How do I get a building permit?
Building Permit hours are 8:00 - 10:00 AM, Monday - Friday. Permit forms may be picked up at the Building Department during regular business hours or you can download and print them. Building permits must be submitted only during regular permit hours and contain the required information and forms.
When do I need an Architect?
The New York State Education Law requires that Architectural drawings be submitted for projects affecting structural safety and/ or public safety, or costing more than $20,000, or for construction of residential buildings of more than 1500 square feet. Drawings prepared by a New York State registered architect or licensed professional engineer whose signature and seal of registration in New York State shall be legibly imprinted on the plans.
Permit information and requirements for building, demolition, floodplain development, signs, and tent permits.
Licensing and registration requirements for the City of Ithaca.
Insurance documentation that is required to be submitted with a building permit.
Permit review, approvals, and fees.
Work classifications for projects according to the NYS Building Codes.
Construction documents that may be required to be submitted with the building permit.
Permit fee schedule for building permit, demolition permits, and tent permits.
When is a building permit not required?
No building permit shall be required for work in any of the following categories except where such work is located within a designated historic district or in a designated landmark structure or site (see: Chapter § 228).
- Construction or installation of one-story detached structures associated with one- or two-family dwellings or multiple single-family dwellings (townhouses) which are used for tool and storage sheds, playhouses or similar uses, provided the gross floor area does not exceed 144 square feet (13.38 square meters), and where no plumbing, electrical or heating equipment service or system is provided, and that the structure complies with the area and setback requirements of Chapter §325-25.
- Installation of swings and other playground equipment;
- Installation of swimming pools associated with one- or two-family dwellings or multiple single-family dwellings (townhouses) where such pools are designed for a water depth 24 inches or less and have a water surface area of 100 square feet or less, and are installed entirely above ground;
- Installation of fences which are not part of an enclosure surrounding a swimming pool;
- Construction of retaining walls less than four feet in height from grade to the top of the wall for the entire length of the wall unless such walls support a surcharge of soil or impound Class I, II or IIIA liquids;
- Construction of temporary motion-picture, television and theater stage sets and scenery remaining in place for fewer than 180 days;
- Installation of window awnings supported by an exterior wall of a one- or two-family dwelling or multiple single-family dwellings (townhouses), provided such awnings do not encroach on any right-of-way or project beyond property lines, and are in compliance with the setback requirements of Chapter §325-8 (see: District Regulations Chart)
- Installation of partitions or movable cases less than five feet nine inches in height;
- Painting, wallpapering, tiling, floor covering and other similar finish work;
- Installation of listed portable electrical, plumbing, heating, ventilation or cooling equipment or appliances where such installation requires no extension of permanently installed building electrical, plumbing or HVAC systems;
- Repairs that use like material provided that the repairs do not involve:
- The removal or cutting away of a load-bearing wall, partition, or portion thereof, or of any structural beam or load-bearing component;
- The removal or change of any required stairs or means of egress, or the rearrangement of parts of a structure in a manner which affects egress;
- Alteration of fire protections systems, or the removal from service of all or part of a fire protection system for any period of time;
- The alteration or removal of required fire separations;
- The installation, enlargement, alteration, relocation, or extension of electrical or plumbing systems;
- The alteration, relocation or installation of solid-fuel-burning heating appliances and associated chimneys or flues;
- The removal or abatement of asbestos or other hazardous material except for paint.