Code Enforcement FAQ


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Code Enforcement Frequently Asked Questions
Which codes are used in the town of Cape Elizabeth?

Maine Uniform Building & Energy Codes (MUBEC):
See State of Maine Bureau of Building Codes & Standards

  • 2009 (IBC) International Building Code
  • 2009 (IEBC) International Existing Building Code
  • 2009 (IRC) International Residential Code
  • 2009 (IECC) International Energy Conservation Code
  • 2007 ASHRAE 62.1 Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality
  • 2007 ASHRAE 62.2 Ventilation and Acceptable Indoor Air Quality in Low-Rise Residential Buildings
  • 2007 ASHRAE 90.1 Energy Standard for Buildings except Low-Rise Residential Buildings 
  • 2006 ASTM E1465-06 Radon Standard for new residential construction - (Maine Model Standard)
  • ICC International Fire Code (2003) (as of Aug. 3, 2007)
  • The National Electrical Code-NFPA 70-Latest Edition
  • The Maine State Plumbing Code 10-144 CMR 238
  • The Maine Subsurface Waste Water Disposal Rules 144A CMR 241
What type of permits are required and issued by the Code Office?
  1. Building Permit -- a permit to construct, alter, enlarge, or relocate buildings and/or structures. 
  2. Electrical Service and Wiring Permit Application - a permit to install electrical service and/or wiring
  3. Plumbing Permit -- a permit to install plumbing fixtures and the associated distribution and waste lines. 
  4. Waste Water Disposal Permit-- a permit to install septic systems or components thereof. 
  5. Heating, Refrigeration, Air Conditioning Permit -- a permit to install those systems. 
  6. Flood Hazard Permit -- a permit to construct, relocate, replace, enlarge, or modify any structure located in a special flood hazard area. 
  7. Demolition Permit -- a permit for the demolition of a building or structure or major portion thereof. 
  8. Health Permit-- a permit issued to a food or food service establishment to assure sanitary conditions. 
  9. Sign Permit-- a permit for the placement of the following signs, including: Temporary residential development or construction signs; permanent signs at the entrance to residential subdivisions, housing for the elderly, condominium or multiplex development; home occupation signs; civic organization signs; municipal signs; commercial business signs. 

Use Permit for the following:

There may be other permits and/or approvals necessary from other departments within the Town; i.e. Planning BoardPublic WorksBoard of Zoning Appeals, Town Clerk's Office, prior to, during, or after issuance of a permit by this office.

When is a building permit required?

A building permit is required for the construction, structural alteration, enlargement, or relocation of a building or structure. Permits are not required for ordinary repairs as long as such repairs do not include the cutting away of any wall, partition or portion thereof, the removal or cutting of any structural beam or bearing support, or the removal or change of any required means of egress , or rearrangement of parts of a structure affecting the exit requirements, nor is a permit required for the replacement of siding and/or roofing.

When should I call for an inspection?

Inspections are required for virtually every phase of construction, including but not limited to the following: 

  1. Foundation -- footings, waterproofing, drainage, walls. 
  2. Rough-in -- framing, plumbing, electrical wiring. 
  3. Insulation
  4. Electrical Service, both temporary and permanent. 
  5. Septic system -- tank, pump station, septic field and other components before backfilled. 
  6. Final inspection of septic system site to assure the stability of the soil i.e. grasses growing. 
  7. Final inspection for certificate of occupancy. 
  8. Any conditions imposed by either or both the Planning Board and Board of Zoning Appeals.
How much lead-time is needed for an inspection?

Generally, an inspection can be scheduled if given a 24-hour notice, and sometimes even on the same day, but to assure an inspection when needed, a longer lead-time is recommended.

When is a certificate of occupancy required?
  1. For occupancy of a building, structure, or portion thereof for which a building permit was issued. 
  2. When there is an increase in the number of dwelling units in a structure. 
  3. When a home occupation, home business, home day care, or accessory dwelling unit is established. 
  4. When there is a change in the use of a nonconforming use. 
  5. Occupancy and use of vacant land or change in use of land, except in the raising of crops. 
  6. Any change in the use of a building from one category of use to a more intensive category of use. (Chapter 19 Article VI, Section 19-6-4,E of the Zoning Ordinance). 
  7. Any activity for which site plan approval is required by the Planning Board.
Who do I contact with questions about street opening, sewer entrance, or driveway entrance permits?

For street opening, sewer entrance and driveway entrance permits, please contact Public Works

Who do I contact with questions about resource-protection permits, or driveway-access permits?

For resource-protection or private accessway permits, please contact Planning

General Information
Code Enforcement Officer
Benjamin McDougal
Office Manager
Aniko Varadi
Staff Member
Janet L. Staples
Phone Numbers
Emergencies: Dial 911
320 Ocean House Road
Cape Elizabeth,

Tuesday - Thursday
7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.