Town of Alton

Official Website of Alton, New Hampshire

Building Department

*** NOTICE ***
On September 15, 2019, the State of New Hampshire transitioned from 2009 to the 2015 editions of the I-Codes. Please see the “2009 to 2015 Code Transition” letter in the Forms section of this page.

The responsibilities of the Building Department are detailed below. Please contact us with any questions you may have regarding the services we provide at (603) 875-2164, or by email, cindy@alton.nh.gov or code@alton.nh.gov.

Functions

The Code Official, in his capacity as the Building Inspector, is responsible for the interpretation and application of all State and Town Statutes (Laws), Codes, Ordinances, Regulations, and Rules related to the issuance of:

  • Building Permits for Residential and Non-Residential Construction
  • Electrical Permits for Residential and Non-Residential Construction
  • Plumbing Permits for Residential and Non-Residential Construction
  • Gas Piping Permits for Residential and Non-Residential Construction
  • Demolition Permits
  • Sign Permits
  • Septic Installation Permits
  • Well Installation Permits

Services

  • Public outreach, education, and assistance relating to State and Town Laws, Codes, Ordinances, and Regulations.
  • Field inspections for all phases of construction.
  • Issuance of Certificates of Occupancy.

Health

Functions

The Code Official, in his capacity as the Health Officer, is responsible for the following:

  • Enforcement of State and Town Public Health Statutes, Codes, Ordinances, Regulations, and Rules.
  • Septic design review and pre-approval.
  • Investigating complaints, including but not limited to, rental housing standards, septic system failures, and other unsanitary conditions on both public and private properties.

Services

  • Public outreach, education, and assistance regarding interpretation and application of State and Town Health related Laws, Codes, Ordinances, Regulations, and Rules.
  • Inspections of Day Care establishments, Foster Homes, and Schools as required.

Complaints

Complaints to the Health Officer must be filed in writing. You may obtain complaint forms online in the Forms and Applications section of our website or at the Building Department Office. Forms must be completed in order to be processed; we do not reveal the identity of individuals submitting complaints unless otherwise instructed by the person making the complaint.

Zoning

Functions

The Code Official, in his capacity as the Zoning Officer, is responsible for the following:

  • Interpreting the Town’s Zoning Ordinance and making Administrative Decisions of those interpretations concerning the use of properties in regards to area and density standards, setbacks, nonconforming uses and structures, construction, establishment of new businesses, compliance of existing businesses to approved plans, and other standards.
  • Assisting individuals who submit applications to the Zoning Board of Adjustment (ZBA). Informs the applicant what action is appropriate (Special Exception, Variance, etc.) and provides guidance on how to complete the application, and reviews it for completeness along with Planning Department staff.
  • Attends ZBA meetings as the Town’s Staff Representative.
  • Enforcement of the Town’s Zoning Ordinance, Site Plan Review, and Subdivision Regulations. Receives and takes action on a wide variety of complaints.

Complaints

Complaints to the Zoning Officer must be filed in writing. You may obtain complaint forms online in the Forms and Applications section of our website or at the Building Department Office. Forms must be completed in order to be processed; we do not reveal the identity of individuals submitting complaints unless otherwise instructed by the person making the complaint.


The State of New Hampshire (under RSA 155-A) has adopted a set of Building Codes administered by the International Code Council (ICC) and the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA). All construction must be in conformance with these codes, and other applicable State and Town Statutes (Laws), Codes, Ordinances, Regulations, and Rules including but not limited to:

Building related codes:

  • 2015 International Building Code
  • 2015 International Residential Code
  • 2015 International Existing Building Code
  • 2015 International Mechanical Code
  • 2015 International Plumbing Code
  • 2015 International Energy Code
  • 2015 ICC A117.1 Accessibility Standards
  • 2015 NFPA 54 Fuel Gas Code
  • 2015 NFPA 101 Life Safety Code
  • 2017 NFPA 70 National Electrical Code

Town of Alton Building Code:

  • Town of Alton Zoning Ordinance
  • Town of Alton Site Plan Review and Subdivision Regulations
  • NH Department of Environmental Services (DES) Subsurface, Shoreland, and Wetland Statutes and Rules
  • Town of Alton Health Regulations
  • NH State Public Health Statutes and Rules

Climactic and Geographical Design Criteria for the Town of Alton are as follows:

  • Ground Snow Load for the Town of Alton is 90lbs per square foot (90pg) at 900’ of elevation above sea level (ASL).
  • Wind Design Speed is 100 mph.
  • Seismic Design Category is C.
  • Weathering design temperature is 0 degrees F.
  • Frost line depth is 48”.
  • The Winter Design Temperature is -3 degrees F.
  • Ice Barrier Layer is required.
  • Flood Hazard: The effective Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) are Community-Panel numbers 330001-10B, 15B, 20B, 30B & 35B.The effective date is May 17, 1988. Although the FIRM for the majority of the state has been updated, they have not been done yet for Belknap County.
  • Air Freezing Index is 2000.
  • Mean Annual Temperature is 45.2 degrees F.
  • Exposure Category is B unless determined otherwise.
  • The Mean High Water Mark (MHWM) or “Reference Line” for Lake Winnipesaukee is 504.32’ ASL. Halfmoon Lake is 640’, Hill’s Pond is 809’, and Sunset Lake is 808’.

Information about other waterbodies in Alton can be obtained from the Building Department or online at:

https://www.des.nh.gov/organization/divisions/water/wetlands/cspa/docume...

A permit is required for the following:

  • All new construction (including sheds over 120sf and shipping containers), additions, renovations, replacement of decks, stairs, and any other repairs that require structural alterations (including replacement of windows and doors) regardless of cost or value, or whether the construction occurs on site or the structure is moved to the site.
  • Electrical work
  • Plumbing work
  • Gas Piping
  • Septic system installation (new and replacement)
  • Well installation (new and replacement)
  • Demolishing or removing a structure
  • Above and in ground pools
  • All signs

Installation of siding, roofing, and replacement windows that do not require structural alterations or repairs is considered maintenance and does not need a permit. Also included is the replacement of existing cabinets, countertops, and kitchen and bathroom fixtures (sinks, toilets, etc.) in the same location.

Structures that may not need a permit (such as small sheds, chicken coops, etc.) are still required to comply with the property line setbacks detailed in the Zoning Ordinance. A setback information sheet is available in the Forms and Applications section of our website.

We do ask that you fill out a Minor Modification form for projects that do not require a permit in order to provide information for the property files here at the Town Hall. That form, and a flyer detailing work that does not need permits, is available in the Forms and Applications section of our website.

If you have questions about the need for a permit, please contact us at (603) 875-2164, or by email at cindy@alton.nh.gov or code@alton.nh.gov.

The following information is provided for your assistance. Please review the permit application form thoroughly; feel free to contact the Building Department with any questions at (603) 875-2164, or by email, code@alton.nh.gov or cindy@alton.nh.gov.

Building, Plumbing, Electrical, Gas, Well and Septic Installation, Sign, Driveway, and Right of Way (ROW) permit applications are available at the Building Department in Town Hall, 1 Monument Square. Driveway and ROW applications must be submitted to the Highway Department (603-875-6808, 80 Letter S Road) for review and approval. Propane tank burial permits are obtained from the Fire Department; all other gas work permits are issued by the Building Department. Oil burner installation permits are also obtained from the Fire Department.

Building Permit applications that are complete are usually processed within 7-10 business days. You will be contacted once the permit has been issued. Fees are calculated during the application review and are paid when the permit is picked up; payment is by cash or check only, we do not have the ability to accept credit/debit cards at this time.

Applications may be typed or filled out by hand, but they must be legible. The property owner is responsible for ensuring that all information in the application is correct. For projects that do not require full-size plans, the application can be submitted by email.

Building plans are required and must comply with all State of NH and Town of Alton codes and regulations. Two full-size plan copies (22”x34” or similar) with accurate scale and one 11”x17” plan copy are to be submitted for new homes, commercial buildings, major additions and renovations, and certain other structures.

Permits are issued for a two-year period. They expire if not substantially acted upon within 9 months.

A Plot Plan shall be included as part of the application. It shall be neatly drawn and include the following information.

  • North arrow
  • Boundaries of the lot with dimensions in feet.
  • Setback distances from structures to all property lines. Please remember that the front setback is measured from your property line, not from the road. (In campgrounds and mobile home parks, indicate setback to nearest structures and roads on all sides from both the existing and proposed structure.)
  • Setback distances from all bodies of water and wetlands.
  • Names and locations of roads adjacent to lot.
  • Location of all driveways. Identify if existing or proposed. A Driveway permit application must be completed for proposed new driveways, and for change of use or expansions of existing driveways.
  • Existing structures on a lot: include septic system, drainage structures, wells, and other utilities.
  • Proposed structures and additions showing overall dimensions.
  • Height in feet of proposed construction.
  • Location of any wetlands, floodplain, streams, etc. on site.
  • Location of any on-site or adjacent cemeteries or burial sites.
  • Any additional information that will adequately describe the proposed work.

Failure to submit a completed plot plan will delay the processing of your application. Plans must be in ink and legible. Use of existing approved plans for septic systems or Shoreland/Wetland permits as plot plans is allowed. Compliance with those plans shall be verified prior to the issuing of a Certificate of Occupancy. If the distance to property line setbacks is in question, it may be required that a New Hampshire Licensed Land Surveyor be hired to verify property line locations.

The owner or their agent (frequently the contractor) is responsible for contacting the Building Department to schedule all required inspections as detailed on the Construction Inspection Schedule information sheet provided with the Building Permit. That information sheet is also available in the Forms and Applications section of this web page.

Again, please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have. We are here to help you get through your project with as little difficulty as possible.

Included with each Building Permit is a Construction Inspection Schedule (which can also be found on the Forms and Applications section of this webpage), which lists the required inspections performed by the Building Inspector. It is the responsibility of the property owner or their agent (generally the contractor) to schedule the necessary inspections. A final inspection is mandatory for every permit issued.

A minimum 24-hour notice is required to schedule an inspection. We ask that inspections for island properties be scheduled as far in advance as possible; we normally “bundle” several inspections per trip whenever possible in order to minimize cost and make more efficient use of time. Call Cindy at (603) 875-2164 to schedule an inspection.

In an effort to provide the most consistent service possible, we have a reciprocal agreement with several other towns for coverage during any absences of the Building Inspector. During those times, inspections will not available every day, but normally can be performed within 48 hours of the inspection request.

Work completed without the necessary inspections may be required to be uncovered or removed and will delay the issuing of a Certificate of Occupancy. There is a $50.00 re-inspection fee for work that is done incorrectly, or if the work is not accessible to the Inspector.

Upon completion of construction and all required inspections for new construction, major renovations, or additions, the Building Official will issue a Certificate of Occupancy (C/O. For new construction homes or other occupied structures, all required utilities shall be permitted, installed, and approved for operation by the appropriate authority.

Any conditions set by the Town or another agency (such as the Zoning Board of Adjustment or NH Department of Environmental Services) for originally issuing the permit shall be completed prior to a C/O being granted. The structure may be not occupied or utilized prior to the issuance of a C/O.

For projects that have a new well installed, the completion of a “Standard Analysis” Water Quality Test is mandatory. This test is to be completed before a C/O can be issued. The required items to be tested for are detailed in the following NHDES fact sheet:

https://www.des.nh.gov/organization/commissioner/pip/factsheets/dwgb/doc...

Although a C/O is not issued for every project, a final inspection is mandatory for all projects that are issued a Building Permit.

Building Department Forms and Applications

2009 to 2015 Code Transition
Building Permit Application
Sign Permit Application
Minor Modification Form
Residential Energy Code Application
Typical Wall Section Worksheet
One and Two Family Residential Deck Worksheet
Construction Inspection Schedule
Town of Alton Property Line Setbacks
NHDES Septic System Expansion Fact Sheet
Water Well Testing Requirements
Alton "No Building Permit Required" Pamphlet
Alton "Construction & Demolition Debris Disposal/Recycling" Pamphlet
Complaint Form

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