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Permit, Inspections, and Zoning

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Building Permits

  • The Building Permit function includes the enforcement of the Building Code of New York State, and local laws and ordinances dealing with building construction, renovations (interior and exterior), and building demolition and removal.

    Examples of projects that require a permit:

    • Any new buildings
    • All additions and alterations to existing buildings
    • Mobile homes
    • Garages and barns
    • Pools (aboveground or inground) (See Swimming Pool Guidelines)
    • Sheds and storage buildings
    • Decks and Porches
    • Fences
    • Signs
    • Fireplaces, Stoves, Inserts
    • Demolition

    Building Permits are received at the Department of Planning and Development between the hours of 8:30am and 4:15pm. You may mail in your application if you are sure you have all needed information then let us know if you would like it mailed back to you.

    Building Permit applications require a sketch or drawing showing what you are building, materials that you are using and how it will be constructed. Stamped and signed architectural prints may be required.

    Building Permit applications and plans are reviewed by a Code Enforcement Officer to ensure that they meet the requirements of the Building Code of New York State and other applicable laws and ordinances.

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  • View Building Permit Forms and Resources.

Building Inspections:

  • Building Inspections are required during each stage of construction to ensure compliance with construction codes and building plans. Inspections are required at the following stages:
    • Footings before backfilling
    • Foundation wall before backfilling
    • Fireplace before insulating
    • Framing before enclosing (after electrical and plumbing inspections are approved)
    • Heating, Ventilation and Air-conditioning before enclosing
    • Insulation before enclosing
    • Fire Protection equipment before enclosing
    • Final (Certificate of Occupancy) upon completing of all other inspections.

    Inspections should be requested at least 24 hours before the inspection is necessary, call the planning department at (315)652-3800.

    Electrical inspections are performed by a private company, and are often a part of your building or electrical contract. If you need to contact them directly, the Town of Clay accepts inspections performed by Commonwealth Electrical Inspection Service, Inc. (315)633-0027, Middle Department Inspection Agency 1(800)873-6342, or The Inspector 1(800)487-0535. Plumbing inspections are performed by the Onondaga County Health Department, and are requested by a licensed plumber.

Zoning Compliance:

  • The primary function of Zoning Compliance is to identify and correct violations of the Town of Clay Zoning Ordinance and other similar land use regulations. The staff operates principally on a reactive basis. That means we concentrate on responding to citizen complaints, rather than searching for violations. We work closely with the violators to obtain compliance, however if necessary the Code Enforcement Officer is able to present cases to the Justice Court for prosecution.
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  • download the Zoning Code Revised through January 2012

Common Code Violations:

    • Lawn and lot maintenance: Nuisance weeds and grass that is greater than 10 inches in height.
    • Junked or abandoned vehicles: One unlicensed and/or unregistered vehicle is allowed on your property as long as it is operable. Inoperative vehicles are not allowed.
    • Waste materials and trash: Rubbish, trash, garbage, and other waste materials may be stored only in proper receptacles.
    • Unsafe buildings: Buildings that are abandoned, opened and accessible to children or transients must be boarded up, repaired, or demolished.

Fire/Life Safety Inspections:

  • All commercial and multiple residential buildings require periodic fire/life safety inspections for compliance with the Building Code of New York State . We perform annual inspections on all commercial buildings and places of public assembly, and periodic inspections of all multiple residences.