Zoning Permits

Zoning Permits

On this page you'll find information on the permits and processes you might need for your various projects, from building a shed to doing a subdivision. It's all fairly straightforward- and we're  here to answer questions, help you calculate the costs, and guide you along.

~~Like so many other Towns statewide, we are experiencing a high volume of permit applications. Please allow two weeks for your permits to be processed, and two to three months if surveying or Wastewater permits are required for your project. It's helpful to get them in process well ahead of your application.~~


Please be aware that our Zoning Regulations require that if you start your project without a permit, you'll be charged three times the fee for the project.      


How do I get a permit to.....

 Put in a New Driveway (Access Permit)

  • Consider, with your contractor and using our Access Ordinance, the location of your new driveway.  Mark the center point.
  • Send an Access Permit Application to the Zoning Administrator at the Town Office with a simple map/drawing of your proposed location and the appropriate fees.
  • The Highway Supervisor will visit the site and make recommendations if needed, such as for a culvert or location adjustment for better line of sight. Sometimes you 'll be asked to move the location for safety or other reasons.
  • Your permit will either be approved by the Zoning Administrator or in some cases referred to the Selectboard. Access permit requests for Class 4 roads will be referred to the Selectboard.
  • When your driveway is complete, apply for a Certificate of Compliance.


Build a barn, garage, shed, covered porch, do a minor renovation, etc.

  • If your project is over 100 square feet, please fill out a Zoning Permit Application and send it in or drop it off with the appropriate fees. Please include a drawing of what you intend to do, with setbacks marked. Please refer to the Zoning Regulations for setbacks from the road, your neighbor's land, and the river. If you are in or think you may be in a FEMA flood zone, the River Overlay Area, or want to build near wetlands, please call us first, regardless of the size of your project.
  • When your project is done, file a Certificate of Occupancy  application for all structures, even those you won't live in, like a wood shed or garage.
  • If your project is less than 100 square feet, you don't need a permit- however, please refer to the Zoning Regulations for setbacks, etc., as above.
  • All proposed building or development above 1800 feet will require a Conditional Use Permit.


Build a new home, do a major renovation, build an accessory dwelling unit 

For a new home, you'll also need a Residential Building Energy Standards FormResidential Building Energy Standards form, which your contractor can fill out for you when your home is done.

Subdivide my land  (Coming soon)

Do a Boundary Line Adjustment (Coming soon)

Run a business from my home (Coming soon)



How long does it take to get a building permit and when can I start construction?

You should plan on at least 25 to 30 days for a valid building permit. In addition to up to two weeks administrative time, a building permit is not effective till 15 days after it is issued. When your permit is approved, you'll be given a "Z" poster, which must be posted in a place obvious to the public (such as at the road) throughout the duration of your project.  

Do I need a permit for a fence?

No, you don't need a permit for a fence in Lincoln. But by using common sense, you can help avoid problems with your neighbors. Be clear about where your boundaries are. Leave room on your neighbor's side of the fence to maintain it without encroaching on their property two-three feet usually is often enough. In the event you and your neighbor disagree, you can call one of the Town's Fence Viewers.  And please make sure your fence is out of the Town Right of Way, so as not to impede the view of traffic.

Do I need a permit for siding or roofing or if I'm replacing an existing structure?
If you're replacing siding or repairing a roof, you don't need a permit.  If you 're changing the shape of the structure, moving interior walls to create or remove bedrooms, or gutting a building, you may need a permit. If you have any questions, please call us! 

What is the Town road Right-of-Way and how do I measure setbacks from it?
Often--but not always, the right-of-way (ROW) can be calculated by measuring 25 feet in from the center of the road. If it looks like your building will be close to the setback limit from the road, or if  you aren't sure about your road, contact the Town office at 802-453-2980.             

 What if I need to dig up the road to do something like bury an electric or phone line?

You need a Right-of-Way work permit. There is no charge for the permit, but you are 100% responsible for all costs involved in returning the road to its original condition. For an application, please call the Town Office. The Selectboard and Highway Supervisor need to sign off on it, and may ask you to adjust the time or day you want to work to accommodate Town road projects.