Under the Chelsea Zoning Bylaw, no building or land development, construction, reconstruction, conversion, relocation or enlargement of any building or other structure may commence without a zoning permit. There are exceptions, however, which include:
- Maintenance – Normal maintenance, repair, upgrading, or remodeling of a building or structure that nether increases building footprint nor involves a change of use is exempt. However, maintenance that changes the outward appearance of a structure located within the Village Center Design Control District does require a permit, and maintenance within regulatory floodplain that constitutes “substantial improvement” requires a permit.
- Replacement – Replacement of an existing structure or building damaged by fire or other disaster is exempt, provided the new structure is not greater in any dimension and is within the original footprint, and that reconstruction begins within two years of the date of damage. However, replacement of a structure within the Village Center Design Control District that is not the same in appearance as the one damaged does require a permit, and replacement of a structure within regulatory floodplain requires a permit.
- Minor structures – Minor structures of less than 100 square feet in area that are not intended for human occupancy are exempt and do not require a zoning permit. However, minor structures must meet setbacks from roads, boundaries and streams.
- Farm structures – Farm structures are exempt by law, but you are required to notify the zoning administrator in writing prior to construction to confirm that the structure is exempt under Vermont’s Acceptable Agricultural Practice (AAP) rules and that it meets setbacks from roads, boundaries and streams. Submitting a zoning application (with no fee) is one way to notify the zoning administrator and receive a determination that your structure meets the requirements of an exempt farm structure. This determination can be recorded with the payment of a $10 recording fee. See a summary of Vermont’s Accepted Agricultural Practice Rules below: