Business Development Guide and Checklist

Thompson Land Use and Code Permitting Information

Business Development Guide

Note:  This is a general guide only.  see specific offices for additional information


In order to promote the health, welfare, safety and convenience of the community, development projects and proposed uses of land and buildings permits may be required before businesses can open or expand.

  • When you decide what you want to do and where you want to do it, make an appointment with the Planning and Development office or Zoning office.  They can tell you whether your proposed business use is allowed in the zoning district, and on the specific property you are interested in.
  • Some permits can be issued at the staff level (zoning permits, wetlands agent approvals for certain activities in upland review areas); others require applying to one or more land use boards and commissions (examples-special permits, subdivision approvals, variances, wetland permits).  Some applications may involve a public hearing; some may not.
  • A pre-application meeting is highly recommended to guide you through the plans and information you are required to provide, the permitting procedure and the timeline involved.  The reviewing staff and inspectors are available to answer your questions on the state laws, zoning regulations, wetlands regulations, building code, fire code (fire code is within the purview of the Fire Marshal – an off-site official) and other agencies or departments you may need to contact.


Approvals and Permits


Zoning Approvals:  If you are planning to construct or alter a structure on your property, as part of your business or home occupation, you will be required to apply for the necessary building and  zoning permits obtained through the Building and Planning & Zoning departments. A site plan is required to ensure that the size of the structure/addition/renovation complies with Zoning Regulations and meets the required distances from the road frontage, back and side boundary lines. A detached structure under 200 square feet will require a zoning permit only. 

A scaled site plan will be required as part of the application.

Work involving the removal of earth material from a site is allowed provided not more than 3,000 cubic yards is removed. 

Special Permits:  The Zoning regulations authorize the P&Z Commission to act on special permits. All Special Permit applications require a public hearing; the public hearing process takes a minimum of two months; complicated applications may take longer.  A Special Permit is not valid until the approval is filed in the Town Clerk’s office. 


Zoning Board of Appeals:  The ZBA has the power and duty to hear and decide appeals where it is alleged that there is an error in any order from, or in a decision by, the official charged with enforcement of the regulations.  The board also has the power to determine and vary the application of the Zoning Regulations keeping in harmony with their general purpose and intent of Thompson’s Plan of Development.  Due consideration for conserving the public health, safety, convenience, welfare and property value is expected. A public hearing is required. If the appeal is upheld, or the variance is granted, you, the applicant, will receive a certificate of approval which shall be filed on land records in the Town Clerk’s office. A variance is not valid until the approval is filed with the Town Clerk.


Building Permits:  The purpose of the State Building Code is to establish minimum requirements to safeguard the public safety, health and general welfare through affordability, structural strength, means of egress of facilities, stability, sanitation, light & ventilation, and energy conservation.  A building permit is required and shall apply to the construction, alteration, enlargement, replacement, repair, use & occupancy, removal & demolition of one & two family dwellings & townhouses not more than 3 stories in height, accessory structures, as well as commercial & industrial facilities.


Inland Wetlands and Watercourse Approvals:  Inland wetlands are identified by soil type and watercourses are any river, stream, brook, waterway, lake, pond, marsh, swamp, bog and all other bodies of water, natural or artificial, vernal or intermittent, public or private, which are contained within, flow through or border upon the Town of Thompson.  Thompson has a variable upland review area of 100’ and 200’ from the wetland/watercourse boundary within which certain activities are regulated.  If your property has any wetlands or watercourses or upland review area be sure to review your proposal with Thompson Wetlands Agent prior to submitting your application.



If you intend to operate a business in the Town of Thompson, you need to file the appropriate tax forms with the State of Connecticut Department of Revenue Services.  If you plan to sell tangible goods, you must file a form to pay Connecticut state sales tax.

  • Register your trade name in the Town Clerk’s office, 1st floor, Town Hall. (Trade name does not apply to Partnerships, if the partnership name includes the true surname of at least one of the persons composing the partnership; limited partnerships which have registered with the state; limited liability companies which have registered with the state.)  Personal property declarations are sent to business owners on file on October 1st.  Property/equipment used for your business is taxable by the Town.  You must file the declaration with the Assessor’s office.  Failure to do so results in a 25% penalty.



The general checklist below may be used in planning the approval process in the Town of Thompson. Staff in the various offices will assist in reviewing the list to determine which steps you will need for your business development.

__1.  Is the business use allowed in the zone I want to locate my business?

__2.  Did I schedule a Pre-application meeting with Planning, Zoning and/or building staff?

__3.  For re-occupations and renovations, did I schedule a preliminary walk-through with the Building Official, Fire Marshal & Zoning Enforcement Officer?

   4.  What land use permits are required?

__Zoning permit:  (see the Zoning Enforcement Officer)

__Home Occupation:  (see the P&Z Commission)

__Site Plan Review: (see the P&Z Commission)

__ Special Permit: (see the P&Z Commission/public hearing required)

__Appeal of ZEO Decision:  (see the Zoning Board of Appeals/public hearing required)

__Zoning Variance: (see the Zoning Board of Appeals/public hearing required)

__Zoning Regulation Change: (see the P&Z Commission/public hearing required)

__Zoning Map Change: (see the P&Z Commission/public hearing required)

__Subdivision or Re-subdivision: (see the P&Z Commission/public hearing required)

__Inland Wetlands Permit: (see the Inland Wetlands Commission)

__Wetland Agent Approval: (see the Wetlands Agent)

__Building Permit: (see the Building Official)

__5.  Will I need consultants to assist in preparation of professional plans?

__6.  Did I record land use approvals in the Town Clerk’s office (if required by state law)?

__7.  Did I contact other agencies, utilities, and departments to comply with their requirements?

__8.  Did I obtain a building permit and comply with all building and fire code requirements?

 __9.  Before making any changes to my plans during construction, did I review those with Planning, Zoning  and/or Building staff?

__10. Did I provide a minimum of two weeks’ notice to the Planning and Development Office for a Certificate of Zoning Compliance?

__11. Following the Certificate of Zoning Compliance, was a Certificate of Occupancy issued by the Building Official?

__12. Is my trade name filed in the Town Clerk’s Office?

__13.  Did I complete a declaration of property in the Assessor’s office?

__14.  Is my business listed in the Economic Development Directory?