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Do I Need A Permit?

The Town of Greensboro requires various permits and approvals for development activities. In Greensboro, the Zoning Administrator (ZA) issues zoning permits.

A zoning application must be completed for any development project that involves any of the following activities:

  • Any activity that involves construction, conversion, structural alteration, relocation, or enlargement of a building if the
    footprint, roof plane, or height of the building is changed.
  • Any structural renovation or alteration in the Shoreland Protection District.
  • Construction or enlargement of boat houses, decks, porches, garages, carports or sheds
  • Addition of any new signs
  • A home occupation or home business
  • Subdivision or Boundary Line Adjustment of properties
  • A change of use of a building (yes, going from seasonal to year-round is a change of use).
  • Creation or expansion of commercial structures.

When in doubt, the applicant should check with the Zoning Administrator.

Are there any development projects that do not require a zoning permit?

Maintenance projects do not require any zoning approval from the Town. (These exemptions MAY NOT apply to projects in the Shoreland Protection District or Flood Hazard areas, please check with the Zoning Administrator prior to commencement of your project.)

Items which generally do not require a zoning permit include the following:

  • Replacement of a roof, siding, windows, decks, porches, doors, and signs at the original location and within the original footprint.
  • Painting

Are all Zoning Permits the same?

No, depending on the project location, size and use, there are different applications or combinations of applications and review for each project. Some applications are relatively simple, some are more complex. There are Permitted and Conditional Uses, Variance, Site Plan, and Subdivision/Boundary Line Adjustment applications. It is best to check with the Zoning Administrator to determine which application(s) and type of review will be required for your project.

What can result from not obtaining a permit?

If a project is done without obtaining the proper permits, the property owner and/or the applicant may:

  • Have difficulties obtaining a mortgage, insurance, a clear title when selling a property or collecting on a flood insurance claim.
  • Be required to do costly alterations to gain compliance
  • Need to remove additions or work done that is not in compliance
  • Have doubled fees for development that is commenced before an application is made
  • Be involved in legal action.

Can I build as soon as I obtain a permit?

Please be advised, State law allows a 15 day (administrative permit) or 30 day (DRB decision) appeal period after a permit is issued when an interested party may appeal your permit. Construction during that period could be compromised by an appeal.

How does getting a permit affect my tax assessment?

Any permitted development that affects the market value of the property will affect the taxes assessed on that property. Any permitted development started after April 1st of a calendar year will not affect your assessment until April 1st of the following year. For additional information, please contact the Town Assessor.

How long will it take me to get my permit?

It all depends on the type of permit that is needed. An administrative permit issued by the Zoning Administrator for permitted uses (mostly single family homes, additions, sheds, small home occupation and some signs) may only take several days. Other development requiring a Public Hearing before the Development Review Board (DRB) may take a few weeks to a few months depending upon adequacy of application information, State-required warning period, number of hearings and time to draft, finalize and sign the written decision. Also, do not forget the appeal period. If you’re thinking of any development that may require a Town permit it is best to check with the Zoning Administrator sooner rather than later.

Do I need a permit from the State?

Possibly. If you have a well and/or a septic system, then the State will have concerns about any additions or increases in the number of bedrooms. If you are upgrading a home or building from seasonal to year-round, you may also need a State permit. If you are beginning or expanding a commercial venture, you may also need a State permit. (These permits must be obtained from the State of Vermont prior to approval of your town permit). For more information, see the State websites, or call a State Permit Specialist at 802-751-0127. The Permit Specialist can also assist you with other “non-construction” permit requirements. Also, new construction and additions over 500 sf must comply with State energy requirements. Lastly, for residential construction, don’t forget that there are State requirements for smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Useful Information and Links


  • (802) 533-2911
  • Town of Greensboro, PO Box 119, Greensboro, VT 05841

  • Fax: (802) 533-2191
  • Hours: Monday – Thursday, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

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