Skip Navigation Welcome to Essex, Massachusetts
This table is used for column layout.

Advanced Search
Essex, Massachusetts Town Seal
ECRECC REgional 911 Alerts
  Cape Ann License Plate

Building Permit Process
To determine exactly what path your project will be required to follow you will want to consult the Building Inspector at the beginning of your planning process.

The Building Inspector will lay out the general~flow for review and approval from the Town of Essex Boards, Departments and Commissions which your project~may need to undergo before a Building Permit will be issued.

You are required to obtain a Building Permit for most projects which involve the construction of any structure on a property or the renovation/alteration of an existing structure.

The general rule is that the more complex a project is, the more time it will take to permit and the more changes to the plans may be necessary to satisfy all the Town of Essex Boards, Departments and Commissions.

In some cases an applicant may go directly to a specific Department for approval. For example, the Department of Public Works should be directly contacted regarding the installation of a driveway or moving the location of road access. However, in most cases, the Building Inspector’s office should be your first stop.

The Building Inspector cannot issue a Building Permit until the individual requirements of all Town Boards and Commissions that are necessary for the Building Permit are met.

Building Permit Applications for all projects are available on the Town website: Building Permits may also be found at the Essex Town Hall outside of the Building Inspector’s Office on the second floor hanging file to the left of the door.

A full and completed Application includes:
  • A completed application form
  • Copies of contractor's licenses if you will be hiring someone to do the work
  • Two sets of plans detailing the proposed construction activity
  • Two sets of accurate site plans drawn to scale
  • It has been reviewed or approved by the Town Department as required by the Building Inspector
  • New construction also requires an energy report
IMPORTANT: All Building Permit Applications left at Town Hall, emailed or sent via a fax machine and not presented in person to the Building Inspector or the Assistant Building Inspector will be returned to the applicant without review.

IMPORTANT: No matter the age of a property, all Building Permit applications for the demolition of a building must be reviewed the Historical Commission.

IMPORTANT: All Commercial Building Plans must be reviewed by both the Plumbing Inspector and the Electrical Inspector.

IMPORTANT: If you obtain a Variance from the Board of Appeals revisit the Building Inspector to ask what, if anything, you need to do next.

INSPECTIONS: Please call 978-768-2514 before noon on Friday and the Building Inspector or the Assistant Building Inspector will arrive for the inspection either the following Friday Afternoon or Saturday morning.  Please plan accordingly.

Documents you may need:

  • Building Permit application
  • Worker comp certificate and the form completed
  • Home Improvement Contractor Registration
  • Construction Supervisor(s) License
  • Two site plans of property
  • Two sets of building plans
All Building Permit Applications must be accompanied by two (2) copies of a site plan drawn to a suitable scale and contain the following:

  • Name and address of the Owner and the Applicant
  • Date
  • Graphic Scale and North Arrow
  • The graphically accurate shape, size, and location of the lot to be built upon
  • A locus plan showing the lot's relation to abutting streets
  • The graphically accurate shape, size, height and location of any buildings to be erected, altered or removed, including setbacks from lot lines
  • The accurate size and location of existing buildings
  • Required off-street parking and loading space, existing and proposed
  • Loccation of any required screening
  • All applications must be signed by the owner. In the case of leased land or a signed Purchase and Sales Agreement, the signature of the owner and the applicant are both required
  • Any other information which may be required by the Building Inspector or the Planning Board

Image of Essex, Massachusetts
 Essex, Massachusetts Town Seal
Town of Essex, Massachusetts
Website Disclaimer
Virtual Towns & Schools Website