Community Development


The Community Development Department has transitioned to remote work during the coronavirus pandemic. Though the physical office is closed, you can still reach us by e-mail as you would normally; voicemails are forwarded immediately, so expect a return call soon.

Zoning permits, certificates of occupancy, and zoning compliance certifications may be submitted electronically by e-mailing the Zoning Administrator and Administrative Assistant. Please understand that there may be delays in approving such documents due to changes in operations.

Board and committee meetings will be conducted exclusively online through the Microsoft Teams platform, but the public can still participate by computer or phone. General instructions on how to join these meetings can be found in this document. Agendas with specific links and call-in details for each meeting will be posted on the Agenda Center of the website. You can also contact staff for the latest information, or to sign up for e-mail alerts.

Thank you for your patience during this unprecedented time.

Aerial View of Essex

The Community Development Department is responsible for all local planning, zoning, and public health issues. The Department also provides staff support for the Planning Commission, Zoning Board of Adjustment, and Conservation & Trails Committee as well as other boards and commissions. Key staff members include the Community Development Director, Zoning Administrator, and Town Planner.


  • Coordinate the development review process by Town boards, commissions, and staff
  • Maintain and update the Town plan and its implementing bylaws such as Zoning, Subdivision, and Health Regulations
  • Create and implement long range plans and studies involving the future development of the community
  • Handle health violations
  • Maintain a wide variety of maps
  • Maintain files for all development activity and Act 250 permits

Committees We Support

Forms Available In Office

  • Building Permits
  • Certificate of Occupancy
  • Certificate of Zoning Compliance
  • Curb Cut Applications

  • Site Plan Application & Checklist
  • Subdivision Application & Checklist
  • Sewer and Water Applications
  • Sign Applications

Print Documents for Sale

  • Town Plan
  • Zoning Regulations
  • Subdivision Regulations
  • Town Center Master Plan
  • Sewer Use Ordinance
  • Water Use Ordinance
  • Site Plans, Designs, and Plats

  • Affordable Housing Task Force Report
  • Health Regulations
  • Open Lands Study
  • Parks and Recreation Needs Assessment
  • Public Works Construction Specs
  • Sewer Allocation Policy

Items Available for Review

  • Act 250 Applications
  • Building Permits
  • Development Applications and Approvals
  • Site Plans, Designs, and Plats
  • Flood Plain Maps

  • Natural Resources Maps and Inventories
  • Population, Housing and Demographic Information
  • U.S. Census Data
  • Zoning Maps

Related Documents