Leominster Building Department


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Address:
25 West Street
Leominster, MA 01453

Room 8

Telephone:
Phone - 978-534-7517
Fax - 978-840-0039

Hours:
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday: 7:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Thursday: 7:00 AM to 5:30 PM


Email:
Director of Inspections
Peter Niall

Building Inspector
Bill Charpentier

Plumbing Inspector
James Imprescia

 
General Information
Building Permits
General Repairs
Additions
Decks
Pools
Fencing
Wood stoves
Sheds
Signs
Electrical Permits
Plumbing and Gas Permits
Zoning Information
Zoning Board of Appeals
Zoning Board of Appeals Application Process
Business Licenses
Contractor Information
How do I fill out the application?
   
Building Department hours of operation
M, T, W, F 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Thursday 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

Staff
Director of Inspections - PETER NIALL
Local Inspector - Bill Charpentier
Clerical Staff -
      marina menchi
      Gail Rousseau
      Jeannita Gaudet
Chapter 14, Section 14-8 of the Leominster City Ordinances requires that all work done in the City be conducted within the following hours:
 
Monday – Friday: 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Saturday: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Sunday: 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Plumbing & Gas hours of operation
M-F 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Office hours 8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m. AND 12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
 
- Plumbing Inspector, Jim Imprescia
Wire Department hours of operation
Monday-Friday 7 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.,
Office hours 8 a.m. – 9:30 am.

- Wire Inspector, Joseph Poirier, Sr.
- Assistant Wire Inspector, C.J. Cloutier
The Wire Inspector’s Office is located at 24 Church Street, Room B1.
 
What type of work requires permits?
- All work, with the exception of paint, wallpaper and flooring requires a permit.
- All work done in the City of Leominster must conform to the Massachusetts State Building Code. http://www.state.ma.us/bbrs/NEWCODE.HTM All work performed outside the scope of the Massachusetts State Building Code will require special engineering. The State of Massachusetts has recently released the New Seventh Edition of the Code for One & Two Family Dwellings and New License Requirements.
General Repairs (roofs, siding, etc)
- A permit must be pulled for all work done to a home, with the exclusion of paint, wallpaper and flooring. The building permit fee is based on the total cost of the job including materials and labor. A fee for labor is still assessed even if the homeowner is doing the work, in order to make the fee schedule fair and equitable to all parties.
- In the case of roofs, siding and replacement windows, the building department will estimate the building permit cost based on the number of squares being used for the roof or for the siding or on the number of windows being replaced. The New Building Code now requires that we receive a copy of the energy efficiency label for all window replacements.

- Any other repairs, such as sheetrock, new cabinets etc., will be based upon the contract price of the job, or will be calculated by the building inspector.
- If the job calls for any structural changes, a framing sketch and layout will be required.
 
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Additions (including farmer’s porches)
- Any addition that adds square footage, including farmer’s porches, covered decks, screen rooms and sunrooms, must meet the setback requirements for the area in which the house is located. Each zone of the city has different requirements for lot size, setbacks, frontage and lot width and each of these criteria must be met before a building permit can be issued. If any of these setback are not met, the applicant must seek relief through the Zoning Board of Appeals.
- Your first step in this process is to determine what zone your home is located in. You can do this by contacting the Building Inspector’s Office and providing them with your address. Or you can look at your property through the on-line assessment database www.visionappraisal.com , your zoning is listed under the title Land Line Valuation.
- Once you know what zone you are in, you can review the Zoning Table and see what the setbacks are are for your area. If it is clear that you meet all of the requirements you can prepare to move forward with the building permit application. If it is unclear whether you meet the requirements you will have to obtain a certified plot plan from a surveyor showing the existing house and proposed addition.
- If you do not have to go to the Zoning Board of Appeals you will need the following information in order to pull a Building Permit
● Framing sketch showing how the addition is to be built, including foundation
● Energy Code, which can be obtained from the store where you are purchasing your building materials
● Plot Plan
● Completed Building Permit application
● A copy of your state licenses and worker’s compensation insurance (if you are the contractor)
● A completed worker’s compensation affidavit form (for homeowner’s and sole proprietors)
● If you are adding bedrooms you will need to go to the Department of Public Works to pay an additional fee to the sewer department. In addition, you will need to bring a complete layout of the existing house and addition to the Fire Prevention Office (located at 24 Church Street)  to approve your smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector locations on your building plans. (The Building Department cannot accept plans without the Fire Department stamp)
 
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Decks
- A permit is required for a deck of any size. No deck may be any closer than five feet to the property line. A detailed framing sketch of the deck must accompany the permit application, including the sono tube location and size, the size of the decking, the height of the railings (if applicable) the number of stairs, tread height, etc. (Deck Specifications)
- If a deck is being constructed to a portion of the house that will require a new exit to be constructed, then lighting must be placed outside of the new exit and a framing sketch of how the new door will be framed must accompany the building permit application.
 
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Pools
- All pools in the City of Leominster require a building permit. A pool can be no closer than six (6) feet to the property line and no closer than ten (10) feet to any structure, including sheds, houses, garages, etc. If you are on a corner lot or are placing the pool on the side of your house that is facing a street, then the pool must be within the front setback requirements for your zone.
- All pools must comply with 780 CMR Section 421.9 through 421.11 for enclosures and ladders. http://www.state.ma.us/bbrs/780CMR_Ch04.pdf
 
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Fences
- Any fence that is over six feet in height will require a permit. Any fence that is over eight feet will require a Special Permit from the City Council. The fence can be placed right on the property line, provided that the back side of the post is still on your own property. There are no regulations as to which side of the fence faces in or out. If you are planning to run the fence past the front of your dwelling or place a fence along the street side of your house you must meet the front setback requirements for your zone. For instance in a Residence A Zone, there is a 20-foot front setback so from your front property line the fence can be no higher than four feet until it meets the 20-foot setback and from there the fence can be raised to its desired height.
- Corner Lots; If you live on a corner lot, in order that visibility is unobstructed at intersections, no sign, fence, wall, tree, hedge, or other vegetation between three and eight feet above the established street grades shall be erected, placed or maintained within the triangular area formed by the intersecting lines and a straight line adjoining each street line at points which are twenty feet distant from the point of intersection measured along such street lines.
 
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Wood Stoves
- Wood stove and pellet stove permits must be pulled prior to the installation of the stove. The manufacturer’s guidelines, which come with the stove, will be required to fill out the permit application. If you are installing a used stove that no longer has the manufacturer’s specifications you must follow the Massachusetts State Code for wood stoves. http://www.state.ma.us/bbrs/780CMR_Ch3610.pdf
- Wood Stove Application
 
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Sheds
- A permit is required for any shed that is 120 square feet or larger. If you are building the shed yourself, a framing sketch must accompany your application. If the shed is a pre-fab building, a brochure or picture of the shed must accompany your application. All sheds, regardless of size must be no closer than five feet to the side and rear property lines. If the shed is located in the front of the dwelling or on a side that is facing the street, the shed must be within the front setback requirements for your zone.
- All sheds must be secured to the ground in some way in at least two locations.
 
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Signs
- The City of Leominster has an extensive sign ordinance pertaining to the regulation of signs. No sign shall be erected without a permit. The permit application must be accompanied by scale drawings and must show the location, type and area of all signs on the premises. Permits shall also be required for all temporary signs not located inside a building, unless said sign is six feet or less in area.
- Sign Application
 
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Electrical Permit
- All electrical work that is being performed in conjunction with a building permit must be paid for as part of the building permit fee, regardless of who will be performing the electrical work. A separate electrical permit application must be mailed to the Wire Inspector c/o Room B1, 24 Church Street, Leominster, MA 01453.
 
Electrical Permit Fees:

● Minimum fee $45.00
● Temporary Service $45.00
● Alarms Systems 1-5 Units $45.00
   6 Units and above…each add $15.00
● Service Change 100 and 200 amp $45.00
   Over 200 amp $80.00
● Maintenance Permit $155.00
● Re-inspection Fee, Second one Free, Three or More $65.00

Fees for work done in conjunction with a building permit shall be included with the building permit. Such fee shall be 35% of the building fee, or $45.00, which ever is the greater.

New prices effective July 13, 2009
 
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Plumbing & Gas Permits
All plumbing & gas work performed in the State of Massachusetts must be done by a licensed plumber. There is no exception to this rule. A photocopy of the plumber’s plumbing license, driver’s license and certificate of liability insurance must accompany Plumbing & Gas permit applications.
 
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Zoning
- The Zoning Ordinances of the City are set by the Planning Board and City Council and are enforced by the Director of Inspections. To view the Zoning Ordinance in its entirety please click on the link.
- Zoning Ordinance Document
 
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Zoning Board of Appeals
If you must go to the Zoning Board of Appeals for new construction or for an expansion you may follow the Zoning Board of Appeals Guidelines. The process for the Board of Appeals takes approximately three months from start to finish.
- ZBA Application

Scheduled Meetings for 2010
All Wednesdays
● February 17th
● March 24th
● April 14th
● May 12th
● June 16th
● July 14th
● August 18th
● September 15th
● October 13th
● November 17th
● December 8th 

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Zoning Board of Appeals Application Process

In order to begin the application process you must bring with you:

● A certified plot plan, done by a surveyor showing the existing home and the proposed addition. In the case of a new home being constructed the plot plan must show the proposed home. A mortgage inspection plan or hand drawn plan is not acceptable. The plot plan is required even if you are extending up instead of out.

● A completed application, which will be provided by the Building Department.

● A $25.00 fee for the Assessor’s Map & List. This can be cash or check, made payable to the City of Leominster.

Approximately one week after the above information is brought in, the Building Department will contact you to inform you that you may pick up your packet. Once you have your packet in hand you must complete the following:

● Sign the form that is provided with your packet. If the applicant and the owner are different, both must sign the form.

● Using the abutter’s map and list that are provided, the applicant must fill in the names from the list onto the map.

● Applicant must provide an elevation sketch of the addition. This sketch must show the existing house in conjunction with the new addition and must include the dimensions of the addition. Hand drawn sketches are discouraged, but will be accepted provided that the applicant is aware that they may be denied or asked to come back to a later meeting with a better rendering.

● Once all of the above has been completed, the applicant must make nine (9) copies of the packet including the rejection notice, plot plan, application, abutter’s map & list and elevation sketch. Eight copies and the original packet must be returned to the Building Inspector’s Office with a filing fee of $200.00, made payable to the City of Leominster. The applicant is encouraged to keep a complete copy of their packet, as neither the applicant, nor the Building Department, will receive anything back after the information is sent to the Zoning Board.

● The packets will be given to the Zoning Board, who will assign you a case number, place you on the agenda, publish the notice in the newspaper and notify the abutters.

● The applicant will attend the meeting and will be informed at that time whether or not their application has been granted. From the time of the meeting the Zoning Board has two weeks to file their findings with the City Clerk’s Office. From that filing date there is a 20 day appeals period.

● At the conclusion of the appeals period the City Clerk’s Office will notify the applicant that they may bring their approved documents to the Registry of Deeds in Fitchburg.

● Once the paperwork has been stamped at the Registry of Deeds, the applicant is now ready to apply for their Building Permit. An approval by the Board of Appeals is not approval to begin building – the applicant must receive a Building Permit before construction can begin.

● In order to apply for your building permit you will need:
- A completed Building Permit Application
- Your certified Plot Plan
- Your registered Zoning Board of Appeals Paperwork
- Building Plans
- An Energy Code, which can be obtained wherever your building materials are being purchased or by your contractor.

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Business Licenses
- Business Licenses are obtained through the City Clerk’s Office, however the applicant must first appear in the Building Inspector’s Office to file a business form. If the applicant is applying for a home business, they must either be the homeowner or have a letter from the landlord stating that they are allowed to have a business in the home. A home office means that there are no customers or deliveries coming to the home and only one commercial vehicle is allowed on the property.
- If the applicant is applying for a business license and has obtained space outside of the home, they must bring with them a copy of their lease or a letter from the building owner stating that they are a tenant in the building.
 
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Contractor Information
Although homeowners are allowed to do work on single and two-family homes, in many cases they choose to hire a contractor. Any contractor who is applying for a building permit is required to have a valid license. Depending on the work that is being done, they may need to have a Construction Supervisor’s License http://www.state.ma.us/bbrs/cslsearch.htm or a Home Improvement License, http://www.state.ma.us/bbrs/Hicsearch.htm Additionally, the state has instituted several new specialty licenses that are required for roofing, siding, windows, solid fuel appliance installation and demolition. These licenses will be required for all individuals who have an HIC but not a CSL.
 
Homeowners who wish to ascertain that a contractor has a license may visit the State of Massachusetts website and look up the contractor’s license by name. In addition this site will inform the homeowner if any complaints or action have been taken against a contractor.

In the event of a problem with the work that is done, or desertion of the job by the contractor, the State has created a guaranty fund and homeowners may apply for restitution from that fund. Persons contracting with unregistered contractors do not have access to the guaranty fund. It is incumbent upon the homeowner to ensure that the contractor of their choice is licensed and has pulled the necessary permits for the work that is being performed.
 
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How do I fill out the Building Permit Application?
- The amount of information required for the application will depend on the nature of the job. For instance if you are applying to build a new home or addition, every portion of the application must be filled out. If you are applying for a pool, shed, repairs, etc. you must fill out:
● The address of the job
● The homeowners name
● The contractors name and licenses if applicable. (Please note that if you are the homeowner pulling the permit, you are considered to be the contractor)
● If the permit is being pulled by the contractor, the contractor must sign the application and appear with his licenses and workmen’s compensation insurance.
● The estimated cost of the job
● The description of the work that is being done, please be as detailed as possible even if you have documentation accompanying the application.
● Indicate whether it is a single family home, two family, multi family, condo, etc.
● Fill in the yes or no questions at the bottom of the application that are highlighted in yellow.
● Sign the bottom of the application

If you are the homeowner pulling the permit or are a contractor who is a sole proprietor you must fill out the Workmen’s Compensation Affidavit and return it with the building permit application.

The fee for the building permit is based on the cost of the job including material and labor. Please contact the building department for your fee.

For more detailed information on what is required for the application please see the individual category for the permit you are applying for.
 
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