EFLA Information

Extended Family Living Areas (EFLA’s), or what some may know as “in-law apartments”, are permitted in Danvers. However, the process to permit and build an EFLA may require review and approval from the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA), depending on your project and your specific lot. 

Types of EFLA’s:

  • Addition: An EFLA addition connected to the primary dwelling, expanding the primary dwelling footprint (example: constructing a new addition off the primary dwelling via a sunroom, garage, laundry room, etc.). 
  • Internal: An EFLA that is within the existing footprint of the primary dwelling, which can be created without making any footprint expansions (example: renovating an existing basement space). 
  • Detached: An EFLA that is located within an existing detached accessory structure (example: renovating a detached two car garage).

All proposed EFLA’s are required: 

  1. To be located in a single-family home that is occupied by the owner. 
  2. To have internal access to the primary residence via a shared space (laundry room, mud room, etc.) 
  3. To be occupied by no more than two family members related by blood, marriage, or adoption to the owner or owner’s spouse. 
  4. To be no larger than 750 square feet (including storage space). 
  5. To have all entrances on the side or rear of the dwelling. 
  6. To run off the existing utilities (water, sewer, electricity) of the primary residence.

If you meet all of these requirements, and your lot and dwelling are considered dimensionally conforming, you do not need to apply to the Zoning Board of Appeals for a Special Permit and can go forward with a building permit application.

You will need to apply for a Special Permit with the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) if….

The lot the EFLA will be on is dimensionally non-conforming. Regardless of what type of EFLA you are proposing, you’ll need a Special Permit from the ZBA if your lot is current non-conforming (i.e., does not meet the size, frontage, or setback requirements for the zoning district it is located in). 

  • The EFLA you are proposing is within a dimensional setback. 
  • You are proposing a detached EFLA. 
  • You are proposing to have an EFLA larger than 750 square feet. 
  • You are proposing to have more than two family members live in the EFLA. 
  • You cannot meet the access, utility, or shared space requirements. 

Inspectional Services EFLA Requirements

  • Building Permit Application
  • Floor Plans Showing Room Designations
  • Deed Restriction Completed and Filed

The Process

Once the previous has been received, an inspection will be conducted at a mutually agreed time. This site visit will be performed jointly by the plumbing, electrical and building inspector. If at this time any work appears not be in compliance with State Building Codes, a letter will be produced ascertaining what alterations must be made prior to a Certificate of Occupancy being issued.

Approved/Existing Permitted Extended Living Areas 

Updated periodically.  

  • Current List - Coming Soon!!