What Permits Do I Need?

Though a visit to the Building Department should be your first step when planning a project in town, it is often not the only department or board that you will need to contact.  Many projects need to be reviewed and possibly permitted by other town entities.  Understanding these requirements will help you estimate the time frame and expense of your project.  If your project requires a Special Permit from the Zoning Board of Appeal or the Planning Board, a Public Hearing will be required.
The Building Inspector can review your project and advise you on the permits or licenses that you will require before a building permit can be issued.  You should visit the Building Department as soon as you have a good idea about the location and size of the project as well as the use to which it will be put.  The Zoning Bylaws of the Town of West Boylston allow certain uses in particular Zoning Districts.  Sometimes these uses are “allowed by right” and other times they require a Special Permit.  
Boards, Commissions, and Departments that you might need to consult:
  • Board of Health:  The Board of Health enforces the state and local health and environmental codes.  They issue permits and certificates for septic systems, hazardous materials, restaurants, food retailers and swimming pools.
  • Board of Selectmen:  The Board of Selectmen issue licenses for certain types of businesses, including Liquor Licenses, Common Victualer License, Use Car Sales, Second-hand dealer License.
  • Conservation Commission:  The Conservation Commission administers the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act, including all related state and local regulations.  The Conservation Commission can tell you if your project falls under their jurisdiction and advise you on obtaining local, state or federal permits.  Do not skip this step; conservation impacts are not always apparent.
  • Department of Public Works:  Consult with the Department of Public Works on questions regarding roadways, curb cuts, driveway location and connecting to the sewer system.
  • Planning Board: The Planning Board evaluates development proposals for their contribution to the goals of the Master Plan and their impact on transportation systems, the environment and Town character.  Their review is under the State Subdivision Control Act and the Town’s Zoning Bylaws.  The Planning Board issues Special Permits, approvals for Subdivision and conducts Site Plan Review for non-residential projects and some multi-family housing projects.
  • Zoning Board of Appeals:  The Zoning Board of Appeals issues Special Permits for many uses as specified the Zoning Bylaws.   You may also be advised to consult the ZBA if your project requires a variance.