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The Building Department is responsible for all building permits that are submitted including but not limited to electrical, plumbing, and gas. Along with processing and reviewing the permits, we perform all the necessary inspections to document that all work completed is in compliance with the Massachusetts State Building Code and all other applicable codes.
There are many different types of permits that are submitted to our department. They range from replacing windows in a house up to constructing a new school. Depending on the project, there are numerous departments and/or boards that may be required to review the submittal. Under the Massachusetts State Building Code, a building permit is required for any and all new construction, reconstruction, alterations, repairs, demolition, change of use, and change of occupancy in a building or structure.
Along with all the building aspects and permits, our department is responsible for zoning enforcement. Our role is to enforce the Town of Douglas Zoning Bylaws as well as all Special Permits and Variances with the conditions that may be granted by the Planning Board and/or Zoning Board of Appeals.
All of the departments and boards are continually working together to help clarify and simplify all the permitting processes. Although some processes may seem redundant and/or time consuming, they are necessary for the welfare and safety of the town.
With the town’s continuing growth, more and more large projects are being submitted. As departments and boards, we are acting as a team to meet with the applicants in the preliminary stages of the project, to address possible concerns that may arise during the permitting processes. This helps alleviate delays once the project is in motion. However, preliminary review is not just beneficial for larger projects. We invite anybody planning a project to come in to our offices during the planning stages of their project and we will walk them through the necessary processes.
This past year was a very busy and challenging year. The new High School, while some areas were still under construction, opened for school in September. While work continued around staff and students all the fire and life safety systems throughout the entire building were in place and in full operation. A final Occupancy Permit was issued and all areas of the school inspected and signed off.
We have also seen an increase in the number of permits compared to last year. The revenue brought in through the Building Department increased significantly. This was due to the number of permits but also the restructuring of the “fee schedule”.
I would personally like to thank all our part time and full time inspectors and staff for working diligently to keep p with all the incoming inspections and work load. Being a small department with mostly part time inspectors, along with the continued growth of Douglas, it is a challenge to maintain consistency.
We look forward to being here and helping you through any project and process you may need.

Respectfully submitted,

Adelle Reynolds
Building Commissioner
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