Building Department

Our mission is to constantly strive to improve the department and make the changes necessary to provide great customer service to the public. The building department is mandated to ensure the safety and welfare of the general public by the enforcement of all Massachusetts State Building codes and local ordinances.

To improve customer convenience and increase faster permitting, we are now accepting applications on-line.
Click on the icon below to begin on-line permitting.


      Commercial Projects - Third Party Review Rules and Procedures

Commercial Building Plans - September 1, 2015

The building department is now only accepting commercial plans in digital formats (PDF, or on a cd's or zip drives). This change will ensure a faster more efficient review process. It will eliminate the additional expenses associated with producing paper plans and the changes sometimes required prior to acceptance.

Certificates of Inspection (Liquor Establishments) - September 18, 2015

Any ABCC facility licensed for serving alcohol is required to have an annual inspection from both the Building and Fire department per MGL 10 Section 74. This inspection is the "owner" as defined in Chapter 2 obligation, to meet the requirements and schedule the inspection. To provide an additional layer of customer service we do send out a reminder letter every year with all the requirements, but because of the volume of requests, the number establishments in the city and the time sensitivity, inspections should be schedule at least 2 months in advance even if a reminder letter has not been received. Failure to schedule an inspection prior to November 19th would result in loss of alcohol license. Please come in to the building department during normal business hours to schedule an inspection.


Building Commissioner: Albert Talarico   (978) 538-5790    Email
Building Inspector: Ron Shah   (978) 538-5787     Email
Building Inspector: Dan Terenzoni   (978) 538-5736    Email
Electrical Inspector: Shawn Mahoney   (978) 538-5789    Email
Electrical Inspector: James McDonnell   (978) 538-5789    Email
Gas/Plumbing Inspector: Paul Foukas   (978) 538-5791    Email
Weights & Measures Inspector: James Collins   (978) 538-5788    Email
Secretary: Linda Lavoie   (978) 538-5786    Email

Permit Applications and Forms

Special Permits

Demolition Delay

Demolition Delay List
Demolition Delay Map

Zoning Ordinance

Zoning Board of Appeals

Variance from Zoning Board of Appeals

Chapter 40B Comprehensive Permits

Downtown Design Guidelines


When is a building permit required?

Anyone seeking to construct, alter, or demolish a structure or install a sign must first obtain a building permit from a building inspector at the Inspectional Services Department. The building permit must be obtained before the start of any work and must be prominently posted at the job site.

Who can be issued a building permit?

Building permits are issued to construction supervisors licensed by the State of Massachusetts. The State license is only valid for work involving structures of less than 35,000 cu. Ft. As an exception to this requirement, building permits are also issued to homeowners doing work on one or two unit dwellings where they reside or intend to reside. It is noted that when homeowners are issued building permits, they may be liable for contractors working on their property and they are not eligible for protection under the provisions of the Homeowners Improvement Contractor Law. For these reasons, Building Department encourages homeowners to have the building permit taken out by a properly licensed contractor.

What about the issuance of plumbing, gas, or wiring permits?

These permits are issued to Massachusetts licensed plumbers, gasfitters, or electricians. Permits are issued in accordance with Massachusetts General Law (MGLs); MGL 143-3L in the case of wiring permits and MGL 142-13 in the case of plumbing and gas permits.

When must work be started under the building permit?

Work must be started within six (6) months of the date the permit is issued. Once started, the work must be progressed continuously to completion. The City Noise Ordinance does not permit construction activities prior to 7:00 a.m. (9:00 a.m. on Saturdays and holidays) and after 6:00 p.m. Sunday work is not permitted.

Is there a time limitation on a Building permit?

Yes. The permit shell be deemed to have been abandoned six months after the date of filing, unless such application has been diligently prosecuted or a permit shall have been issued; except that the building official shall grant one or more extensions of time for additional periods not exceeding 90 days each if there is reasonable cause and upon written request by the owner.

What is the required height of guardrails and handrails?

For single or two family houses, a deck located more than 30 inches above grade must have a guardrail of at least 36 inches in height. Handrails must be located at a height of from 34 inches (min) to 38 inches (max). If the guardrail also serves as the handrail for open sided steps, the minimum height is 34 inches. Guardrails for uses other than 1 or 2 family structures must be a minimum if 42 inches.

How many layers of roofing are allowed to remain when re-roofing?

The maximum of 2 layers can be installed on a roof (Massachusetts State Building Code, 780 CMR sections 3609.10.3).

Useful Links

General Information

Telephone: (978) 538-5724
Fax: (978) 538-5987


Building Commissioner
(978) 538-5790
(978) 538-5736
(978) 538-5789 & 538-5789
Gas & Plumbing
978) 538-5791
Weights & Measures
(978) 538-5788
(978) 538-5786

Inspector's Office Hours

Monday - Friday:
8:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. (Morning Hours)
Mon, Tues, Wed:
3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Afternoon Hours)
5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. (Evening Hours)
12:00 p.m. to 12:30 p.m.