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Building and Land Use Department

Phone:
(860) 456-7797
x
101
Fax:
Primary Contact:
Wendy O'Connor
Town Hall
,
Hours of Operation
By appointment only

About

The Building and Land Use Department administers and enforces regulations that concern all matters of property improvement and alteration, including construction, renovation, additions, repair, removal, demolition and occupancy of all buildings and structures. 

The Building Department is open by appointment only. For appointments or further information, call the department during Town Hall business hours.

You should check the FAQ below first. It may answer many of your questions and allow you to move forward without delay.

It is advisable to fill out an application for any project that will change the use of your property, even if it does not include construction. Applications are available here or at Town Hall.

Once you have submitted an application, it will be reviewed for zoning compliance by the zoning official. For regulations and contact information, see the Planning and Zoning Commission page.

Applications will also be reviewed for compliance with wetlands regulations by the wetlands official. For regulations and contact information, see the Inland Wetlands and Watercourses Commission page.

Driveway permits are required whenever you create a new opening to a town road. Permits are issued by the First Selectman's Office. Application and instructions are available in the resource section of the First Selectman page.


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FAQs

Why should I get a building or land use permit?
Building and land use permits are required by law for most projects that alter or change the use of your property. The department issues many types of permits, including building, plumbing, electrical, wetlands, and zoning permits. The purpose of these permits is to ensure that work done on your home or business is safe and legal. The permit is filed with your property records, and is the proof to banks, insurance companies, prospective buyers, and other third parties that your buildings conform with the applicable laws. 
Does my project require a building, electrical, or plumbing permit?
If you are using a licensed contractor, he or he should know whether a permit is necessary and how to get one. However, while the contractor is professionally liable for proper permitting, it is your safety and property value that is at stake. In addition, you may want to undertake the project yourself. So you should be familiar with the requirements. The list below will aid you in determining which projects require a permit:

  • Constructing any new building or structure. Additions or alterations to any existing building or structure.
  • Changing the use and occupancy type of any building or tenant space within an existing building.
  • Converting an unfinished space into habitable space.
  • Constructing a new swimming pool, spa or hot tub or renovations to same.
  • Exterior decks.
  • Fireplaces or wood burning stoves.
  • Adding solar panels to a building or erecting a freestanding array of solar panels.
  • Demolition of any existing building or structure.
  • Electrical and plumbing work other than minor repairs
  • Installation of a generator

Projects that do not require building permits include:

  • One-story detached accessory structures used as tool and storage sheds, playhouses and similar uses, provided the floor area does not exceed 150 square feet. 
  • Sidewalks, driveways and on-grade concrete or masonry patios.
  • Painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, countertops and similar finish work not involving structural changes or alterations.
  • Prefabricated swimming pools that are equal to or less than 24 inches deep.
  • Swings, non-habitable tree houses, and other playground equipment.
  • Repairs that are limited to 25 percent of roof covering and building siding within one calendar year.
  • Minor repairs to electrical equipment, such as rewiring a lamp.
  • Minor plumbing repairs, such as drain clearing or leak repair. 
  • Portable gas appliances such as outdoor grills.

These lists are not exhaustive, and projects exempt from building permits may require other permits. If you have any questions about whether your project requires a permit, contact the building and land use department. See below for contact information.

What about other permits?
Your application for a building permit will be reviewed by the wetlands and zoning officers. They will determine whether or not your project requires permits from their offices. If it does not, then they will sign your building permit. If it does, they will contact you to inform you of what you need to do to receive the proper permit.

Even if your project does not involve construction, you may need permits. In general, zoning permits are required whenever you change the use of your property, so if you start a home business you will need a zoning permit even if you do not change or erect a structure. Wetlands permits are required if you will disturb soil within 100 feet of a wetland area, as you may if you put in an above-ground pool or septic system. 

The only way to be certain of whether an improvement to your property requires permits is to contact the building office. See contact information below. 
How Can I Find out the status of my application?
For further information about building permits, including where your application stands, or to make appointments, please contact the building clerk at 860 456 7797 x 106, or by email at buildingclerk@scotlandct.org.  For wetlands questions, call John Valente at 860 455 3911 or email a209@mindspring.com. For zoning, call Elizabeth Burdick at 860 861 4069 or email zeo@scotlandct.org. The health district is available at 860 429 3325. For questions or concerns about the process that cannot be answered by the officials above, please contact the first selectman at 860 456 7797 x 101 or by email at firstselectman@scotlandct.org.

How do I apply for a permit?
The best way to get started is to fill out an application for a building permit, which is available here or from Town Hall. Fill out the application with as much information as you have. If you are not changing the footprint of your building or erecting a separate structure such as a pool or shed, you do not need to provide property dimensions. Provide an estimate of the cost of the project and enclose a check for $15 for every thousand dollars in projected costs, rounded to the next thousand. So a $20,000 project will cost $300, and any project between $20,001 and $30,000 will cost $450. Checks should be made payable to the Town of Scotland. The permit can be returned by US Mail to the Building Department, PO Box 288, Scotland CT 06264, or placed in the book drop to the left of the front door at Town Hall.

Then what happens?

Once the building clerk has received your permit, it will be distributed to the building inspector along with the wetlands and zoning officers. If you need other permits, or if they have questions, someone from the office will be in touch with you. So be sure to include good contact information on the application. The signed permit will be mailed to you and should be kept at the job site.

How long will this take?

The building office is open on Wednesdays from 5-7 pm. Your application will not be processed until the first Wednesday after it is submitted. You should hear from the clerk or the building inspector shortly after that. You should figure on at least two weeks from the time you have applied to the time your permit is approved. To expedite matters, you can schedule an appointment with the building clerk or official. See below for contact information.

How Does it End?

Happily, we hope. If your project requires inspection, you can arrange that directly with the official, and he or she will provide you with any paperwork that you need. The completion of the project will be noted on your property records. 

What are the fees for building permits?
Building permit fees are $15.26 for every thousand dollars in value of the project, rounded to the next thousand, ($15.00 for the permit fee, plus $0.26 for the state education fee)

For example, the fee for a project costing $10,000 will be $152.60, and the fee for a project costing $10,001 or more and up to $11,000 will be $167.86. 

Staff & Contacts

Jason Nowosad
Building Inspector
Term:
Feb 1, 2021
-
Jan 31, 2025

Staff & Contacts

Jason Nowosad
Building Inspector
(860) 456-7797

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