completion, (note there is a 10% variance) be aware that each permit will be followed by a certificate of compliance, however if there is more then one general permit being requested such as a pool and a deck this can be one certificate and should be submitted as one permit.

If you have any questions about Zoning Permits or other Zoning concerns
Please Contact Alisha LaRocque
802-827-3261 in office Mondays by appointment Tuesdays 9am – 1pm
POBOX 5/ 25 North Road
Fairfield VT 05455

Building Permits

All Building Permits issued both Major and General now require a certificate of compliance.

Certificate of Occupancy $50.00

Certificate of Compliance for major is $50.00

Certificate of Compliance for General Permits is $15.00

Major Building Permits include:

Single Family Residence: $500.00 fee + .15 cents per sq ft  (this includes the Certificate fees)

Seasonal Dwelling – Camp: $500.00

Replacement Permits: $500.00

Final Plat Preview: $100 per lot created(set by board)(2nd half of Subdivision application at the municipal level)

Commercial (major): $1 per sq ft

Followed by

Certificate of Occupancy $50.00 and/or

Certificate of Compliance $50.00

General Permits

Commercial (minor): $1.00 per sq ft

Use Permits: Set by Board (May be General or Major appropriate fees will apply)

Garages: $75.00 (this includes the Certificate fees)

Storage/Sheds $40.00 (this includes the Certificate fees)

Agricultural Written Notice : $10.00 (this covers the cost of recording, this is not a permit fee)

Decks/Porches/Gazebos: $40.00 (this includes the Certificate fees)

Outside Furnace: $40.00

Pools: $50.00 (this includes the Certificate fees)

Signs: $35.00 (this includes the Certificate fees)

Daycare (Registered): $35.00

House Additions:$75.00 plus 0.15 cents per sq ft 

Appeals & Variances: $75.00 per

Sketch Plan Preview: $85.00
(1st half of Subdivision application at the municipal level)

2 thoughts on “Zoning Permits and Fees

  1. Our permit shows an issued date and an appeal date; however, it does not list an expiration date.

    How long is a variance/ building permit valid for?

    1. Permits valid 1 year from date of issue and non-transferable.

      This is stated on the pink copy of the application you filed out. It is not stated on the permit sign that you hang however.

      If you have started your project and were not able to complete it within the year (which is 12 months from the date you are issued the permit. So if it was 6/21/15 and you haven’t finished as of 6/21/16) you can request a one extension for free! The request must be made in writing prior to the expiration. If there is anything else I can help you with please don’t hesitate to ask. I can be reached via email zoning@fairfieldvermont.us or via telephone 393-9052 I am in the office on Wednesday afternoons for inquires and permits.

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