When Do I Need a Permit?
A Building Permit is required for any and all construction, reconstruction, conversion, structural alteration, relocation or enlargement of any building or structure and any change of use of any building or structure. For example, a Building Permit is required for: any new construction, including houses, garages, sheds and porches, etc.; the replacement of any existing structure or portion of a structure, such as a deck, porch, shed, stairs, garage etc.; any renovation work inside a home such as adding a room in a basement, plumbing work, electrical work or furnace replacement, or removing/adding walls or rooms. In addition, a Building permit is required for the installation of a septic system, propane tank or a fabric building. Please contact the Permitting Department at 802-442-1037 before you start any work to determine if a Building Permit is required. In addition to a Building Permit, a Zoning Permit is also needed for many projects.
Downtown Historic District
Bennington has a Historic Downtown that has many original buildings and details intact. The Town of Bennington decided that this is an asset worth protecting, and passed an ordinance creating an overlay district called the Design Review District, which requires exterior changes to be reviewed by the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC). If your property is located downtown, please visit the HPC page to learn more about additional requirements for work done in the district.
A Zoning (land use) Permit is required for almost all land development or subdivision of land in Bennington. The regulations regarding land development and subdivision are contained in Bennington’s Land Use and Development Regulations. Land Development is defined as: the construction, demolition, reconstruction, conversion, structural alteration, relocation or enlargement of any building or structure, or of any mining, excavation, or landfill, any change in use of any building or other structure, or land or extension of use of land, (including the construction and/or installation of roads, utilities and site improvements) unless specifically exempted. Subdivision is defined as: the division of any parcel of land into two or more parcels for the purposes of immediate or future sale, conveyance, lease, or development. The term “subdivision” includes resubdivisions, amended subdivisions, lot line (boundary) adjustments, and the division of land held in common among several owners.
Essentially, any change of use of a property (for example from residential to commercial or office to retail, etc.), new construction of any structure (including sheds, houses, garages, etc.), any expansion of the footprint of any existing structure (for example the addition of a porch, a bedroom addition, etc.) and in some locations (Downtown area and Northside Drive Corridor) any change to the exterior of a building (new siding, new windows, etc.) requires a permit with a few very specific exemptions. See the list of Exemptions. Some Zoning Permits only need the approval of the Zoning Administrator, while others also need to be reviewed and approved by the Development Review Board. The Bennington Land use and Development Regulations specifically identify the types of development that may be issued with the approval of the Administrative Officer only, and which types of development also require Development Review Board approval. In general, permits for single family and two-family residential properties on existing lots that comply with the Land Use and Development Regulations may be issued by the Administrative Officer without the review and approval of the Development Review Board. For those projects use the Application for Building and Zoning Permit – Single Family. All other Zoning Permits usually require Development Review Board approval. Please contact the Permitting Department at 802-442-1037 before you start any project to determine if a Zoning permit is needed, and if Development Review Board approval is required.
When Development Review Board Approval is Required.
The approval of the Development Review Board is required for most new commercial (including multi-family residential) development, most subdivisions (including Planned Residential Developments and Planned Unit Developments), changes to the exterior of buildings located within Design Review Districts (the Downtown area (8.9 MB pdf) and Northside Drive Corridor (pdf)), all variances (requests to waive certain requirements of the regulations) and for all appeals of the Administrative Officer’s decisions. The Bennington Land Use and Development Regulations specifically identify the types of development that require Development Review Board approval. In addition to the Building/Zoning Permit Application, a separate Application to Development Review Board is required for applications that need Development Review Board approval.
The Development Review Board will hold at least one public hearing to review applications that require its approval. The Development Review Board meets twice a month. A written decision regarding the application will be issued. Please contact the Permitting Department at 802-442-1037 before you start any project to determine if a Zoning Permit is needed, and if Development Review Board approval is required.
Other permits issued by the Town include: Access (Curb Cut) Permits (required whenever work must be done in the Town Right of Way – for example a new driveway, connection to municipal water and sewer, etc.); Sign Permits (required for the installation, replacement or modification of any sign); Municipal Water and Sewer Allocation or Connection (required for any new connection to municipal water or sewer system and any change of use), and Demolition Relocation Permit (required whenever a building is relocated or demolished). View our complete List of Permit Applications.
ALL APPLICANTS FOR A PERMIT FOR COMMERCIAL PROJECTS, SUBDIVISIONS AND VARIANCES SHOULD CONTACT THE TOWN’S PLANNING DIRECTOR (email@example.com or 802-442-1037) FOR AN INFORMAL REVIEW OF THE PROJECT BEFORE ANY PERMIT APPLICATIONS ARE SUBMITTED TO THE TOWN.
THE INFORMATION ON THIS WEBSITE IS OFFERED AS A GENERAL GUIDE TO LAND USE PERMITTING IN BENNINGTON. PLEASE CALL THE BENNINGTON PERMITTING DEPARTMENT AT 802-442-1037 REGARDING SPECIFIC QUESTIONS AND ISSUES REGARDING BENNINGTON LAND USE PERMITS.