Where are your offices located?
Our offices are located at 133 Front Street.
What Projects Require a Building Permit?
- New Homes
- New commercial work
- Residential additions, alterations & remodeling
- Commercial additions, alterations & remodeling
- Swimming pools, in-ground, on ground and storable, 24 inches deep or deeper
- All decks or porches, open, enclosed, screened, roofed, etc.
- ANY chimney, woodstove, fireplace or any inserts. This includes: gas, wood, pellet, electric or masonry.
- Re-lining or re-building of any chimney. This includes: pre-fab, masonry or other.
- Interior remodeling & alterations, residential and commercial
- Storage, garden, tool sheds or similar, greater than 101 square feet. ***
- *** The 101 square feet exception applies only if all of the following are met: 1) it is a residential use; 2) there are no connections for electrical, plumbing or fueled equipment or systems; 3) no dimension is greater than 20 feet,(example, a building 20’-1” X 4’ will require a permit)
- Garages, barns, pole buildings, open pavilions.
- Any structural changes to any building: foundation walls, bearing walls, interior walls, roofs, beams, window and door headers, etc.
- Any change to a building system including; fire alarm, fire sprinkler, fire and smoke detection system, commercial cooking appliance or hood, gasoline station suppression system or other life safety system.
- Extensions or modifications to any electrical or plumbing system.
- All roofing, including tear-offs and re-roof.
- All signs
- Fencing greater than 8’-6” in height.
- Tent structures greater than 200 square feet.
Any work affecting structural components or costing more than $20,000 or work greater than 1500 square feet requires stamped plans by a NY State licensed architect or engineer. Any commercial construction project will usually always require engineer or architect stamped plans.
Do I need to get a building permit?
Today, virtually every construction project requires the issuance of a building permit. Commercial and residential new construction, alterations, additions, and remodeling, fireplaces, gas inserts and pellet stoves all are governed by the Codes and do require the issuance of building permits.
Where do I find information relating to the New York State Building Codes?
You may contact your local Building/Code Enforcement office, various websites offered in our Links section, our local library currently has a set of codes, or they may be ordered from sites in our Links section.
What inspections are required for my building project?
- Footer Forms and Steel (Prior To Placing Concrete)
- Foundation Forms and Steel (Prior To Placing Concrete)
- Post Hole Depth and Location (Prior To Placing Concrete)
- Foundation Perimeter Drainage and Damp-Proofing (Prior to Placement Backfill Material)
- Below Grade Interior Plumbing (Before Covering)
- Structural Framing (Prior To Concealing)
- Roof Construction Framing
- Roofing Installation (Prior To Shingling)
- Rough Plumbing (Prior To Concealing)
- Insulation (Prior To Concealing)
- Fire Separation(S)
- Electrical; Approved Third Party Inspector (As Required By the Inspector)
- Fireplaces and Woodstoves (Gas, Wood, Pellet, Elec, Oil)
- Chimneys; Masonry, Manufactured, Re-Line (Before, During, After)
- Final Inspection (All Permits)
- Fire Alarm Systems
- Fire Suppression Systems (Kitchen Hood, Gasoline Systems)
- Pool Enclosures (Fencing, Barriers)
- Pool Alarm
- Sprinkler Systems Testing
- This is NOT all Inclusive - Please See Your Building Permit for Required Inspections for Your Project
All appointments for inspections must be made at least 2 full business days prior to the needed inspection.
Voice messages will not be acceptable and will not guarantee that an inspector will be available.
When calling for an inspection, please provide the following:
- The Building Permit Number BP#
- The Owner of the Property or the Contractor Performing the Work
- A Phone Number Where You Can Be Reached
- What Inspection You Need
- The Street Address Where the Site Is Located, NOT a Lot Number
Should any required building inspection be missed, a Certificate of Occupancy or Certificate of Compliance may not be issued for the building permit. To become compliant with any required inspection that may have been missed; you must provide adequate proof of code compliance (i.e. proof of inspection by an approved third party inspector) or make viewable the areas that require inspection.
Why do I need a permit?
Permits are required to be sure that installations of equipment and construction work is performed in compliance with the required Codes. Our primary goal is to have a safe community for people to live, work and play in and this is one part of accomplishing that goal. Also, the Town is required by New York State to enforce codes which require permits to be issued, inspections to be performed and finalized.
How do I apply for a building permit?
You can download the appropriate forms from this website, or stop into our office and pickup the appropriate forms. Follow the instructions and then turn in all the completed information.
Can I stop in and look over the laws, codes and permit requirements?
Of course! We encourage people to learn more about our department and the resources that are available. Come see us.
When do I need to hire an engineer or architect to design my construction project or have my plans stamped?
According to New York State Education Law, Article 147 Section 7307, most commercial construction projects will require plans be stamped by a NYS licensed design professional. When a residential project outside NYC equals or exceeds 1500 sq ft or $20,000 ($10,000 in NYC)], in total materials and labor construction costs, your plans must be reviewed and stamped by a NYS licensed architect or engineer. Reviewed and stamped plans provide a clear understanding of the project and have the added confidence of being properly designed and engineered.
Can I rent my house out to anyone that I want to?
Generally there are few restrictions on renting single family homes. There are restrictions on the actual number of unrelated people that occupy a residence. The Town Code states that not more than 5 unrelated adults living and cooking together as a single housekeeping unit are allowed. The building cannot be internally "subdivided" and remodeled to create dwelling units unless building permits are applied for and issued legally.
Do I need to be licensed to perform construction work in the Town of Vestal?
Yes, and annual Operating Permit is required. Registration of any and all "business entity engaged in the construction, repair, remodel or alteration of buildings or any system or component which is a part thereof..." is now a requirement in the town. A personal appearance is required at our offices, (133 Front St) to fill out paperwork and receive information. Please call for an appointment.
How long does the building permit application process take?
From the time your completed application, complete plans, and fee are submitted to our office, the building permit/plan review period is between 2 to 4 weeks. Our plan review process is detailed. Please plan accordingly.
Who is responsible to call for the required inspections?
The applicant of record for the permit is required to call for inspections. This individual may be the homeowner, contractor, architect/engineer, or some other designated person. It is that individual's responsibility to insure that all required inspections are called for, carried out, and all corrections made and re-inspected.
How much advance notice does your office require for a required inspection?
Our inspectors require a 2 business day notice for any required inspection. Voice mail requests are not accepted and do not guarantee an inspector is available for your request.
Will my construction project raise my taxes?
The Building Department is not involved with the assessment for your property. Please contact your local tax assessor for this information.
What type of zoning district is my property located in? What are the regulations/ordinances which apply to my district?
The zoning map approved by the Town Board details the various zoning districts. Please contact our office for the zoning district of your parcel. The zoning district regulations/ordinances may be downloaded from this website.
Can I have a business in my home?
The term that is used in the Town of Vestal for in-home businesses is "Customary Home Occupation". These are only permitted in RA-2 and R-R zoning districts and are strictly regulated. This information can be downloaded from this website.
Are mobile homes permitted in Vestal?
Yes. They are permitted in mobile home parks or as permitted by the Zoning Board of Appeals for an existing non-conforming mobile home. Contact us for the details.
What is a zoning variance? How do I apply for a variance?
A zoning variance is a decision of the Zoning Board of Appeals allowing the construction or use of a building or parcel of land in a way contrary to the Code of the Town of Vestal. For example, allowing a house to be constructed closer to the property line than the Code directs. The application information for a zoning variance may be downloaded from this website.
Can't I just make my property any shape or size I want?
No, all property is required to be a certain size, shape and have the required frontage on an approved road. We cannot issue any permits for illegal lots. This is true in just about every town, village or city.
How do I find information on sub-dividing or creating a new parcel of land?
Please contact our office for information and requirements for sub-division, increasing, decreasing or creating new parcels. Property may only be altered or created in compliance with the Code.
Are there laws that say you have to keep your grass mowed?
Yes, there is a requirement that is contained in the Property Maintenance Code of New York. The maximum height is 10 inches.
Who is responsible for cleaning our sidewalks in the winter?
According to the Code of the Town of Vestal, Chapter 20, Article I, Section 20-2, "All snow, ice and other obstructions upon any public sidewalk in the town, shall be removed by the owner or occupant of the adjoining land immediately after such snow, ice or other obstruction is deposited thereon." For complete information, please contact the code enforcement department.
Can l leave my garbage cans outside of my house?
Currently there are no restrictions on the placement or storage of garbage cans.
What is the definition of a junk vehicle?
A junk vehicle is a vehicle that is not immediately ready to be legally driven on a road. Proper inspection, license and insurances are all required to be in place and current.
Can I cut a limb, attached to my neighbor's tree, that is hanging over my property?
Property line disputes such as this are not in the realm of the Vestal Code Enforcement office. We recommend that you discuss this with a legal representative.
Can I have an outdoor fire to sit around and roast marshmallows?
Yes, recreational fires like this are permitted under certain conditions. Contact the Fire Marshal or Fire Code Inspector for that information.