Berlin’s Planning and Zoning Department is responsible for assisting with the physical growth and development of the Town. To that end, the department provides Staff support to the Berlin Planning Commission and revises the Berlin Comprehensive Land Use Plan periodically. The Planning office interprets subdivision and zoning laws that regulate land use and strives to provide accurate information regarding planning, development and construction activities within the Town.
Building permits are issued by the department for commercial, residential and institutional uses. Currently the Town enforces the 2012 International Building Code in the issuance of permits and related inspections. Sign permits, grading or excavation permits, fence permits, demolition permits, burn permits and residential rental license applications are available at the department’s #3 Bay Street location.
The department interprets and enforces the International Property Maintenance Code as well as the Town of Berlin’s Housing Standards and Property Maintenance regulations. Town staff routinely inspects the exterior of properties for compliance regarding grass height, abandoned vehicles, building maintenance and other standards.
The Planning Department provides professional staff support to the Berlin Historic District Commission (HDC). The HDC is an appointed body responsible for the review and authorization of exterior changes to any property in Berlin’s Historic District. Applications for exterior modifications must be filed with the Planning Department and reviewed in a public meeting of the HDC.
The Berlin Board of Zoning Appeals, a quasi-judicial body appointed by the Mayor and Council, reviews and decides cases regarding variances and Conditional Uses. The Planning Department is responsible for gathering relevant information, providing a recommendation based on land-use regulations and ensuring proper procedural guidelines are followed during the review of a case. The Board of Zoning Appeals’ meetings are scheduled following the submittal of an application to the Planning Department.
Staff also provides support to the Housing Board of Review. The Housing Board is responsible for hearing and deciding cases where there is an appeal of a Building Code requirement or interpretation. A Notice of Appeal to the Housing Board must be filed with the Planning Department in order for a Housing Board meeting to be scheduled.
Any questions regarding property maintenance, construction, subdivisions, historic preservation or development within the Town of Berlin should be directed to the above referenced Staff members.