OTSEGO COUNTY CODE ENFORCEMENT

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

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Address (E-911 address)

  • In the case of a piece of vacant property where a new structure is proposed to be built, where can I get my E-911 address that I am required to provide to the Otsego County Codes Department? Contact the Otsego County E-911 Department at 800-409-8534 to arrange a visit that will calculate the address that will be assigned.

 

Agricultural Exemptions

  • What projects qualify for an agricultural exemption from the Uniform Code? A building used for the keeping of animals, etc and implements.  The exemption is not available if items such as personal vehicles and other personal items are stored in the building.
  • What do I need in order to get a Certificate of Compliance/Occupancy? In addition to final approval by inspectors in this office, the following are also required:  (1) water test; (2) “as built” certification from a licensed engineer for an on-site septic system; (3) final electrical inspection certificate.  Also for mobile homes, a manufacturer’s warranty is required.

 

Code Book

  • Where can I purchase a copy of the New York State Code books? The NYS Uniform Code and Energy Code are described in a multiple volume set of books.  Orders can be placed by phone, mail, fax or online.  Link here to see an order form.

 

Contractors

  • How do I get a CE-200 Worker’s Compensation exemption form?  Link here to see what the process entails.    www.wcb.ny.gov/
  • Does my contractor need to be licensed?  No, contractors doing work in the municipalities under the jurisdiction of this office do not need to be licensed.  (Contractors in the city of Oneonta need to be licensed.)
  • Are my contractor and I required to have a written contract?  Yes, according to NYS General Business Law Article 36-A, standards are set for contractors in the delivery of their services.  For projects at or above $500, home improvement contracts must be in place and abide by the following: be in writing; include start and completion dates; include disclosure of the possibility of a lien being placed upon the property; disclose that the contractor must deposit all payments received from the consumer prior to substantial completion of work in a separate bank account no later than five days after receipt; disclose the consumer's unconditional right to cancel the contract within three days.  Link here to NYS General Business Law Article 36-A.

 

Fees

  • What is the amount in fees that I must pay?  It varies on the type of permit. 
  • What form of payment is accepted?  Cash, check or money order.  Please make payable to “Otsego County Codes”.
  • All application fees are non-refundable

 

Inspections

  • Who is required to arrange for an inspection?  If a contractor is being used, that person should make the request for an inspection.  Generally, requests should be placed with about two working days notice in advance of the inspector's normally scheduled visit to your area.
  • Who is the inspector for my area and how/when can I reach him/her?  Please refer to the staff member profiles found on the Homepage for this website (left-hand margin) to see what staff members make inspections in certain municipalities and how inspections are scheduled.  Phone numbers are also listed.  For new construction inspections, specific staff members are assigned to certain towns/villages within the county.  For fire/safety inspections, various staff members cover all of the towns/villages within the jurisdiction of the Otsego County Codes Department. 

 

Office Location

  • Where is your office located?  Link here to Homepage “Office Accessibility” found on the right-hand margin.

 

Payment

  • What form of payment is accepted?  Cash, check or money order.  Please make payable to “Otsego County Codes”.
  • What is the amount in fees that I must pay?  It varies on the type of permit.Fee Schedule_2017 
  • All application fees are non-refundable

 

Percolation Tests

  • Can I perform my own percolation test?  No, a soils scientist or professional engineer must perform this test.  You may contact the Otsego County Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD) office at 607-547-8337. 

 

Permits

  • Do I need a permit?>  Link here to see when permits are required from this office.
  • What other information/attachments do I need to supply with my application?>  Link here to see what information/attachments are required to accompany your application.
  • Can I get my permit the same day?  No, all permits from this office involve plan review.  Permits are generally issued within 7-10 days after your application is deemed complete.
  • For how long does my permit last? One year.
  • What size storage building does not require a permit?>  A free-standing building less than 144 square feet in size.  A building of any size, if attached to a main structure (an addition) is required to get a permit.  Also, link here to see when permits are required from this office.
  • Do I need a fence for my pool?  Generally, yes a fence is required and a permit application must be submitted.  Link here to barrier requirements for existing pools and 2010 new pool barrier requirements.

 

Photographs

  • Does the office accept my submitted photographs of my project’s work progress?  Your pictures may be accepted, but only after you have spoken directly to the inspector assigned to your project and that person has determined that photographs would be acceptable.

 

Plans

  • How detailed do my building plans need to be?  Even an application to build a porch requires plans on the types and size of posts and the span of joists.  Link here to see what information/attachments are required to accompany your application.
  • Do I need stamped engineered plans for my project?  Such plans are required for the following: (1) new construction of a residential structure at or above 1,500 square feet; (2) construction of any type of structure with a construction value at or above $20,000; (3) any commercial structure regardless of size or construction value. Link here to the NYS Education Law that addresses the practice of architecture. 

 

Pools

 

Railings

 

Setbacks

  • How far back from a road do I have to be to place my building?  The right-of-way of roads, streets or highways will vary.  The R.O.W.s for most local roads are about 50 feet wide (25 feet from the centerline).  Setback requirements from a road’s R.O.W. will also vary from state, county or local officials.  Consult with the appropriate highway superintendent.

 

Smoke Detectors and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

 

Storage Buildings

  • What size storage building does not require a permit?  A free-standing building less than 144 square feet in size.  (A building of any size, if attached to a main structure otherwise considered an addition, is required to get a permit.)  Also, link here to see when permits are required from this office.

 

Temporary Certificate of Occupancy (C of O)

  • How do I get a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy? Certain specific construction/building conditions, as established in writing by the inspector, must be satisfied in order to receive a Temporary C of O.  Contact your inspector to discuss.  Please refer to the staff member profiles found on the Homepage for this website (left-hand margin) to see what staff members make inspections in certain municipalities.

 

Water Tests

 

Windows

  • What is the window egress size? To begin with, each sleeping room must have one egress window.  All emergency escape and rescue openings shall have a minimum net clear opening of 5.7 square feet (821 square inches).  The minimum net clear opening height shall be 24" and the minimum net clear opening width shall be 20".  (Please understand, however, that a window opening of 20" x24" does not meet this minimum requirement.)

 

Worker’s Compensation

 

Zoning

  • What are the requirements of a town or village? Some, but not all municipalities, have other building/land use requirements, including zoning.  Link here to contact your local clerk to ask what local regulations may exist.