Village of Cayuga Heights Code Enforcement Office
836 Hanshaw Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
Office Hours: Monday - Friday, 9:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Brent A. Cross, Zoning Officer
Phone: (607) 257-5536
Fax: (607) 257-4910
The Code Enforcement Department (part of Village Engineer’s Office) is responsible for enforcement of local zoning, permits for new construction, fire inspections, and Stormwater management as applicable to all private property in the Village.
With the exception of minor repairs and replacement (in-kind) of existing building features, all construction type work including new buildings, additions, interior renovations/remodeling and major repairs need a Building Permit. This is to verify compliance with the Building Codes of New York State. According to New York State Education Law, documentation for every Building Permit must be prepared/reviewed by a professional Architect/Engineer. The local Code Enforcement Officer MAY waive this requirement for projects upto $20,000 and/or under 1,500 sf. Applications must be filled out at the Village Engineer’s Office (appointments preferred).
All work that involves the construction of new buildings or the addition to an existing building (changes the footprint), or that may change the use category of an existing building all require the issuance of a Zoning Permit. The specific zoning requirements can be found on this website under the Village Laws & Ordinance. Applications must be filled out at the Village Engineer’s Office (appointments preferred).
Projects that can not meet the regulations of the Zoning Ordinance, may be reviewed by the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA). The ZBA may approve variances from the standard regulations. There are two types of variances: Area or Use. Area variances are more common and are limited to relief from physical requirements such as lot coverage, setbacks, and height. Use variances to allow the use of a property for purposes not allowed by the Zoning District, are less common and the standards are much more stringent to satisfy. The variance process starts with a Zoning Applications at the Village Engineer’s Office.
Site Plan Review
All projects that involve new construction or change in use of an existing building, located in either the Multiple Housing or Commercial Zoning District, must receive Site Plan Review by the Planning Board. This process typically involves a preliminary review at the first meeting, a public hearing at the second meeting, a special meeting to review environmental impacts, and then a final approval at the next regular meeting. This process must be satisfied before Zoning/Building Permits can be issued. Subdivision of land also requires Planning Board approval. The Site Plan Review process starts with a Zoning Applications at the Village Engineer’s Office.
Projects that are subject to Site Plan Review will also be required to meet the provisions of the Village’s Stormwater Management Law. This law is intended to minimize the impacts of soil erosion and sedimentation as a result of Stormwater run-off from projects during the construction phase as well as the post-construction phase. In addition, projects that disturb more than 1 acre of land are required to submit a SPDES permit to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. Discharges of hazardous materials into the local streams or storm sewer system are prohibited and are subject to enforcement under the Village’s Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination Law.
Fire Code Inspections
With the exception of one and two family dwellings, all buildings are subject to semi-annual (every other year) inspections for compliance with the Fire Code of New York State. Buildings used for commercial purposes will be inspected in even number years, and Multiple Housing Units will be inspected in odd number years. Places of Public Assembly, including Fraternities and Sororities, will be inspected every year.
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