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The Town of Tolland, MA
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Frequently Asked Questions about Building, Permits, Contractors, etc.

Who issues Building Permits?
Building Permits for new construction or additions and renovations are issued by the Tolland Building Department following required approvals by officials and Boards and Committees. Required approvals depend on the project type.  The following departments and boards are involved in many projects: Assessors Office, Tax Collector, Highway Superintendent, Planning Board, Conservation Commission, Board of Health and/or Zoning Board of Appeals.

Are there rules and regulations other than the Massachusetts Building Code?
Tolland has no regulations in excess of the Massachusetts Building Code (CMR 70).  Dimensional issues and setbacks are established by the the Tolland Zoning Bylaw.

How do I know when I need a Permit?

When do I need a Contractor as required by Massachusetts Building Code?  Click here for  Contractor Requirements Table

How do I find a licensed contractor?  Contact the Building Inspector for assistance.

What are the rules regarding sheds or outbuildings?
1. Sheds under 120 square feet in size require Site Plan Approval by the Planning Board, but do not require a Building Permit.

2. Sheds in excess of 120 square feet require Site Plan Approval by the Planning Board and a Building Permit

Site Plan Approval by the Planning Board is required and sheds and other Accessory Buildings.  Sheds must conform to setback requirements.

Where can I view the Massachusetts State Building Code?
Visit a Massachusetts Library or Click to  view the State Building Code and related information online.

What should I know about installing Solid Burning Fuel Appliances like wood or pellet stoves, etc.  Click here to view Freqently Asked Questions.

How long will it take to receive my Permit?
Allow at least two weeks for aBuilding Permit  to be issued following approval by all required departments and Boards  The more involved your job, the longer review will take.  Presenting a complete package of  all required documents,attachments and approvals  that comply with Tolland Zoning Bylaw specifications , Planning Board and Building Department requirements will avoid delays.

Planning your Schedule:

        Step 1:
Understand your project requirements including permits.

Step 2:
Obtain and complete necessary applications.

        Step 3:
Understand and fulfill all Board meeting schedules, Department office hours and Inspection requirements

Step 4:
Manage requirements defined below and obtain required approvals and signatures defined  on the Project Control Sheet (available in Downloadable Forms).

Understand your project's required reviews and pprovals that are summarized below.

Assessors:  The Board of Assessors must certify that the Lot is a verifiable building lot.  

Hours:  Office hours for the Assessors are posted on their web page.

Conservation Commission Approval:  The Conservation Commission must certify that there is no Wetlands or other environmental impact from the proposed construction.

Meetings:The Conservation Commission meets monthly and the meeting schedule appears on the Meeting Calendar on the town website.

Anticipate Inspection or Review Requirements: The Conservation Commission does not perform inspections between mid-November and April since they must be able to evaluate nearby water areas and cannot do that when water is frozen.

Complete required documents. The Conservation Commission will inform applicant of required forms and inspections.

Highway Superintent - Dept. of Public Works. The Highway Superintendent assures that Driveway and Draining Specifications meet the Tolland Zoning Bylaw requirements. Driveway Permits are required before a Building Permit can be issued for new construction. You must have a Driveway and Drainage Permit signed by the Highway Superintendent before submitting your Site Plan Application to the Planning Board.

Contact:  Contact the Highway Superintendent using the information on the Department webpage.

Planning Board:  The Planning Board must certify that the proposed land use, new construction, renovation, additions or Accessory Buildings and Structures comply with the Tolland Zoning Bylaw requirements.

Meetings: The Planning Board meets monthly on the third Monday of the month (except when the third Monday is a holiday).


Have a Pre-Application Meeting: An inital meeting to discuss your proposed project with the Planning Board is encouraged to assure you understand requirements, approvals and process.

Bring a complete set of documents: Complete all required application forms and be certain Site Plans meet Zoning Bylaw requirements.  Do not expect Site Plan approval if you attend the meeting  with an inadequate sketch of proposed plans or incomplete documentation.  It will cause at least a month's delay in your project since the Planning Board does not review modified applications between their meetings.

Health Department: Well and Septic System Requirements and Approvals: The Tolland Health Agent issues permits for septic systems and wells.  Septic installation, upgrade or repair plans specifications must be developed by licensed engineers and installed by Tolland-approved installers.

Hours: The Health Agent holds regular office hours at Town Hall as indicated on the Health Department web page.  Contact the Health Agent by phone if an appointment outside office hours is required.

You must understand the requirements and obtain necessary permits prior to a Building Permit being issued. Click for Septic System (Disposal Works) Permit Approval Process


Understand Massachusetts Title V Requirements for septic system evaluation and installation..  Click here for information resources

Use a Massachusetts Certified Engineer and a Tolland-Licensed Septic Installer.  A partial list of professionals is on the Health Department web page.

When Special Permits defined by the Land Use table in the Zoning bylaw, obtaining a Building Permit takes longer:  There are special application and Public Hearing requirements.  Review the Table of Land Use and Special Permit requirements in the Tolland Zoning Bylaw to be fully aware of requirements.

Building Department  The Tolland Building Department and Inspector must certify that all building code, zoning, conservation and health regulations and other requirements are met.  Applicants are responsible for completing and submitting all required applications for permits and approvals by approving officials before building permits can be issued.  In addition, the Building Inspector assures that proper inspections are conducted by Building Department officials at the appropriate stages of the building process.  Requirements are defined on the Building Department web page.

How will I receive my Permits?
You will be called with information about Permit Fees and where you may pick up your approved  Building Permit.  If Permit fees were prepaid, the Building Permit will be sent to the maling address on record.

Does Tolland License Contractors?
No.  Contractors such as builders, electricians, plumbers and gas fitters are licensed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It is the Applicant's responsibility to assure their contractors are licensed.

Workers Compensation Affadavit?  You must obtain a legally required affadavit assuring that all contractors have Workers Compensation insurance.

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Tolland Town Hall: 241 West Granville Road, Tolland, MA 01034-9403
Phone: (413) 258-4794     Fax: (413) 258-4048
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