City of Haverhill, MA
Essex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Haverhill as Ch. 7 of the 1963 City Code (Ch. 120 of the 1980 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Moving of buildings — See Ch. 123.
Numbering of buildings — See Ch. 125.
Electrical standards — See Ch. 141.
Fire prevention — See Ch. 150.
Sewers — See Ch. 208.
Signs — See Ch. 213.
Zoning — See Ch. 255.

§ 120-1 Duties of Inspector of Buildings.

The Inspector of Buildings shall examine, or cause to be examined, all buildings upon which work is to be done under the provisions of this chapter, as often as practicable, and shall examine all buildings under application to be moved, raised, razed, enlarged, altered, restored, built upon or which are reported to him to be unsafe or dangerous and shall make a record of the same.

§ 120-2 Right of entry.

The Inspector of Buildings, so far as may be necessary for the proper performance of his duties, shall have the right to enter any building or any premises without charge, fee or restriction and to examine and inspect such building and to order the suspension of any building operations as shall not conform to the requirements of this chapter or to order any repairs or alterations as he may deem necessary to cause it to conform or to be made safe. No person shall prevent or obstruct the Inspector from entering in or on any building or premises in the performance of his duties, or in inspecting the same, or shall continue any building operations of any kind after the Inspector shall have, in writing, directed the suspension of the same for such reason, or shall refuse, fail or neglect to make any repairs or alterations after the Inspector has, for such reason, directed the same in writing.

§ 120-3 Issuance of building permits.

No officer, board or commission or other person other than the Inspector of Buildings shall grant, give or issue any permit authorizing the erection, construction, alteration or repair of any building or structure in the City, and no such permit shall be granted or issued for such erection, construction, alteration or repair otherwise than in strict conformity to the provisions of this chapter and to the laws of the commonwealth.

§ 120-4 Records.

It shall be the duty of the Inspector of Buildings to keep a full and complete record of all permits issued by him which shall contain the names of the owners, lessees, occupants, architects and builders concerned and the date of such permits. He shall keep a record of all notices and certificates issued by him or his office, to whom and for what purpose as well as a record of all visits and inspections made by him in the performance of his duties and of the reasons therefor and the results thereof.

§ 120-5 Permit required.

Persons desiring to erect, alter or repair buildings or other structures in the City shall make application for a permit to the Inspector of Buildings which application shall be accompanied by plans and specifications of the work proposed to be done, and no such erection, alteration or repairs shall be undertaken until a permit has been issued therefor in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

§ 120-6 Power to require plans.

The Inspector of Buildings shall also require, at his discretion, a plan of the lot on which any proposed building is to be erected to be filed with the application.

§ 120-7 Term of effectiveness of permit.

A permit issued in accordance herewith shall continue in force for six months, unless sooner revoked by the Inspector of Buildings.

§ 120-8 Plans and specifications.

A complete set of plans and specifications of any building or structure shall be filed in the office of the Inspector of Buildings when required by him, and a complete set of plans and specifications bearing the approval of the Inspector of Buildings must be kept on the premises during the process of construction if the Inspector so requires.

§ 120-9 Minor repairs.

A. 
Minor repairs may be made without a building permit under the following conditions:
(1) 
Repairs are to be made by the owner to the building where he resides.
(2) 
There shall be no cost of labor, and the costs of the material for any one project shall not exceed $1,000.
[Amended 7-10-2007 by Doc. 76]
(3) 
There shall be no structural change, changes in dimensions or change of occupancy of the dwelling.
B. 
The above conditions shall apply in all cases, except in emergencies such as fire, windstorm or any catastrophe when a permit may be obtained later if necessary.

§ 120-10 Installation of siding.

No permit to install aluminum siding, asbestos siding, wood-shingle siding and the like shall be granted by the Inspector of Buildings unless the application therefor shall have been approved in writing by the Inspector of Wires. This does not pertain to installations of siding where the electrical service, outdoor fixtures, outdoor receptacles, etc., are not to be disturbed in any way, shape or manner, such as spot repairs or additions to buildings. Proper removal and reinstallation of all electrical equipment shall be performed by a licensed electrician according to Chapters 141 and 143 of the General Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

§ 120-11 Fees.

[Amended 1-18-1977 by Doc. 5; 8-11-1981 by Doc. 151; 10-13-1981 by Doc. 151-B; 6-14-1983 by Doc. 110; 1-28-1992 by Doc. 23; 5-21-2002 by Doc. 75; 12-13-2016 by Doc. 114]
Pursuant to MGL c. 23B, §§ 17 and 19, as amended,[1] and the authority conferred by the Massachusetts State Building Code, Section 119.0, the fee schedules for building, plumbing, gas and electrical permits shall be deleted in their entirety and shall be replaced by the attached schedules, which shall be incorporated herein and become part of this chapter.
When the City of Haverhill is the property owner or lessee, there shall be no permit fee for work being performed for the City.
A. 
Building permits and fees.
(1) 
A building permit is not required for nonstructural repairs which cost $1,000 or less for labor and materials. However, notification of the Building Inspection Department by phone or mail prior to starting repairs is mandatory in order to be sure repairs are made in compliance with the Massachusetts Building Code. Said repairs shall consist of only actual out-of-pocket costs and disbursements.
[Amended 7-10-2007 by Doc. 76]
(2) 
New construction: permit application of $25, plus $13 per $1,000 for residential construction and commercial construction, or portion thereof, with no maximum. New residential occupancy fee of $50 to be included at time of building permit issuance.
[Amended 10-5-2004 by Doc. 134; 7-10-2007 by Doc. 76[2]]
[2]
Editor's Note: The 2007 amendment to this subsection is made effective 9-30-2003 in order to correct a scrivener's error discovered during review of the Code for the recodification project.
(3) 
Prior to a building permit being issued for new construction, a site plan must be filed. A site plan review fee of $100 shall be charged and paid.
[Added 9-30-2003 by Doc. 150-B]
(4) 
Alterations, additions, and repairs: permit application of $50 for the first $2,000, plus $14 per $1,000 for each additional $1,000 or portion thereof.
[Amended 7-10-2007 by Doc. 76; 7-14-2015 by Doc. 89]
(5) 
Any reinspection shall be subject to a fee of $25.
[Added 10-5-2004 by Doc. 134]
(6) 
Certificate of occupancy.
(a) 
Occupancy permits for new homes or complete remodel of existing homes: $50.
[Amended 10-5-2004 by Doc. 134]
(b) 
Temporary occupancy permits: $50.
(c) 
Each additional inspection for occupancy permit where violations are found: $20.
(d) 
Commercial buildings: $100 per five years.
(7) 
Certification of buildings will be done in accordance to fees outlined in the Massachusetts State Building Code and in cases where violations are found, an additional fee of $25 per inspection will be charged.
(8) 
All fees will be doubled in the event that work is started before a permit is obtained or permission is granted by the Building Inspector.
[Amended 9-30-2003 by Doc. 150-B]
(9) 
Demolition: $25 for each floor to be demolished, plus an additional $35 for application fee for all residential structures; $13 per $1,000 or portion thereof for all commercial structures.
[Amended 7-14-2015 by Doc. 89]
(10) 
Removal of stop-work orders: $50.
(11) 
Amusement parks, equipment, tents, etc.: $20 per unit.
(12) 
Requested inspection of existing buildings: $50.
(13) 
Foundation permits.
[Amended 9-30-2003 by Doc. 150-B]
(a) 
Foundation permits: $75.
[Amended 7-14-2015 by Doc. 89]
(b) 
Commercial foundation permits: $0.20 per linear foot.
(c) 
Multifamily dwelling, attached: $75 per dwelling unit.
[Amended 7-14-2015 by Doc. 89]
(14) 
Moving permits.
(a) 
Dwelling and large structures: $200 minimum.
[Amended 10-5-2004 by Doc. 134]
(b) 
Less than 10 feet by 20 feet that require use of state, county, or town roads: $25.
(15) 
Signs: $25, plus $15 per $1,000 or portion thereof after the first $1,000.
(16) 
Air conditioning, except units included under the original building permit (central air or where structural alterations are required): $15, plus $10 per $1,000 or portion thereof.
(17) 
Heating alterations permit application: $25, plus $12 per $1,000 or portion thereof.
(18) 
Change of ownership permit: $50.
(19) 
Construction trailers and/or emergency mobile homes: fifty $50; storage trailers permit fee: $50.
(20) 
Gravel removal permits: $50.
(21) 
Permit renewals: $25.
(22) 
Solid fuel burning stove permits and chimney permits: $30.
(23) 
Zoning verification for business certificates: $10.
(24) 
Conformance to zoning affidavit: $25.
B. 
Electrical fees.
(1) 
Electrical fees shall be as follows:
[Amended 10-5-2004 by Doc. 134; 7-14-2015 by Doc. 89]
Type
Fee
Residential
New house with 100-amp service
Total fee $250
New house with 200-amp service
Total fee $250
New house with 400-amp service
Total fee $250
Dwelling units new/remodel each unit
$125
Minimum electrical permit
$20
1 to 10 devices
$25
Additional devices
$1
All appliances for remodel/alterations
$20 each
100-amp service change, includes 1 meter
$40
200-amp service change, includes 1 meter
$60
Additional meters
$15 each
All subpanels 1/2 price of service for each panel up to 400A
Oil or gas heating systems
$50
Swimming pools
$50 aboveground pool; $75 in-ground pool
Smoke detectors
$50 residential; $50 plus $1 per detector for commercial
Fire alarm system
$50
Security system
$50 residential; $50 plus $1 per alarm for commercial
Siding
$50
General repairs, residential or commercial
$50
Commercial
100-amp service (1 meter)
$40
200-amp service (additional meters $20 each)
$50
400-amp service (additional meters $20 each)
$75
600-amp service (additional meters $20 each)
$100
800-amp service (additional meters $20 each)
$125
1,000-amp service (additional meters $20 each)
$150
1,200-amp service (additional meters $20 each)
$200
1,500-amp service (additional meters $20 each)
$225
2,000-amp service (additional meters $20 each)
$250
Commercial
Temp service
$50
Signs
$50
Central air conditioner (condenser with air handler)
$75
Air conditioners
$25 each
Air handlers
$15 each
Commercial appliances
$50
Motors up to 10 horsepower
$15 each
Each additional horsepower
$1
General repairs
$30
1 to 10 devices
$30
Additional devices
$1
Transformers:
First 10 kilowatts or kilovolt-amperes
$20
Each additional kilowatt or kilovolt-ampere up to 1,000
$1
Over 1,000 kilowatts or kilovolt-ampere up to 5,000 (includes all integral equipment and appurtenances)
$500
Over 5,000 kilowatts or kilovolt-ampere (includes all integral equipment and appurtenances)
$1,500
Carnival, circus, and fairs
$125
Traffic signs
$40 per pole
Nursing home yearly inspection
$50
Remodeling renovations, repairing or additions
Same as new
Reinspection fee
$25
Yearly maintenance permits (January 1 to December 31)
$150
(2) 
Local regulations:
(a) 
If applications are mailed, allow a minimum of three working days for the permit to be issued prior to requesting inspection. Please enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope for the return of the permit.
(b) 
It is required that electricians be present for any inspection.
(c) 
Service conductors are to be installed in approved raceways.
(d) 
Oil burners and gas burners shall have an emergency switch at the burner and outside the fire area and shall also have a firomatic thermal switch.
(e) 
Outdoor signs shall be on separate circuits, approved raceways outside of the building with a service disconnect switch.
(f) 
Installations shall be tested by the electrician for polarization, grounds and proper connection.[3]
[3]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection B(2)(g), which immediately followed, regarding permit fees for work being done for the City, was repealed 12-13-2016 by Doc. 114. See now the beginning of this section.
C. 
Gas fees. Gas fees are as follows:
Type
Fee
Replacement hot water heater
$20
Residential (per dwelling unit, plus $10 per appliance)
[Amended 9-30-2003 by Doc. 150]
$50
Commercial (per unit, plus $20 per appliance)
$100
All elevated gas pressure permits, or appliance 200,000 btu and over (in addition to unit and application charge)
$50
Reinspection fee (for each notice)
$30
D. 
Plumbing fees. Plumbing fees are as follows:
[Amended 10-5-2004 by Doc. 134]
Type
Fee
Replacement hot water heater
$20
Residential (per dwelling unit, plus $10 per fixture)
$50
Commercial (per unit, plus $20 per fixture)
$100
Remodel of water or waste piping only
$50
Cap sewer for demolition
$100
Piping and treatment of special waste (plus $20 each fixture). Stamped drawings required
$150
Reinspection fee (for each notice)
$30
Commercial or residential water main backflow device (plus $10 per fixture or device)
$50
E. 
Local regulations for gas and plumbing.
(1) 
If applications are sent through the mail, allow a minimum of three days for the permit to be issued before starting work. Please call to verify that application has been received and processed. Enclose a self-addressed stamped envelope for the return of the permit. If any questions are not answered or information is missing, the application will be returned.
(2) 
Requests for inspections shall be made no later than 9:00 a.m. for an inspection appointment on that day.
(3) 
This office shall be notified immediately when jobs are finished.
(4) 
All fees will be doubled in the event that work is started before a permit is obtained or verbal permission is granted by the Plumbing/Gas Inspector.
[1]
Editor's Note: MGL c. 23B, §§ 17 and 19, were repealed 1984, c. 348, § 2. See now MGL c. 143, § 93 et seq.

§ 120-12 Clerk of the Works.

[Added 6-1-1982 by Doc. 113]
The City shall employ the services of a qualified Clerk of the Works to supervise all appropriate City construction and/or substantial rehabilitation projects. The Inspector of Buildings or, where applicable, the Department of Public Works Director shall determine if the project's scope dictates a Clerk be required and shall recommend to the Mayor and Council a nominee after first advertising the availability of position. Rates of pay and benefits shall be as dictated by current trade standards and the City's personnel regulations for temporary City employees. City officials, in their official capacity when required, may serve as the Clerk for the City at no increase in salary.

§ 120-13 Abandoned or fire-damaged buildings.

[Added 12-20-1983 by Doc. 150]
All abandoned or fire-damaged buildings shall be boarded up by the owner as follows:
A. 
Material for boarding shall be three-eighths-inch exterior plywood.
B. 
All first floor and cellar windows shall have the material cut to fit between the staff moldings and rest on the windowsill to provide solid nailing all around. All remaining windows visible from a public way shall also be so covered.
C. 
Windows in exterior doors shall be secured, and doors either padlocked or boarded with plywood.
D. 
All material to be nailed with six-pound-cement coating nails.
E. 
Fire-damaged buildings shall be boarded within 48 hours of fire. Abandoned buildings shall be boarded within five days.
F. 
Any owner of a building who fails to comply with this section shall be subject to a fine of $100 per day from the date of written notice from the Building Inspector.

§ 120-14 Removal of signs of discontinued businesses.

[Added 12-20-1983 by Doc. 150]
All signs, either wall or freestanding, announcing businesses which have since discontinued operation shall be removed within five days from the date of discontinuance. Any property owner who fails to adhere to this requirement shall be subject to a fine not to exceed $100 per day from the date of written notice from the Building Inspector.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Original § 120-15, Hours of construction, added 4-11-2000 by Doc. 57, which immediately followed this section, was repealed 8-8-2006 by Doc. 155. See now Ch. 182, Noise.