Permits / Code Enforcement
Building Permits - Town of Union
Building permits are required for most exterior improvements and interior structural alterations, including siding and signs. Any new structure or addition to an existing building also requires the issuance of a building permit. The primary purpose of the permit is to assure that the proposed construction meets the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code. Another purpose of the building permit is to assure compliance with the Zoning Ordinance.
With the exception of siding permits, plans are required to be submitted and approved prior to the issuance of the permit. A plot plan, drawn to scale, is required showing the size of the lot, existing and proposed structures on the lot, and parking facilities. Two sets of construction plans are also required. One set of plans will be returned to you and should remain on the building site. Permits for commercial and industrial buildings costing over $10,000 or that involve structural changes, as well as construction of residential structures in excess of fifteen hundred (1,500) square feet requires an architect's or professional engineer's stamp. Any building or structure that deviates from standard framing or conventional construction methods will also require an architect or engineer's stamp. Projects with plans submitted on larger than 11” by 17” paper are required to submit as built plans in a pdf format.
An asbestos survey is required for all renovation, remodeling, repair and demolition of all interior and exterior building materials. As per NYS Industrial Code Rule 56, asbestos material must be abated by licensed contractors utilizing certified asbestos handlers, with the exception of owner-occupied single family homes, where the owner may remove the asbestos. However, it is not recommended that the owner remove asbestos. The owner could potentially expose themselves, their family and neighbors to asbestos fibers if correct engineering controls and work methods are not utilized during the abatement.
Most permits are issued within three days from the date of submittal to the Code Department. Applications for some residential, commercial, and industrial permits require the approval of either the Town Planning Board or the Zoning Board of Appeals. If approval is necessary from these Boards, a month's delay may occur prior to receiving a decision.
New York State Law requires us to obtain proof of workers' compensation and disability benefits coverage for all contractors prior to the issuance of any permits. Copies of coverage are maintained in the Permit Office. Homeowners doing their own work in a 1, 2, 3 or 4 family owner occupied residence must complete an Affidavit of Exemption.
The Town of Union has adopted the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code and referred to as the “Uniform Code”. As of October 3, 2016, the current version of the Uniform Code is as follows as published by the International Code Council:
- 2015 International Residential Code 2nd printing,
- 2015 International Building Code 3rd printing,
- 2015 International Plumbing Code 3rd printing,
- 2015 International Mechanical Code 3rd printing,
- 2015 International Fuel Gas Code 3rd printing,
- 2015 International Fire Code 3rd printing,
- 2015 International Property Maintenance Code 4th printing,
- 2015 International Existing Building Code 5th printing.
Each of these International Code Council documents shall be deemed to be amended by the publication entitled 2016 Uniform Code Supplement, as published by the New York Department of State.
Link to free online codes:
Building Permits - Village of Johnson City
WHAT TYPE OF CONSTRUCTION REQUIRES A BUILDING PERMIT?
The Village of Johnson City Code requires a building permit for any new structures to be erected and for an addition or for structural alterations to an existing building.
The activities that require a building permit are numerous. The following is a list of those activities that DO NOT require a permit:
● Storage shed under 144 square feet (for 1 and 2 family dwellings only - all others
must obtain a building permit) - must be in the rear yard, call for setbacks
● Concrete pads
● Aluminum storm windows
● Gutters and downspouts
● Fences - call for height restrictions and setbacks for front and corner lot, good side must face neighbors
If you have any questions regarding any of these, call the Town of Union Code Enforcement/Permits Department at 729-2047 or 786-2920.
HOW DOES A PERSON APPLY FOR A BUILDING PERMIT?
A building permit application, which is available in the Town of Union Code Enforcement/Permits Department, must be submitted along with a plot plan to be reviewed by the building inspector. In addition to the plot plan, building construction plans must be submitted for any alteration or enlargement, modification or new construction. If the cost of construction exceeds $10,000.00 or the utilization of 1,500 sq. feet, or both, the construction plans must be stamped by a registered architect or licensed professional engineer. For new construction, all utility connections must be shown.
WHAT IS A PLOT PLAN?
A plot plan is a two-dimensional drawing of the lot on which the construction will take place. The plot plans should be drawn on an 8½" by 11" piece of paper. The actual dimensions of the lot and exact locations and size of any present and proposed buildings must be indicated. The plan should also include the yard setbacks. That is the distance between the edge of the structures and the nearest lot line. While not drawn to scale, the plot plan must show the distances indicated in number of feet.
WHEN WILL THE PERMIT BE ISSUED?
The building permit will be issued within a week of the submittal of the completed application and plot plan. The building inspector will issue the permit as long as the proposed construction does not violate any zoning or building ordinance. New York State law requires us to check for proof of workers' compensation and disability benefits coverage for all contractors prior to the issuance of any permits.
HOW MUCH DOES A BUILDING PERMIT COST?
The cost of a building permit is determined by the total costs of construction and any demolitions that are required to complete the project.
For One & Two Family Residential Dwellings - Ten dollars ($10.00) for the first two thousand dollars ($2,000) in construction costs and two dollars ($2.00) for every thousand or part of thousand thereafter.
For Residential Decks, Swimming Pools - Twenty five dollars ($25.00) for the first ten thousand dollars ($10,000) in costs and two dollars ($2.00) for every thousand or part of thousand thereafter.
For Multiple Family, Commercial & Industrial Construction – Twenty-five dollars ($25.00) for the first two thousand dollars ($2,000.00) in construction costs and three dollars and fifty cents ($3.50) for every thousand or part of thousand thereafter.
HOW LONG IS A BUILDING PERMIT VALID?
A building permit is a valid for 12 months (1 year) from the date it is issued. If construction is not started within 6 months of issuance, the permit is voided. Construction that takes longer than 12 months requires a permit renewal.
WHERE SHOULD THE BUILDING PERMIT BE DISPLAYED?
The permit must be displayed in a prominent place, like a front window, at the address stated on the permit. The permit should be displayed during the entire period of construction.
WHAT OTHER PERMITS ARE REQUIRED?
New or replacement electrical services must be done by an electrician licensed by the Village of Johnson City and inspected by the Village Electrical Inspector. A homeowner may do any other electrical work in their single-family dwelling. A licensed electrician must complete all other electrical work. Any plumbing work must be done by a plumber licensed by the Village of Johnson City and inspected by the Village Plumbing Inspector. The direct replacement of water heaters and water softeners requires a permit but not a plumbing license. New installation or replacement of furnaces or boilers requires a permit. All electrical and plumbing work is required to have a permit.
WHAT INSPECTIONS ARE REQUIRED?
Separate inspectors handle electrical permits, plumbing permits, and building permits. Inspections will be done periodically by the Code Enforcement Department. You must notify the inspector as spelled out on the permit application. No work should be covered until inspected. Inspectors have up to 3 days to respond to an inspection request.
DOES AN ABOVE-GROUND POOL HAVE TO BE ENCLOSED BY A FENCE?
Yes, if any part of the pool wall is less than 48" high. Any stair access to the pool must have a self closing and latching gate of four feet in height or the ladder must be the type that can be locked in the upright position when the pool is not in use.
ARE THERE RESTRICTIONS ON WHERE A POOL CAN BE PLACED?
Yes, the requirements are based on the Zoning District. Call the office for the setbacks for your property.
IS A POOL ALARM REQUIRED?
Each swimming pool installed, constructed or substantially modified after December 14, 2006 shall be equipped with an approved pool alarm.
ARE THERE REGULATIONS REGARDING HOT TUBS OR SPAS?
Yes, it is regulated similar to a swimming pool if it holds more than 24 inches of water. Please call the Code Office for further information.
WHAT ARE THE REGULATIONS ON FENCES?
No fence shall be erected or encroach upon a public right-of-way. Fences of masonry, wood or other material which create a solid visual barrier shall maintain a ten-foot setback from the front property line. Open fences of chain link wire, wrought iron, split, rail or other similar material which does not screen or obstruct views, light and air may be permitted within the ten-foot setback from the property line, provided said fence is constructed so as not to obstruct visibility or create a traffic hazard. Maximum height - Residential: six foot with restrictions Commercial: ten foot with restrictions. The finished or decorative side shall face the adjacent properties. The fence posts and other supporting structures of the fence shall face the interior of the area to be fenced. A permit is not required. However, you should call Dig Safely New York at 1-800-962-7962 prior to digging any post holes.
CALL BEFORE YOU DIG!!
Every person and/or contractor doing any type of digging, must call Dig Safely New York at 1-800-962-7962 or 811 at least two (2) full working days prior to digging. Personnel from Dig Safely will have two (2) working days to locate and mark all of the buried lines within 15 feet of the proposed work site. This service is free. When you call, you will be asked to provide specific information including, name, address, nearest intersecting streets, is work within 500' of a traffic signal, applicable phone numbers, means of excavating, etc. Penalties for noncompliance are severe and are set from $1,000 - $7,500.