What Permits Do You Need?

This page is an attempt to assist residents of Lyme and contractors working in Lyme to procure the necessary permits for land-use and construction activities.

  • Please note that this web page was hastily produced and is only a general guide to what applications you will need.
  • For complete and detailed information please refer to the Town Code which can be found here or contact the Zoning Enforcement Officer (ZEO) at zoning@townlyme.org.
  • Please note that all contractors must be licensed and must supply their license number and certificate of insurance.

The types of permits covered here are listed below:

    • Zoning Permits
    • Inland Wetlands Activity Permits
    • Health Department/LLHD Permits
    • Building Permits, including:
      • Electrical Permits
      • Gas Line Permits
      • Heating Permits
      • Plumbing Permits
    • Driveway Permits

See below for additional information and instructions related to each of these categories of permits.

Zoning Permits

  • All new structures and additions to existing buildings need an approved Zoning Permit prior to receiving a Building Permit. Installing a swimming pool, installing a fence over 6’ high, installing a wall, installing or changing a sign, creating an accessory apartment, installing a dock, starting a home occupation, and a property-line change all need a permit. Most changes in land use will need a permit. Cutting trees and vegetation within 100’ of the wetlands and waterways of the Conservation District (Hamburg Cove and the Connecticut River) are strictly regulated, as is the buffer zone of the Eightmile Overlay.
  • A Plot Plan is required with most Zoning Permit applications showing the location of new or expanded improvements. See below for a guide to plot plans and site plans. New houses, subdivisions and lot line changes need an A2 survey.
  • Some activities will need a Special Permit which requires a site plan review by the Planning and Zoning Commission and a Public Hearing. Refer to Chapter 315, Zoning Regulations, of the Code for a list of those activities.
  • Activities within the coastal boundary (Connecticut River and Hamburg Cove shoreline) may need a coastal site plan application including an assessment of the resources to accommodate the proposed use. Contact the ZEO for clarification.
  • For activities that are restricted by zoning regulations some (few) lots can qualify for a variance from the Zoning Board of Appeals. Qualifying requires the applicant to prove the property has a unique hardship preventing reasonable use of the property. A zoning application must first be submitted to and denied by the ZEO prior to applying for a variance.
  • Applications for these permits can be downloaded here.
  • Fees associated with these permits can be found here. (Note that most fees include the required State fee of $60.)

Inland Wetland Activity Permits

  • An Inlands Wetlands Activity Permit is generally required for activities in or within 100 feet of a wetland or watercourse. An activity further than 100 feet away may also be regulated if it is likely to impact a wetland or watercourse.
  • Some activities are permitted “as-of-right” and others may require only an administrative permit from the Wetlands Enforcement Officer (a.k.a. the ZEO). Refer to Chapter 300, Inland Wetlands and Watercourse Regulations, for those activities and details.
  • The Wetland Map provides a very general location of wetlands and watercourses, but does not depict all wetlands and should be used only as a guide. The map can be viewed here.
  • Lyme residents should also refer to the GIS Map found here which also depicts only approximate boundaries, search for the property by street address and click on “Wetland” under “Themes.”
  • Under conditions when the activity is close to wetlands, the Wetlands Enforcement Officer may require a survey of the wetland boundary by a soil scientist.
  • Applications for these permits can be downloaded here.
  • Fees associated with these permits can be found here. (Note that most fees include the required State fee of $60.)

Health Department / Ledge Light Health District (LLHD) Permits

  • The purpose of the review and approval from the Health Department is to ensure compliance with State Public Health Code.
  • The Health Department will review the location of the existing septic system to ensure appropriate separation distances are maintained and evaluate its capacity to accommodate additional wastewater flows (if any) from the proposed project.
  • Generally, a permit is needed when:
    • constructing/expanding/altering residential or commercial buildings (e.g., dormers, enclosed porches, mezzanines, offices/retail space);
    • constructing/expanding/altering accessory structures (e.g., garages, decks, sheds, barns, gazebos);
    • installing/modifying a swimming pool;
    • creating an accessory apartment;
    • converting unfinished space to heated, conditioned, habitable living space (e.g., attic, basement, porch, attached or detached garage);
    • changing the Use within Residential or Commercial space;
    • installing a new septic system/repairing an existing septic system;
    • changing a lot line;
    • installing an irrigation system;
    • installing a new or replacing an existing drinking water well or a well-water treatment system; and
    • opening a new or modifying an existing food service establishment.
  • Please contact the Ledge Light Health District if you don’t see your use or change listed.
  • The application must include a plot plan showing property boundaries, existing and proposed buildings and locations (including distance measurements) of the existing septic system and well; soil test results (if required); floor plan showing existing and proposed modifications; and topographic and other information relevant to your project. The Health Department has the right to request a survey at any time. For more information view the Ledge Light Health District website.
  • The application for Building Addition, Change in Use, Accessory Structure or Lot Line Change is the B100a which can be downloaded from the LLHD website here.

Building Permits

  • All new structures and additions to existing buildings need an approved zoning permit prior to receiving a building permit.
  • The purpose of a building permit is to ensure compliance with the State Building Code.
  • You will need a permit when any person intends to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish, change the occupancy of a building or structure, or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace any electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing system, the installation of which is regulated by Code, or to cause any such work to be done, shall first make application to the Building Official and obtain the required permit.
  • Work such as painting, papering, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, countertops and similar finish work not involving structural changes or alterations do not require a permit.
  • Applications can be downloaded here.
  • Applications should be sent to the ZEO or the Town Clerk.
  • Electrical, Heat, Gas and Plumbing Applications do not need zoning oversight and can be sent directly to the Town Clerk.
  • Fees are calculated based on construction costs.

Driveway Permits

  • A Driveway Permit is required when making a new approach from a Town road. Approaches from State roads require State permits.
  • Applications and instructions for the Town’s Driveway Permits can be downloaded here.

Plot Plans/Site Plans

  • Plot plans or site plans are required for most Zoning Permit applications, Inland Wetlands Activity Permit applications and Health Department reviews.
  • Please contact the ZEO for more information on what is required for your specific application.
  • The same plot plan or site plan can be used for all departments provided the required information for each is included. Each department will need the required separate copies.