Village Building Inspector
Village of Pittsford, NY
Let Me Introduce Myself
My wife and I have lived in the village for 13 years and have thoroughly renovated our 100 year old home. Ann is a retired art teacher and I am a construction manager. I spent 35 year with Eastman Kodak and five years with an engineering firm from Maryland, managing a myriad heavy industrial and commercial projects. My previous code enforcement activities have been representing owners to municipalities, so being on this side of the counter is a new experience for me.
One of my goals is to make the village building permit process more comfortable for residents working on their homes, and businesses that need to remodel commercial spaces.
I’ve implemented an Application Tracking Form that provides the user with a detailed road map of what actions need to occur, in what sequence and what deliverable can be expected at each step in the process.
Once completed, users have a copy of this form that is also passed between the various boards so that decisions and future actions are documented. I also encourage applicants to call or set up appointments so that we can resolve any issues or questions that arise throughout the various process steps.
To date, the feedback has been positive, both from the residents and from the Village Boards, and I will continue to update the form in order to optimize its usefulness.
One issue many applicants are unaware of is the insurance requirements that contractors need to provide before they are allowed to work within the Village of Pittsford.
New York State mandates that every contractor provide the municipality where they are performing the work, verifications that their Workers Compensation Insurance is current, as well as naming that municipality as additionally insured on their liability insurance policies. This protects the Village in case of any accidents where an injury or property damage occur. This is necessary because the Village issues the permit allowing them to perform the work. If a contractor does not have employees, we require that they provide us with a waiver from New York State, attesting to that.
The current state building code went into effect on January 1, 2003. The code adopted (with some enhancements) is the International Family of Codes, a model code used in many other states. New York is the 49th state to adopt a model code (Wisconson is the only state that has not replaced its’ state building code). More information on the code is available at the Department of State’s website. http://www.dos.state.ny.us/codes/ls-codes.html
If you are considering locating your business in the Village of Pittsford, an information packet is available in the village office, or for your convenience, you may download them from the business section of this website. The packet contains an overview of zoning, building code, and permit requirements. It also describes Village staff services and pertinent codes. Necessary applications and forms are included.
Our record keeping capabilities was enhanced in 2003 by the purchase of software to record permits, approvals, and violations for all village properties. Staff is able to access property records such as ownership by computer.
Throughout the year, many applications are made to the Village Board of Trustees, Zoning Board of Appeals, Planning Board, and Architectural and Preservation Review Board. These applications include requests for special permits, use variances, area variances, site plan approval, subdivisions, and changes to the exteriors of structures. The Board of Trustees may also amend or enact local laws. These projects have an affect on neighboring properties, and often residents and merchants have concerns that a project may affect the Village environment. Issues such as increased traffic, the impact on parking, and the esthetics of the Village are often raised. Your input is important and can help the boards make their decisions.
Notification of pending applications is provided to the community in several ways. Decisions on applications before the Trustees, Zoning, and Planning Boards are made at public hearings. The procedure for notice of a public hearing is regulated by state law and village code. State law requires that a notice be published in the official newspaper of the Village at least seven days before the public hearing. These notices are found in the Brighton-Pittsford Post in the second section under "Legal Notices."
Chapter 145-78 of the Village Code requires the applicant to erect a sign on the subject property at least 10 days before a public hearing. The sign contains the nature of the application and the time and date of the hearing. In addition, the Village Clerk must notify by mail all property owners within 300 feet of the applicant's property.
There is no public notice of applications to the Architectural and Preservation Review Board, but a schedule of meetings is available at the Village Office, and an agenda is provided prior to each month's meeting.
You can participate in the decisions of the boards by:
- Testifying at the public hearing. Hearings are held at the Village Office, 21 North Main St. Most meetings are at 7:30 P.M.
- Providing your written comments. You may mail your comments to the Village Office before the hearing, fax them (586-4597) up to the day of the hearing, or Present them at the hearing.
- Telephone comments (586-4332). Village staff will note your concerns and provide them to the appropriate board.
- E-mail your comments to a board in care of the Village Clerk at: Pittvill@frontiernet.net
The Village office receives numerous complaints throughout the year regarding temporary signs. Often the offending sign is placed by a resident or business that was unaware of the applicable sections of the Village Code.
In residential districts, the following signs are permitted:
- Real estate signs (for sale, lease, or rent). One sign per property is permitted, up to four square feet, no more than five feet high. The sign must be at least ten feet from a lot line and not placed in the right-of-way.
- Contractor signs up to four square feet while construction is in progress, and not placed in the right-of-way.
- Garage sale signs while the sale is being held, and not attached to trees or utility poles.
- Political signs may be erected 90 days prior to an election. They may be six square feet. six feet high, and no closer than ten feet from a lot line. Political signs may not be placed in the right-of-way, and must be removed within seven days of the election.
Businesses may obtain permits for these temporary signs:
- New retail business or relocation. A temporary sign may be mounted on the building where the business is located. The district determines the size of the sign regulations. Alternately, a portable sign up to six square feet per side may be erected,providing it is not in the public right-of-way. The permit fee is $15.00 and the permit is valid for 90 days.
- Special sales. A 30-day permit for an advertising sign may be issued. The sign can be up to six square feet. The permit fee is $75.00 for a building mounted sign and $50.00 for a window sign
- No sign may be attached to a utility pole, light pole, tree, fence, or bridge.
Additional information on temporary signs:
- Portable (A-frame) signs are not permitted, with the above exceptions.
- The Village may remove illegal temporary signs. There is a fee to retrieve a sign that has been removed.
- Signs for civic events are permitted. They may be erected up to 30 days before the event. The maximum size is six square feet.
- Temporary signs do not require approval by the Architectural and Preservation Review Board (APRB).
View the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for the Building Inspector by clicking here.