Planning & Zoning Regulations

Below are the Subdivision of Land and Zoning Ordinances which were updated and the final draft approved in the Town Commissioner meeting of November 8, 2011. To view the code, click on each link below:

General Information

All building permits must be submitted one week prior to the Historic District Commission Meeting date.

No building or other structure shall be erected, moved, added to or structurally altered or use of land be changed without a permit.

No permit shall be issued except in conformity with the provisions of the ordinance, as required by the application. If the building site is in the Historic District, the Historic District Commission may require a certificate of appropriateness.

Building permits shall expire one (1) year from the date of issue if work has not begun. If the work described has not been completed within two (2) years, the permit shall expire.

Failure to obtain an approved permit before starting construction is a violation of Article 10, Section 4 of the Zoning Ordinance. This is a misdemeanor and is punishable by a fine of not more then $100 or imprisonment for not more than 30 days, each day the violation continues.

As quoted from Chapter 175-1 of the Town Code: “STRUCTURE includes, without limitation, buildings, patios/decks/porches, garages, carports, sheds, shelters, gazebos, greenhouses, stadiums, reviewing stands, platforms, stages, observation towers, radio and television towers, water tanks and towers, trestles, piers, wharves, bulkheads, kennels, swimming pools, fences, paving, grading, land formations, driveways, parking lots and graveled areas.”

Types of Building Permits

MINOR Building Permit Fee – $20 ($100 after work starts)

This application is a permit for construction, without limitation, of the following (list is not all inclusive):

Tree Removal
Major Landscaping
Relocation and/or addition of siding, windows or doors (as applicable)
Change type of driveway surface

MAJOR Building Permit Fee – $50 ($250 after work starts)

This application is a permit for construction, with limitation, of the following (list is not all inclusive):

Room additions
Above Ground and In-Ground Swimming Pools
Decks/Patios/Porches and/or enclosing thereof

All major permits and some minor permits must be reviewed by the Charlestown Planning and Zoning meeting which are held on the 1st Tuesday of every month. The permit must be submitted at least (2) weeks prior to the scheduled meeting. Individuals, or their representative, with a permit on the agenda must attend the meeting.

Building Permit Procedures

  • Complete appropriate building permit application
    • List all work and/or structures being built (including fences, decks, patios, porches, driveway, sidewalks, etc)
    • Attach (4) Copies of scaled site plan (5 copies if commercial bldg or residence resides in Historic District) drawn to scale with scale indicated on drawing. The site plan needs to show:
      • All lot lines for entire property and dimensions
      • Distance from the new structure (s) to the front, rear and side property lines shall be shown in feet and to scale.
      • All structures on the property need to be shown including new ones. Size of each structure needs to be shown
      • The primary street at the bottom of the drawing
      • Dimensions of all existing structures
      • Dimensions of all proposed structures
      • Setbacks of all structures
        • Setbacks need to be measured from the closest point to the closest point
        • Bump out structures or air conditioner/heat pump compressors shall not encroach into any setbacks
      • Note the following calculations on the site plan
      • Total square footage of the lot
      • Total impervious surface square footage and percentage (figures to include square footage of all existing and proposed structures)
      • If required, show limit of clearance/disturbance
      • Show location(s) of any/all trees to be removed for construction of the structure(s)
      • If the lot, or part of the lot, is within the 100ft Critical Area buffer, show the buffer line on the lot
      • If the lot, or part of the lot, is in the Floodplain A13 zone, site plan/survey will need to show floodplain elevation(s) for proposed structure(s). An elevation certificate is required.
    • Attach (4) copies of building drawings (5 copies if commercial building or residence resides in Historic District)
      • If a deck is to be constructed and not shown on primary building drawings, submit a separate set of drawings for deck.
    • Building permit fee is to be paid at the time of submittal
    • Approval of permit:
      • Preliminary approval
        • All major permits and some minor permits must first receive preliminary approval from the Town Planning and Zoning Commission.
          • Water and/or sewer connection fees must be paid at this time
          • Applicant gets county approval and permit
          • After receiving county permit, return entire packet to the Town for final approval.
    • Final approval
      • All permits must receive final approval
        • Application will contain any further qualifications/conditions required and/or applicant will execute any other certifications required by the Town.

Example: At the foundation/footer stage, as-built drawing or full-blown survey, as stated in permit, must be done and reviewed by the Town before proceeding with further construction.