Code Enforcement Officials
The purpose of the Building Department in the Town of Poughkeepsie is to provide for a minimum level of protection from the hazards of fire, inadequate building construction and improper maintenance in residential and non-residential buildings through the enforcement of Local and State codes, rules, and regulations. Enforcement is enacted through the issuance of permits, notices and orders, performance of inspections and issuance of certificates.
In the Town of Poughkeepsie, both State and Local codes require that no person or organization shall begin to excavate, construct, demolish or change the nature of the occupancy without having first applied for and obtained a permit.
In order to assure that your project is completed safety and in accordance with all town requirements, a building permit is required for most types of home improvements. In order to get your project moving as quickly as possible, your application for a permit should be filed at least two weeks in advance of the start of your project.
What is a permit?
A permit is a formal document authorizing commencement of some action or work subject to regulations.
Why are permits issued?
Permits are issued to fulfill legal mandates, to protect the health and safety of the general public and to ensure compliance with construction drawings, specifications, and adopted building and fire codes. 3
What is the purpose of the Building and Fire Codes?
The purpose of the Building Code is to provide minimum standards to safeguard life or limb, health, property and public welfare by regulating and controlling the design, construction, quality of materials, use and occupancy, location, and maintenance of all buildings and structures.
A free on-line variation of the NYS Codes are available on line at: http://publicecodes.cyberregs.com/st/ny/st/index.htm
Who has permit authority?
The Building Department issues building, plumbing, heating, and electrical permits for all private development in the Town of Poughkeepsie. In addition to the Building Department, the Zoning Department issues sign, home occupation and yard sale permits (see 'Zoning' department of this web site) for all private development in the Town of Poughkeepsie.
When is a permit required?
In the Town of Poughkeepsie, both State and Local codes require that no person or organization shall begin to excavate, erect, construct, enlarge, alter, remove, improve, demolish, convert or change the nature of the occupancy, repair, install any mechanical equipment or systems such as plumbing, heating, electrical, fire suppression or detection system without first having applied for and obtained a permit. Also, features such as swimming pools, sheds, signs, accessory apartments, or home occupations require permits.
What work can be done without a permit?
Interior and exterior painting or decorating, siding, or roofing that does not require replacing of structural members or necessary repairs that do not involve material alteration of structural features. Examples of items NOT needing a permit would include: replacement of broken window glass, repair of a frozen water pipe and changing of an electrical fuse or the replacement of a broken or missing electrical receptacle. When in doubt about the need for a permit, please contact the Building Department.
How much do permits cost?
Permits are subject to fees adopted by the Poughkeepsie Town Board and posted in the Building Department.
When are stamped plans and construction specifications required?
New York State Education Law requires stamped plans and specifications from a New York State licensed architect or Professional Engineer for the construction of any commercial work; for the construction of new residential dwellings exceeding 1500 sq. ft. in area not including garages, carports, porches, cellars or uninhabitable basements or attics. In instances where stamped plans are not required, some type of detailed plans or specifications are required. For more information regarding this, please contact the Building Department.
How many copies of the plans and specifications are required when applying for a building permit?
At least two (2) copies of plans and specifications are required when applying for a building permit (large projects may require more). One copy is kept in a master file within the Building Department and one copy is returned to the applicant and must be kept available at the job site. In addition to construction plans, two copies of a plot plan must be submitted. If a well or septic system is being installed, Department of Health approval is required prior to issuance of a permit.
How long do I have to obtain a permit?
Some permits (such as minor construction) may take 5-10 business days. However, a plan review of a new residential dwelling may take 2-4 weeks. Commercial permits may take from 2-6 . weeks to complete a review. In all cases, times are commensurate with the size of the project and completeness of the plans and specifications.
Do I need any other approval from other departments or agencies prior to issuance of my permit?
Large-scale construction projects may also require approval from the Planning Board and/or Zoning Board of Appeals, NY State Department of Transportation, NY State Department of Environmental Conservation, and Dutchess County Department of Planning. Smaller-scale projects may require approval from the Zoning Board of Appeals when special variances are sought. For further information concerning zoning requirements, please contact the Planning or Zoning Departments.
What happens if I start work without first obtaining a permit?
You will not be able to obtain a Certificate of Occupancy or Certificate of Compliance. The law provides that a Stop Work Order be issued and fines may be imposed. Additionally, any work found to be at variance with applicable codes, rules and regulations will have to be corrected or removed.
What if I have additional questions concerning building permits or code regulations?
For additional information concerning building permits or code regulations, please call the Town of Poughkeepsie Building Department located at Town Hall, One Overocker Road, Poughkeepsie, NY 12603, at (845) 485-3655. Our fax number is (845) 486-7881. If you wish, you may also e-mail the Building Department.
Town Hall is open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Fire Safety Documents