Forms & Useful Links

Code Enforcement

Brent Cross, Code Enforcement Officer

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 Storm water 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, roofing Roofing Permit Worksheet, 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 up to $20,000 and/or under 1,500 sf.

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 online and submitted to the Village Engineer’s Office.

The Village of Cayuga Heights adopted Local Law 2022-4 for short-term rental within the Village This new law established new Village regulations for the rental of dwellings for periods of twenty-eight (28) days or less. These regulations include:

  • Compliance with all Federal, State, County, and local laws, codes, rules and regulations, including but not limited to the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code. Click here for the fire and safety checklist.
  • Available locally to respond in a timely manner to complaints.
  • A valid permit which will need to be renewed annually and will be valid until the end of the calendar year. Click here for the application. It is required to display the permit on all online or print advertisements. These permits are issued to the property owner and are not transferable if the property is sold or ownership changes.
  • A visitor’s log in which the owner will need to maintain that clearly states the dates of each rental, the number of visitors, the location within the residence (single room, single dwelling unit, or entire residence), and whether or not the owner was present in the residence during the term of the rental. Click here for a sample log (feel free to use it). A copy of the visitor’s log must be provided to the Code Enforcement Officer within ten (10) business days following written request, and a copy of the previous year’s log must be submitted with any registration permit renewal application.
  • Online Payments

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.

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.

The intent of this Local Law is to establish rules, regulations and requirements to reduce inflow and infiltration into the sanitary sewer system owned and operated by the Village of Cayuga Heights. The Village’s Board of Trustees has determined that significant sources of I&I within the Village originate from the connection of sump pumps, downspouts and other drainage facilities to Village sanitary sewer lines. Reduction of I&I would be beneficial to the Village to reduce the volume of water that is treated at the Village’s waste water treatment plant. The permit fee is $100 and can be paid below or with a check at the Clerk’s Office at Marcham Hall.

Online Payments

The online Sewer Permit Application is for Sewer & Storm Drain Permit. No person shall uncover, make any connections with or opening into the sewer system, or construct, alter, repair, or use any drain, building sewer, or other lateral sewer to connect with the public sewer, without first obtaining a permit from the Village. The permit is required to be kept at the site of work and be available upon inspection.

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.

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.

Questions? please contact Chris Hamilton, Village Fire Inspector, by Cell: (607)592-0599 or by email:

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