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A comprehensive plan:
To find out more about the Comprehensive Plan, just click on the following link:
In addition, climate change is increasing the demands placed on the City’s stormwater services. In the 2014 National Climate Assessment, the United States Global Change Research Program stated that the Northeast region of the United States is experiencing increased precipitation as a result of climate change, including “more than a 70% increase in the amount of precipitation falling in very heavy events” over the last fifty years, “a greater recent increase in extreme precipitation than any other region in the United States.” (http://nca2014.globalchange.gov/report/regions/northeast#narrative-page-16957.)
Finally, the costs associated with recent issues such as the ice jams of January 2014, needed Flood Control Channel dredging, and maintenance of our channeled streams required that the City consider new sources of stormwater funding.
Before the stormwater fee was established in 2014, stormwater services were funded by property taxes. Property taxes in the City are based on the value of a property as assessed by the Tompkins County Department of Assessment, which does not accurately reflect how much stormwater is generated by a property. Further, when stormwater is funded out of taxes, the many tax-exempt property owners in the City do not contribute toward the cost required to handle the stormwater flowing off of their properties.
In 2013, Mayor Svante Myrick established a task force to examine whether a funding mechanism other than property taxes would be appropriate for the City’s stormwater expenses. In particular, the Mayor was interested in a new funding mechanism that: improved incentives for reducing stormwater runoff from each property; shared the cost burden of stormwater services and infrastructure in proportion to each property’s contribution to the need for it; included tax-exempt property owners; and was dedicated to current and future maintenance and regulatory obligations.
The stormwater user fee meets all of these goals. It allows the City to bill each property (including those owned by tax-exempt entities) based on the amount of runoff it creates. By including more properties in the funding, the amount paid for stormwater infrastructure and services by the average residential property owner is being cut roughly in half in 2015, to under $50 per year. The fee also encourages property owners to reduce the amount of impervious surface area on their properties, which reduces the amount of stormwater runoff. Finally, because the user fees are placed into a separate account, the fee provides a dedicated funding source for these costs that is not affected by the overall economy.
Click on the following link for more information about the ILPC, the Landmarks Preservation Ordinance, and the application review process, including links to the application form, accompanying documents, and some useful informational links.
Ithaca Landmarks Preservation Commission
Locally Designated Historic Properties
The amount of impervious surface area on your property is determined using a combination of data. First, the City uses geographic information system (GIS) data and aerial photos of the City that are updated approximately every five years to distinguish impervious surfaces (such as roofs and parking lots) and pervious surfaces (such as lawns and gardens). Then the square footage of impervious areas is calculated and an ERU value assigned. Information concerning the amount of impervious surface area added or removed in connection with building permits is used to update impervious surface calculations in between aerial photo updates. You can see the impervious area of your property using the City’s web map.
If you think you smell natural gas (much like rotten eggs) you should immediately vacate the residence and call 911 from a safe distance. The Ithaca Fire Department will respond and investigate the odor. It is important that you do not operate and lights, equipment or anything that might cause a spark, potentially igniting the fumes.
There are three different types of smoke detectors commonly found for sale: photoelectric, ionization, and combination. Ionization detectors utilize a small amount of radioactive material to create air flow between two electric plates. When smoke is drawn into the detector it changes the flow, sending the detector into alarm. Ionization detectors tend to work best for fires that flame up quickly. Photoelectric detectors utilize a beam of light within, when smoke enters the chamber; it reflects light into a sensor, sending the detector into alarm. Photoelectric detectors tend to work best on slow smoldering fires. Combination detectors utilize both ionization and photoelectric technology in one detector.
The National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) suggests using both technologies in your home as you cannot predict which type of fire you may have. More information can be found on the NFPA website referenced below.
There are two kinds of smoke detectors we commonly encounter: photoelectric and ionization. You can tell the difference by looking at the label on the back of your detector. Photoelectric detectors can safely be placed in the trash after removing the battery. Ionization detectors contain a small amount of a radioactive isotope, Americium 241. Due to state regulations, the Tompkins County Recycling and Solid Waste Center is unable to accept ionization detectors. The best way to dispose of ionization detectors is to contact the manufacturer as many of them will accept the detectors for recycling. Contact information can usually be found on the back of the detector, in the user’s manual or via a quick search on the internet.
The Ithaca fire department recomends replacing your detectors at least every 10 year or sooner depending on the manufactures instructions. If you are unsure on how old your detector is a date should be printed on the back side of the detector. It is also good practice to write the date on the dectector when you install it and replace and check your batteries whenever possible.
Carbon monoxide (CO) alarms are an essential component of life safety in the home. As it is colorless, odorless, and tasteless, CO alarms provide the best defense against potentially deadly CO. The CO alarms should be placed on all levels of a home, especially outside of sleeping areas and by any fuel fired appliances such as gas dryers, boiler, water heaters, etc. It is important to test CO alarms as you do your smoke detectors.
Download the Parking Violation Appeal Form (PDF), fill in completely, print, sign, and date form. Attach ticket (or copy), and any other related documentation (i.e. NYS Vehicle Safety Inspection receipt, dated and timed store receipts, etc.). Mail or drop off to: City of Ithaca Chamberlain’s Office 1st Floor 108 E. Green St. Ithaca, NY 14850.
We will place the ticket on hold so that no additional penalties are added and forward your appeal to the appropriate staff for consideration. You will receive a determination letter via U.S. mail in approximately 4 - 6 weeks.
If you disagree with the result of the determination, you may request a trial at Ithaca City Court. A pre-trial conference will occur prior to that trial.
Accident reports are available for purchase here.
Effective November 1 through April 1 of each year, between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m., all vehicles must be parked on the odd-numbered side of all city streets on the odd-numbered days of the calendar month, and on the even-numbered side of all city streets on the even-numbered days of the calendar month.
Your compliance with this policy helps keep the city's streets free from accumulated snow, and free from debris. If your street only has parking on one side of the street, you may have to find parking on a nearby street on alternate days.
The City Clerk's Office has a listing of the streets that are exempt from the odd/even parking regulation. Streets marked permanently for 24-hour parking make up the bulk of these streets.
The Ithaca Police Department no longer conducts civilian fingerprinting; however, other options in the area include the Cornell University Police Department and the Tompkins County Sheriff's Office.
To find out more about a specific program, please call the Youth Bureau during business hours at (607) 273-8364, or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Hundreds of people volunteer at the Youth Bureau every year. We could not do what we do without volunteers, so whether you like sports, tutoring, marketing, planning events or fundraising, we have opportunities for you to make a difference in the community. See more info about volunteering.
A variety of opportunities are offered for teens. Check out the Recreation Department, Recreation Support Services, Youth Employment Services, Ithaca Youth Council Ambassadors, Paul Schreurs Memorial Program, Outing Program, and College Discovery Program
ONLINE REGISTRATION COMES TO IYB and CASS PARK RINK and POOL Go To: https://register.communitypass.net/IthacaYouthBureau to set-up your account today. Follow the on-line directions to set up your account. Include all family members (adults and children). Get your account validated. Fax, email, mail or walk in proof of your residence to the Ithaca Youth Bureau or Cass Park. A driver license, utility bill, tax bill, lease agreement – a document with your name and address on it. Your account is now open to register for lessons, programs, sports, passes, etc. Have questions? Need help? Call us at 607-273-8364
We publish four seasonal brochures during the calendar year - The Spring brochure in mid-February, the Summer brochure mid-March, the Fall in mid-June and Winter brochure by mid-November. We distribute our brochures to district schools on a county-wide basis, so look for your child to bring it home. You can also pick up a brochure here at the Youth Bureau or find it online.
Decisions regarding program cancellations are rendered as close to the start of a program as possible due to variable weather by the Program Coordinator and appropriate other staff. Recreation program cancellations are posted on our Facebook page (You do NOT need an account to see the posts; only to interact with them). You can also call the Youth Bureau between 4:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. at 607-273-8364.
You can place your child on a waiting list for a program. If anything opens up you would be contacted in the order that you appear on the waiting list. Please, double check that all of your contact information is correct, both email & phone.
A variety of opportunities are offered for teens. Check out the Recreation Department, Recreation Support Services, Youth Employment Services, Ithaca Youth Council, Paul Schreurs Memorial Program, Outing Program, and College Discovery Program
When snow and ice on any sidewalk is frozen so hard that it cannot be removed without injury to the sidewalk, it needs to be strewn and kept strewn with ashes, sand, sawdust or other suitable material, so as to be no longer dangerous to life and limb. As soon as practical thereafter, the sidewalk shall be completely cleared of snow, ice and other materials strewn thereon.
Whenever any sidewalk is not kept free from snow and ice as defined in the City Code, the Superintendent of Public Works or his or her designee may clear the sidewalk so that it is free from snow and ice and shall notify the City Chamberlain of the expense incurred by the amount of labor equipment and materials used. The minimum charge shall be $50. The City Chamberlain shall promptly bill the owner of that property for services rendered.
To report a sidewalk that has not been cleared within the given time frame, you can call the Code Enforcement Officer in the Building Division at (607) 274-6508. More information can be found here: Exterior Property Maintenance Ordinance
Certain areas around the Ithaca Commons are allowed to place signs, planters, and merchandise in front of their storefronts. City Code dictates how many, how large, and where these items can be placed. A five foot section of unobstructed sidewalk must be maintained for pedestrian access. If you have questions or concerns about a particular location, please contact the Superintendent of Public Works Office at (607) 274-6527.
The City of Ithaca also has a Special Event Team that helps planners have safe, accessible and successful events. Questions or concerns about a special event can be forwarded to City Clerk Julie Conley Holcomb at (607) 274-6570.
The Mobility, Accessibility and Transportation Commission is a group of volunteer citizens that assess all modes of transportation in the City. They work to identify, educate, and advise Common Council and city staff on issues that present obstacles to equal rights, access, and privileges for persons with disabilities. The Commission meets on the fourth Monday of each month at 6:00 pm in Common Council Chambers, 3rd floor, City Hall, 108 E. Green Street. Everyone is welcome to attend and public comment at the beginning of the meeting is welcomed.
1. If you wish to contest a parking ticket, the first step is to complete a pre-trial appeal form: Parking Violation Pre-Trial Appeal Form Be sure to read all instructions carefully.
2. You will receive a written response- if granted the process is complete. If denied in full or in part, you may choose to have a non-jury trial at Ithaca City Court.
3. You need to contact Ithaca City Court to enter a "not guilty" plea on the parking ticket, and the court will schedule and a non-jury trial will be scheduled.
4. You may choose to meet with the City Prosecutor prior to trial.
Note that if you begin this process within the 20 day period prior to late fee, the late fee will be suspended during the pendency of this process.
Street permits are requested through the Engineering office, with meter bags and "no parking signs" picked up from the Streets and Facilities building at 245 Pier Road. Please contact Lynne Yost in the Engineering Division at 607-274-6530 to request the permits. Parking fees may be assessed.
Any individual or business renting out property or rooms to paying guests for overnight stays on a short term basis in the City of Ithaca is required to register with the City, collect the tax from their guests and pay the tax to the City quarterly.
Just fill out this simple one-page registration form and send it to the City Controller’s office via email, mail, or drop-off. The Controller will then provide you with a certificate of authority, which authorizes you to collect the tax on behalf of the City. By law, you must display this certificate of authority on the premises so that your guests can see it. Please note that the certificate is non-assignable and non-transferable and must be surrendered immediately to the Controller upon the cessation of business at the property/hotel named on the certificate or upon its sale or transfer.
Tax is due on the following dates for taxes collected during the following quarterly periods:
All registered properties should submit returns quarterly. If the amount due in a given quarter is $0, please click the link below, fill out the form and e-mail it to Steve Thayer at email@example.com.
Occupancy Tax Payment Form for No Tax Collected
The tax must be shown separately on the bill, and is 5% of rents/room charges.
Yes, please fill out returns correctly and submit payment on time. The City also has a number of powers at its disposal to collect unpaid taxes. For additional details, see the room tax law.
Call it either “tax on occupancy of hotel rooms” or “City tax”.
All City room tax revenues will be dedicated to support the Downtown Ithaca Conference Center. The new 50,000+ square foot Downtown Ithaca Conference Center will be located at the current site of the western section of the Green Street Garage in the 100 block of East Green Street and will take up of first three floors of a mixed use building with 181 units of housing above. The Center will include a second floor ballroom of 11,000 square feet, a full banquet kitchen, and a junior ballroom of more than 5,000 square feet and is expected to generate 22,000 new room nights and $8.3 million in new visitor spending annually.
To support the Downtown Ithaca Conference Center project. By law, City room tax revenues can only be spent to support the conference center. Revenues will support debt service payments for conference center construction and any net operating losses.
Other partners are also contributing financially to the project. New York State is providing a $5 million grant through Empire State Development. Tompkins County will contribute 4% of County room tax collections annually over the next 30 years. The Downtown Ithaca Alliance will pay $500,000 over the first ten years of the project. Four downtown hotels (Downton Ithaca Marriott, Hotel Ithaca, Hilton Canopy, and Hilton Garden Inn) will collectively pay $100,000 to support construction, $50,000 annually for the first ten years in sponsorship, and $150,000 into an operating reserve fund, with commitments to replenish that reserve fund if it is used.
No, they are different. Tompkins County collects a 5% hotel room occupancy tax on overnight stays anywhere in Tompkins County, including in the City of Ithaca. The City of Ithaca now also collects a separate 5% tax on overnight stays in the City of Ithaca. County room tax revenues support the tourism marketing and tourism development efforts of the Tompkins County Tourism Program and Ithaca Tompkins County Convention and Visitors Bureau. City room tax supports the new conference center.
Stays booked through Airbnb and other short term rentals booked independently or through other online booking services are subject to the tax. Follow the instructions above to register for the tax with the City. Airbnb DOES NOT currently collect and remit City room tax on behalf of its hosts in the City of Ithaca, like it does for the County room tax. Therefore, each Airbnb/STR property in the City of Ithaca must independently register with the City and then charge your guests the 5% room tax. You may be able to have Airbnb add City occupancy tax to a listing for you. Please see this article from Airbnb on your options for manually collecting occupancy tax on Airbnb listings
Permanent residents are exempt. Under the City of Ithaca’s room tax law, a permanent resident is defined as anyone renting the property for more than 30 consecutive days. Certain types of stays that have a charitable or government purpose may be exempt. To qualify as an exempt stay, the guest must provide a valid New York State sales tax exemption certificate to the operator. Absent this certificate being received by the operator, the stay is taxable.
· For questions about tax registration, contact Steve Thayer, City Controller, SThayer@cityofithaca.org
· For questions about tax payment, contact Jessica Wright, City Chamberlain, firstname.lastname@example.org
· For questions about the Downtown Ithaca Conference Center project and use of room tax, contact Tom Knipe, Deputy Director for Economic Development, email@example.com
· Local Law 2021-05 – City of Ithaca Room Occupancy Tax
· FORM - City of Ithaca Hotel, Motel, Bed & Breakfast Occupancy Tax Registration
· FORM – City of Ithaca Return of Tax on Occupancy of Hotel Rooms, with Instructions
Note: Site Plan Review and approval are required before undertaking most construction projects in the City of Ithaca. Site Plan Review Application Process & Forms
Yes, both Stewart Park and Cass Park have public restroom facilities.
There are accessible restrooms and paths at both Cass & Stewart Parks. The new Stewart Park Playground & Carousel are also accessible.
Yes, both Stewart & Cass Parks have grills available for public use. Please be sure to tidy up after yourself.
Only those with a Pavilion reservation, rental agreement, and a propane permit may bring gas grills to city parks.
You may only set up a tent if you have a permit.
Only at Cass Park Pool. Swimming is prohibited in areas not supervised by lifegaurds.
You can launch human powered boats (canoes, kayaks, stand up paddleboards) at both Cass Park and Stewart Park. No sail or motorboats may be launched.
In the event of any emergency, always call 911.
Dogs are allowed at both Cass Park & Stewart Park on leash, on the trail and in open field areas. No dogs allowed in the wooded area of Stewart park or the trail around the swan pond, as both are birding areas.
Kayak rental is available at Stewart Park. Please see "Paddle n more" for more info: https://paddlenmore.com/rentals/
Fishing is allowed as you have a NYS license. Please take all trash and excess line with you as birds often get caught up in the abandoned string.
As it flows, stormwater runoff collects and transports pollutants to surface waters. Although the amount of pollutants from a single residential, commercial, industrial or construction site may seem unimportant, the combined concentrations of contaminants threaten our lakes, rivers, wetlands and other water bodies. Pollution conveyed by stormwater degrades the quality of drinking water, damages fisheries and habitat of plants and animals that depend on clean water for survival. Pollutants carried by stormwater can also affect recreational uses of water bodies by making them unsafe for wading, swimming, boating and fishing. According to an inventory conducted by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), half of the impaired waterways are affected by urban/suburban and construction sources of stormwater runoff. (http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/8468.html.)
There are three categories of properties.•Lots that contain less than 0.25 ERUs of impervious surface area (currently, 575 square feet) are exempt from the stormwater user fee.•One-, two-, and three-family residences are assumed to contain 1 ERU of impervious surface area, and pay a flat fee of $14.25 per quarterly billing cycle (once very three months). Classification of a property as a one-, two-, or three-family residence is determined by the Tompkins County Department of Assessment.•All other lots pay a user fee based upon the amount of impervious surface area located on the property. Lots containing 0.25 to 1 ERU pay $21.75 per quarter, and lots containing more than 1 ERU pay $21.75 per quarter per ERU, assessed in 0.25 ERU increments. (For example, a commercial property with 3,700 square feet of impervious surface area would pay $38.06 per quarter (3,700 / 2,300 = 1.60, which is rounded up to 1.75.) Owners of these lots may apply for credits against the stormwater user fee for eligible management practices or structures.
Note: Subdivision of an existing tax parcel into 2 or more buildable lots requires Subdivision Approval by the Planning and Development Board. Subdivision Application Process & Forms
There are several different ways to determine which Zoning District a particular property is located in: (1) You can use the Building Division's online Property Search Tool via the link below. This is probably the quickest and easiest way to search for Zoning District information for a property in the city (by building name or address). It will also identify the number of units, occupancy, and Certificate of Compliance expiration date. Resident Services Search Tool (2) Tompkins County's Image Mate Online property search tool also allows you to identify the Zoning District of a specific property: Image Mate Online (3) Finally, you can use the City of Ithaca Interactive Web Map via the link below. Just enter the property address in the search field, making sure to only use standard street address abbreviations with no punctuation (e.g., St, Pl, Rd, E, W, N, S). Then just click on the "City Address" search result, click the "Zoom to Feature" link in the pop-up window, click on the "Point" top-menu navigation button under the "Getting Around" tab, and then click anywhere inside the parcel boundary. You will then need to click on the parcel listing in the search "Results" and a pop-up window will appear. Zoning District and other basic property information is accessible under the "Attributes" tab. Interactive Web Map
Once you know which Zoning District a property is in, use the Zoning District Regulations Chart via the link below to determine what the zoning requirements are. Zoning District Regulations Chart If you are having trouble using the web resources described above, please contact the Building Division at: 108 E. Green St. City Hall Fourth Floor Ithaca, NY 14850 Ph: 607-274-6508 Fx: 607-274-6521 Office Hours Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
108 E. Green St.3rd FloorIthaca, NY 14850
Ph: 607-274-6550Fx: 607-274-6558
Office HoursMonday - Friday8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Zoning Division Web Page