In-Depth Permitting Knowledge Eases Complexity of Process

Places Associates, Inc. provides a wide variety of permitting services for simple projects to multi-agency, complex permitting projects.

In the development and eventual construction of a project, permitting is the crucial, mid-project phase, where design is incorporated into a permit application and ultimately the issued permit. Once permits are obtained, construction can be initiated. Places Associates, Inc. is expert at making timely, complete and accurate permit applications to a variety of permitting agencies for projects large and small. Complete and accurate applications reduce the review timeline, ultimately expediting our clients’ projects.

Permitting processes are as varying as the sites on which we work. Even small projects can require multiple permits; a single family home project may involve zoning, septic/well and wetlands issues, requiring up to four separate permit applications. Larger projects may at times involve state, local and federal permits of varying complexity.

The staff at Places Associates, Inc. regularly attends seminars and workshops and participates in webinars to constantly update our permit-based knowledge and to keep up with legal rulings, revisions to regulations and regulatory interpretations. Because our staff includes multiple disciplines, we are able to provide our clients with a greater variety of permit-support services. Our projects are designed to be low-impact development projects meeting the variety of environmental, sustainable goals with a client-focused approach.

Our Permitting Services


We provide our clients with a project permitting assessment as part of any feasibility study or site assessment. This is a review of the various state and local regulatory requirements pertaining to each project.


Zoning permits include Special Permits, Site Plan Reviews, Zoning Variances and Property Line and offset criteria, Zoning Overlay Districts and 40 B- Affordable Housing and many other topic-specific permits.


The development of a subdivision from one lot to hundreds of lots usually involves multiple layers of permits, including Approval Not Required Plans (simple subdivision) to a Definitive Subdivision Plan; multi-lot projects with lengths of new roads and lots. Subdivisions usually involve multiple layers of permits with Planning Boards, Conservation Commissions, Utility Companies and DPW’s.


The protection of wetlands, wet areas, ponds, streams and habitat is regulated in Massachusetts by a variety of regulations, with the Wetlands Protection Act being the most common. The protection of wetlands begins with the delineation of wetlands and related protected areas, which is a service we provide. Permitting projects adjacent to wetlands involve multiple permitting aspects including the design of drainage, the installation of erosion and sedimentation controls, operations and maintenance plans, wetlands impact studies, etc. Other wetlands-related permitting includes filings for Stormwater system compliance, River’s Protection Act, Endangered Species assessment and Army Corps of Engineers filings for many of the above items.


In many rural communities, public sewer is not available, and septic systems are the only option. Septic systems must comply with Title 5 of the State Sanitary Code. We provide system designs for repair systems, new construction and innovative technologies, where “out of the box” thinking is needed to place a system on a challenging site. Our staff is comprised of multiple professionals who are DEP Certified Soil Evaluators and System Inspectors. Our Registered Professional Engineers are expert at designing, permitting and providing construction support services for a variety of clients from single family homes and subdivisions to commercial developments.


In a similar situation as noted above, many communities do not provide public water supplies. In this case, a well is the only answer to the provision of water for a house or project. In Massachusetts, the development of land must provide for a potable water supply system. Systems serving commercial or municipal buildings require a Public Water Supply; these systems have a variety of siting and review criteria which involves surveying, civil engineering and related services.


In Massachusetts, almost every town is different from its neighbor. In towns with public utilities, detailed engineering plans are needed to make connections to water, sewer and drainage systems. We are able to design these connections for simple, single family homes or for new developments, re-construction or expansions to existing properties. Our Engineers are expert at designing the interconnections with municipal systems and providing the needed permit-compliance documents.


These include Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plans (SWPPP), trench permits, roadway opening permits, MASS DOT roadway permits (including roadway construction safety plans), Construction Phasing Plans, and related construction-specific permits.


The Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) and its federal counterpart National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) are rigorous State and Federal Programs that require general assessments over a wide variety of topics for large-scale projects. They are then assessed for further study on a case-by-case basis in the process known as “scoping”. These filings are intensive and data-driven. Experience in undertaking these processes pays off in time and costs. Our firm’s staff has completed many of these studies and processes, enabling the construction of large housing projects, public sector projects and commercial projects.