City of Rochester, NY
Monroe County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

§ 39-201 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
AMUSEMENT DEVICE
A mechanically operated device which is used to convey persons in any direction as a form of amusement.
APPROVED
Accepted or acceptable under an applicable specification stated or cited in this code or accepted as suitable for the proposed use.
[Added 10-11-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-323]
APPROVED COMBUSTIBLE
Any material with a flame spread rating as determined by the Building Code.
BUILDING CODE
The regulations found in Chapter 39 of the Municipal Code, together with the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code.
[Amended 6-27-1985 by Ord. No. 85-263]
BUILDING FLOOR AREA
The sum of the gross horizontal areas of the several floors of a building, measured from the exterior faces of the exterior walls or from the center line of a party wall, fire wall or other wall separating two buildings or structures.
[Added 9-21-1993 by Ord. No. 93-312]
CATCH BASIN or INTERCEPTOR
A watertight receptacle designed and constructed to intercept and prevent the passage of the sediment of surface, subsoil or other waste drainage into any other drain; also termed "sand interceptor," "sand trap" or "mudcrock."
[Added 10-11-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-323]
CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICIAL
An authorized representative of the Commissioner of Neighborhood and Business Development who successfully completed the training required by the State of New York for code enforcement personnel and who has obtained and maintains certification from the State Fire Administrator pursuant to the Executive Law and the regulations promulgated thereunder.
[Added 3-20-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-71; amended 6-16-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-179]
COMMISSIONER
The Commissioner of Neighborhood and Business Development of the City of Rochester or an authorized representative.
[Amended 2-10-1981 by Ord. No. 81-45; 6-16-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-179]
CONTRACTOR
A person who, by agreement with a property owner or lessee, accepts the responsibility for execution of the construction. In this capacity, a contractor may provide coordination, labor, equipment and materials.
DEPARTMENT
The Department of Neighborhood and Business Development of the City of Rochester.
[Amended 2-10-1981 by Ord. No. 81-45; 6-16-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-179]
ENERGY CODE
Energy Conservation Construction Code of New York State.
[Added 3-20-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-71]
LIFE SAFETY
Those provisions of the Building Code which are concerned with the protection of occupants from fire and other sudden, catastrophic events.
MARQUEE
A roof-like structure projecting over an entranceway beyond the facade of a building and usually supported by rods or chains attached to the building.[1]
NYSUFP & BC
New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code.
[Added 10-11-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-323]
PRIVATE SWIMMING POOL
A swimming pool owned by a single family as defined in § 120-208 of the City Code and used solely by said family and guests and nonbusiness invitees.
REPAIR
The patching or restoration of materials, elements, equipment and/or fixtures for the purpose of maintaining such materials, elements, equipment and/or fixtures in good or sound condition.
[Added 10-21-2003 by Ord. No. 2003-341][2]
SERVICE CONNECTION
The point in the electrical system where the wiring owned by the utility servicing the premises connects to that which is owned by the property owner.
[Added 10-11-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-323]
THIS CHAPTER
See definition of "Building Code."
[1]
Editor's Note: The former definition of "NYSBCC," which immediately followed this definition, was repealed 6-27-1985 by Ord. No. 85-263.
The former definition of "ordinary repair," which immediately followed this definition, was repealed 10-21-2003 by Ord. 2003-341.
[2]
Editor's Note: The former definition of "rooming house," as amended, which immediately followed this definition, was repealed 7-18-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-224.

§ 39-202 Repair exempt.

[Amended 10-21-2003 by Ord. No. 2003-341]
Repair to existing structures shall not require a building permit nor be subject to provisions of the Building Code except as specifically provided. Repair shall not include work resulting from fire or natural disaster.

§ 39-203 Responsibilities of Commissioner.

[Amended 6-27-1985 by Ord. No. 85-263; 3-20-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-71]
Under the duties and powers provided in § 10-2 of the Charter, the Commissioner shall direct the Code Enforcement Official to:
A. 
Receive applications, review plans and specifications and issue permits for the erection and alteration of buildings or structures or parts thereof for the purpose of ensuring compliance with laws, ordinances and regulations governing building, construction or alterations. The Code Enforcement Official shall review building plans and specifications for general conformity with the Building Code, with specific emphasis on the Code's fire and life safety provisions. The Code Enforcement Official need not analyze the structural design of a planned building when plans and specifications are prepared by an architect or engineer per § 39-208D. The Code Enforcement Official need not analyze or determine methods used during construction.
B. 
Make all inspections which are necessary or proper for the carrying out of these duties or may, in the Commissioner's discretion, accept and rely upon written reports by other persons having qualifications equivalent to those individuals who have met the requirements of 19 NYCRR Part 434 satisfactory to the Commissioner.
C. 
Before issuing a certificate of occupancy/certificate of compliance and as deemed appropriate from time to time during and upon completion of the work for which a building permit has been issued, examine all buildings, structures and sites for which a permit was issued.
D. 
Issue certificates of occupancy/certificates of compliance where appropriate for a building constructed or altered in accordance with the provisions of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code and other applicable regulations.
E. 
Interpret the provisions of the Building Code pursuant to their expressed purpose and spirit.

§ 39-204 Indemnity of City employees.

The City shall defend any City employee who is sued for negligence, error, omission, misfeasance, malfeasance or nonfeasance arising out of the employee's duties in enforcing this code. The City shall indemnify such employee in the event any judgment is recovered against such employee arising out of the employee's duties in enforcing this code, unless the employee's conduct is determined to be willfully or grossly negligent.

§ 39-205 Records.

[Amended 3-20-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-71]
A. 
The Commissioner shall maintain records of the Department's activities as follows:
(1) 
All applications received, reviewed and approved or denied;
(2) 
All plans, specifications and construction documents approved;
(3) 
All building permits, certificates of occupancy, certificates of compliance, temporary certificates, stop-work orders, and operating permits issued;
(4) 
All inspections and tests performed;
(5) 
All statements and reports issued;
(6) 
All complaints received;
(7) 
All investigations conducted; and
(8) 
All fees charged and collected.
B. 
All records listed in Subsection A of this section shall be retained for at least the minimum time period so required by the Records Retention and Disposition Schedule MU-1 in Section 18.11 of 8 NYCRR (Appendix H).
C. 
The Commissioner shall notify the City Historian prior to the disposal of plans and specifications for buildings that no longer are in existence. The Records Management Coordinator will secure proper storage of those plans and specifications deemed to be significant by the City Historian.

§ 39-206 Construction responsibilities.

A. 
Objective. It is the intent of this section to outline respective responsibilities during construction.
B. 
Assumptions. The Code Enforcement Official may assume, unless facts are shown by the applicant to be otherwise:
[Amended 3-20-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-71]
(1) 
That architecture and engineering services for applicants are being performed by persons who are licensed to practice as such by the State of New York.
(2) 
That construction follows accurately the plans and specifications submitted for review by the Code Enforcement Official.
(3) 
That construction methods are being supervised by experienced, competent personnel employed by the applicant or someone contractually obligated to do so for the applicant.
(4) 
That the architect/engineer is responsible for the review of plans, specifications, shop drawings and samples for conformity with the Building Code.
(5) 
That the contractor is responsible for adherence of construction materials and techniques to the plans and specifications accepted by the Code Enforcement Official and is responsible for all construction means, methods, techniques, sequences and procedures and for coordinating all portions of the construction.

§ 39-207 When a building permit is required.

[Amended 4-15-1997 by Ord. No. 97-133; 11-19-2002 by Ord. No. 2002-354; 10-21-2003 by Ord. No. 2003-341; 3-20-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-71]
A. 
Except as otherwise provided in Subsection B of this section, a building permit shall be required for any work which must conform to the Building Code and/or the Energy Code, including, but not limited to, the construction, enlargement, alteration, improvement, removal, relocation or demolition of any building or structure or any portion thereof, and the installation of a solid-fuel-burning heating appliance, chimney or flue. No person shall commence any work for which a building permit is required without first having obtained such permit. A building permit shall also be required for the following:
(1) 
Change of occupancy classification.
(2) 
Increase in hazard classification.
(3) 
Amusement device.
(4) 
Antenna structure 16 feet or more in height above the base, satellite dishes with a diameter greater than 24 inches, or personal wireless telecommunication facilities.
(5) 
Cellar stair enclosure.
(6) 
Fence, wall, or retaining wall over two feet in height above average grade.
(7) 
Fire escape.
(8) 
Marquee and awning.
(9) 
New or replacement cladding materials, whether installed over existing cladding or if existing cladding is replaced; except that no permit is required to replace original cladding with like materials which have identical profiles.
(10) 
Paved area or addition to a paved area having an aggregate size in either case of 2,000 square feet or more, or a parking lot as defined by the Zoning Code, Chapter 120.
(11) 
Sign.
(12) 
Any exterior alterations to architectural features of a designated building of historic value as defined in the Zoning Code, Chapter 120, including but not limited to slate or tile roofing, cladding, porches, cornices, windows, etc.; except that a permit shall not be required to replace original materials or elements with like materials or elements which have identical profiles.
B. 
Exemptions. No building permit shall be required for work in any of the following categories:
(1) 
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;
[Amended 4-24-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-137]
(2) 
Installation of swings and other playground equipment associated with a one- or two-family dwelling or multiple single-family dwellings (townhouses);
(3) 
Installation of swimming pools associated with a one- or two-family dwelling or multiple single-family dwellings (townhouses) where such pools are designed for a water depth of less than 24 inches and are installed entirely above ground;
(4) 
Construction of temporary motion picture, television and theater stage sets and scenery;
(5) 
Installation of window awnings supported by an exterior wall of a one- or two-family dwelling or multiple single-family dwellings (townhouses);
(6) 
Installation of partitions or movable cases less than five feet nine inches in height;
(7) 
Painting, wallpapering, tiling, carpeting, or other similar finish work;
(8) 
Installation of listed portable electrical, plumbing, heating, ventilation or cooling equipment or appliances;
(9) 
Replacement of any equipment, provided the replacement does not alter the equipment's listing or render it inconsistent with the equipment's original specifications; or
(10) 
Repairs, provided that such repairs do not involve (1) the removal or cutting away of a load-bearing wall, partition, or portion thereof, or of any structural beam or load-bearing component; (2) the removal or change of any required means of egress, or the rearrangement of parts of a structure in a manner which affects egress; (3) the enlargement, alteration, replacement or relocation of any building system; or (4) the removal from service of all or part of a fire protection system for any period of time.
C. 
The exemption from the requirement to obtain a building permit for work in any category set forth in Subsection B of this section shall not be deemed an authorization for work to be performed in violation of the Building Code or the Energy Code.

§ 39-208 Permit application.

A. 
Form. Application for a building permit shall be made to the Commissioner in such form as the Commissioner shall prescribe.
B. 
By whom. The application shall be made by the owner or by an authorized agent, architect, engineer or contractor employed in connection with the proposed work.
C. 
Contents of permit application.
(1) 
The application shall contain a general description of the proposed work, its location, the use and occupancy of all parts of the building or structure and of all portions of the site or lot not covered by the building or structure; the names and addresses of the owner and the applicant, contractor, architect and engineer, if applicable; and the responsible employees if the owner is a corporate body.
(2) 
The application shall contain the estimated cost of the proposed work.
(3) 
The application may also contain such other information as may reasonably be required by the Commissioner to establish compliance of the proposed work with the requirements of applicable building codes, energy codes, ordinances and regulations.
D. 
Plans and specifications.
(1) 
Each application for a building permit shall be accompanied by sufficient copies of site plans, construction plans and specifications describing the nature and character of the work to be performed and the materials to be incorporated, drawn to scale, showing the location and size of all proposed new construction and all existing structures on the site; and such other details required by the Commissioner. The Commissioner may waive the requirements for filing plans, specifications and site plans for minor work.
(2) 
Plans and specifications shall bear the signature of the person responsible for the design and drawings and, where required by § 7209 or 7307, as amended, of Article 145 or 147 of the Education Law of the State of New York, the seal of the licensed architect or the licensed professional engineer.
(3) 
Where applicable, a statement of special inspections prepared in accordance with the provisions of the Building Code.
E. 
Changes in the work. Changes in any work (change orders) which must conform to the applicable requirements of the Code shall be filed with the Code Enforcement Official and reviewed by the Code Enforcement Official prior to the commencement of such change of work.
F. 
Time limit on applications. A permit application shall be deemed to be abandoned and may be destroyed three months after date of filing unless a permit shall have been issued or an extension granted by the Commissioner for reasonable cause.

§ 39-209 Issuance of permit or disapproval of application.

A. 
Action on application.
(1) 
The Commissioner shall examine or cause to be examined all completed applications for permits and the plans, specifications, documents and any amendments filed therewith and shall accept, in whole or in part, or reject the completed application within 60 days after filing.
(2) 
Upon acceptance of the application and receipt of required fees and any required insurance or bonds, the Commissioner shall issue a building permit. The building permit shall be a form prescribed by the Commissioner and shall be signed by the Commissioner.
(3) 
Upon acceptance of the application, one set of plans and specifications, endorsed as "Accepted," shall be returned to the applicant together with the building permit and shall be kept by the applicant open to inspection by the Code Enforcement Official at all reasonable times during the course of construction.
[Amended 3-20-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-71]
(4) 
If the application, together with plans, specifications and other documents filed therewith, describes proposed work which does not conform to all of the requirements of the applicable building laws, ordinances and regulations, the Commissioner shall reject the same and shall return the plans and specifications to the applicant with written notice of the reasons for rejection.
(5) 
Partial permit. The Commissioner may issue a permit for the construction of a part of a building or structure before the plans and specifications for the entire building or structure have been submitted or accepted, provided that adequate information and detailed statements have been filed. The granting of a partial permit shall not relieve the applicant of the requirement to submit a complete set of plans and specifications to obtain a final building permit. Construction shall not proceed beyond the scope of the partial permit until a permit is issued for the remainder of the work.
(6) 
The Code Enforcement Official may attach conditions to the issuance of the permit to assure compliance with applicable building regulations.
[Amended 3-20-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-71]
B. 
No building permit shall be issued unless the Commissioner has received evidence of a certificate of zoning compliance issued by the Manager of Zoning pursuant to the Zoning Code, Chapter 120, or a statement by the Manager of Zoning certifying that no certificate of zoning compliance is required.
[Amended 10-21-2003 by Ord. No. 2003-341; 6-16-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-179; 6-20-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-170]
C. 
The Commissioner may require the approval of other departments or agencies prior to the issuance of a building permit.

§ 39-210 Performance of work under building permit.

A. 
All work performed under a permit issued by the Commissioner shall conform to the application, plans and specifications (including change orders reviewed pursuant to § 39-208E) and shall be in accordance with applicable building laws, ordinances and regulations.
B. 
Building permits or copies thereof shall be displayed prominently on the job site at all times during the progress of the work. Inspections may be conducted at reasonable times by the Code Enforcement Official with consent, pursuant to a valid inspection warrant, or under exigent or emergency circumstances or in other situations in which a inspection warrant is not required.
[Amended 8-8-1995 by Ord. No. 95-284; 3-20-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-71; 2-17-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-30]
C. 
The Commissioner shall be given at least 24 hours' notice of the start of work under a permit.
D. 
All new work shall be located in accordance with the accepted site plan. The owner or applicant shall not change, increase or diminish in area the lot shown on the approved site plan unless a revised plan showing such changes shall have been filed and accepted by the Commissioner.
E. 
A building to be constructed within five feet of public lands and rights-of-way, such as parks, school grounds, recreation areas, streets and other uses, shall be located on the site by instrument survey. A licensed professional engineer or land surveyor shall certify to the Commissioner that the building as located conforms to the accepted site plan. The Commissioner may require an instrument survey for a structure or site improvement other than a building that is to be constructed within five feet of public lands and rights-of-way.
F. 
Any permit issued shall expire if the authorized work is not commenced within 90 days after issuance of the permit, or if the authorized work is not completed by a deadline which shall be set by the Commissioner in consultation with the applicant or owner. No permit shall have an initial deadline period greater than one year. Work shall be considered to be complete upon the issuance of a certificate of occupancy or letter of completion.
[Amended 4-15-1997 by Ord. No. 97-133]
G. 
For good cause the Commissioner may extend, for a period to be set by the Commissioner in consultation with the applicant or owner, an expired permit if the applicant or owner makes written request to the Commissioner no later than 10 days after the expiration of the permit. No extension may exceed one year. Subsequent extensions as may be required may be processed in a like manner. No permit may be granted more than two consecutive extensions.
[Amended 4-15-1997 by Ord. No. 97-133]
H. 
The Commissioner may revoke a building permit theretofore issued in any of the following instances:
(1) 
Where the Commissioner finds that there has been any false statement or misrepresentation as to a material fact in the accepted application, plans or specifications.
(2) 
Where the Commissioner finds that the building permit was issued in error and should not have been issued in accordance with the applicable law.
(3) 
Where the Commissioner finds that the work performed under the permit is not being performed in accordance with the provisions of the accepted application, plans or specifications or does not comply with the requirements of the Building Code.
[Amended 3-20-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-71]
(4) 
Where the person to whom a building permit has been issued fails or refuses to comply with a stop-work order issued by the Commissioner.
I. 
Construction inspections.
[Added 4-15-1997 by Ord. No. 97-133; amended 3-15-2005 by Ord. No. 2005-42;[1] 3-20-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-71]
(1) 
Permitted work shall be required to remain accessible and exposed until inspected and accepted by the Code Enforcement Official. The permit holder shall notify the Code Enforcement Official when any element of work described in Subsection I(2) of this section is ready for inspection.
(2) 
The following elements of the construction process shall be inspected where applicable;
(a) 
Work site prior to the issuance of a building permit;
(b) 
Footings and foundations;
(c) 
Preparation for concrete slab;
(d) 
Framing;
(e) 
Building systems, including underground and rough-in;
(f) 
Fire-resistant construction;
(g) 
Fire-resistant penetrations;
(h) 
Solid-fuel-burning heating appliances, chimneys, flues or gas vents;
(i) 
Energy Code compliance; and
(j) 
A final inspection after all work authorized by the building permit has been completed.
(3) 
After inspection, the work or a portion thereof shall be noted as satisfactory as completed, or the permit holder shall be notified as to where the work fails to comply with the Building Code or Energy Code. Work not in compliance with any applicable provision of the Building Code or Energy Code shall remain exposed until such work shall have been brought into compliance with all applicable provisions of the Codes, reinspected, and found satisfactory as completed.
(4) 
For inspections on Saturdays, Sundays, holidays or other than regular working hours, the rate shall be $50 per hour. A minimum of four hours will be charged if the inspector was called in and/or has no other inspections during the four hours.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance provided an effective date of 4-1-2005.

§ 39-211 Stop-work orders.

[Amended 6-19-1990 by Ord. No. 90-259; 7-11-1991 by Ord. No. 91-416]
Whenever the Commissioner has reasonable grounds to believe that work on any building or structure or performed under any permit is being performed in violation of the provisions of the applicable building laws, ordinances or regulations, or not in conformity with the provisions of the accepted application, plans or specifications and revisions thereof, or in an unsafe and dangerous manner, or without a required permit, the Commissioner shall notify the owner of the property or the owner's agent to suspend all work, and any such persons shall forthwith stop work and suspend all building activities until the stop-work has been rescinded. Such order and notice shall be in writing, shall state the conditions under which the work may be resumed and may be served either by delivering it personally or by posting it conspicuously where the work is being performed and sending a copy of it by mail to the address set forth in the permit application. Violations of stop-work orders may be referred to the Municipal Code Violations Bureau.

§ 39-212 Required insurance and bonds.

A. 
Workers' compensation insurance. Prior to the issuance of any permit under this chapter, the contractor (or the owner if the owner is the employer of individuals engaged in the construction or renovation work) must provide to the City a certificate of workers' compensation insurance satisfactory to the Commissioner. (See New York Workers' Compensation Law § 57.)
[Amended 6-27-1985 by Ord. No. 85-263]
B. 
Disability benefits coverage. Prior to the issuance of any permit under this chapter, the contractor (or the owner if the owner is the employer of individuals engaged in the construction or renovation work) must provide to the City in a form satisfactory to the Commissioner a certificate showing that payment of disability benefits for employees has been secured. (See New York Workers' Compensation Law § 220, Subdivision 8.)
[Amended 6-27-1985 by Ord. No. 85-263]
C. 
[1]Flammable liquid tanks. Prior to the issuance of a building permit pursuant to § 39-207C, the applicant shall provide proof satisfactory to the Commissioner that a comprehensive liability policy exists which covers the work. The Commissioner shall establish minimum limits of insurance. The Commissioner may require that the City be a named or additional insured. The Commissioner may accept such insurance to cover all work by an applicant to be done within a twelve-month period.
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection C, Demolition work, was repealed 9-21-1993 by Ord. No. 93-312. Said ordinance also redesignated former Subsection D as Subsection C.

§ 39-213 When a certificate of occupancy or certificate of compliance is required.

A. 
Unless a certificate of occupancy or certificate of compliance shall have been issued by the Commissioner:
[Amended 3-20-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-71]
(1) 
No building hereafter erected shall be used or occupied in whole or in part.
(2) 
No building hereafter enlarged, extended or altered shall be occupied or used for more than 30 days after the completion of the alteration or work.
(3) 
No use or occupancy of any structure shall be changed to any other use or occupancy, whether or not construction, reconstruction, remodeling, alteration or moving is involved.
B. 
As provided in Chapter 90, the Property Conservation Code, the Commissioner may issue a certificate of occupancy certifying the lawful existence and use of any existing structure or use subject to the same standards and limitations as authorized by this section for new and altered structures and uses.
[Amended 6-27-1985 by Ord. No. 85-263; 7-18-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-224]
C. 
In addition to the above requirements, the Zoning Code, Chapter 120, may require a certificate of occupancy for certain uses which do not involve a building or structure. It is the intent of the drafters of the Building Code that those requirements of the Zoning Code, Chapter 120, shall govern.
[Amended 11-19-2002 by Ord. No. 2002-354; 12-21-2003 by Ord. No. 2003-341]

§ 39-214 Certificate of occupancy/certificate of compliance.

[Amended 3-20-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-71]
A. 
Applicants shall apply for the required certificate of occupancy concurrently with their application for a building permit. The certificate of occupancy application shall be held on file until the Commissioner receives notice from the Code Enforcement Official that the construction is completed.
B. 
The Commissioner may require the applicant, at his or her own expense, to submit the following information prepared in accordance with the provisions of the Code of the City of Rochester and/or the Building Code by such person or persons as may be designated or otherwise acceptable to the Commissioner and/or the Code Enforcement Official prior to issuing a certificate of occupancy or a certificate of compliance:
(1) 
A statement of the actual construction cost of the work.
(2) 
A survey by a licensed surveyor or licensed professional engineer indicating all lot lines and the as-built location of the structure.
(3) 
A written statement of structural observations and/or a final report of special inspections.
(4) 
Flood hazard certifications.

§ 39-215 Issuance of certificate of occupancy or certificate of compliance.

[Amended 6-27-1985 by Ord. No. 85-263; 3-20-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-71]
A. 
A certificate of occupancy or certificate of compliance shall be required for any work which is the subject of a building permit and for all structures, buildings, or portions thereof, which are converted from one use or occupancy classification or subclassification to another, whether or not work requiring a permit occurs. Permission to use or occupy a building or structure, or portion thereof, for which a building permit was previously issued shall be granted only by issuance of a certificate of occupancy or certificate of compliance.
B. 
A certificate of occupancy or certificate of compliance may be issued for an entire building or a specific portion of a building.
C. 
Within 10 days after an inspection, the Commissioner shall either issue a certificate of occupancy or certificate of compliance or notify the applicant in writing of the existing violations.
D. 
An application for a certificate of occupancy shall be endorsed by the Director of Buildings and Zoning.
[Amended 6-16-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-179; 6-20-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-170]
E. 
As regulated by the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code and the Rochester Fire Prevention Code, signs specifying maximum occupancy must be posted prior to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy.

§ 39-216 Contents of certificate of occupancy/certificate of compliance.

[Amended 6-27-1985 by Ord. No. 85-263; 11-19-2002 by Ord. No. 2002-354; 10-21-2003 by Ord. No. 2003-341; 3-20-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-71]
A certificate of occupancy or certificate of compliance shall contain the following information:
A. 
A statement that the premises substantially comply with the Building Code, the Zoning Code, Chapter 120, the Fire Prevention Code (if a new or substantially altered building) and the Multiple Residence Law (if applicable);
B. 
The building permit number, if any;
C. 
The date of issuance of the building permit, if any:
D. 
The name, address and tax number of the property:
E. 
A description of that portion of the structure for which the certificate is issued if the certificate is not for the entire structure;
F. 
The use and occupancy classification of the structure;
G. 
The type of construction of the structure;
H. 
The assembly occupant load of the structure, if any;
I. 
If an automatic sprinkler system is provided;
J. 
Any special conditions imposed in connection with the issuance of the building permit;
K. 
The signature of the Code Enforcement Official issuing the certificate; and
L. 
The certificate of occupancy shall specify the date of issuance and the date of expiration, if the premises are subject to Chapter 90, the Property Conservation Code, of the City Code.

§ 39-217 Conditional certificate of occupancy.

A. 
At the discretion of the Commissioner, a conditional certificate of occupancy may be issued when temporary occupancy of a building is requested before the entire work covered by the building permit has been completed.
B. 
The Commissioner must find that:
(1) 
The building is near substantial compliance with applicable regulation.
(2) 
The building is in compliance with the Zoning Code, Chapter 120, as certified by the Director of Buildings and Zoning.
[Amended 11-19-2002 by Ord. No. 2002-354; 10-21-2003 by Ord. No. 2003-341; 6-16-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-179; 6-20-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-170]
(3) 
Work required to bring the building into substantial compliance is not essential to making the building usable.
(4) 
Conditional occupancy would not endanger life or the public health or welfare, specifically ensuring the completion of all fire- and smoke-detecting or fire protection equipment and all required means of egress.
[Amended 3-20-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-71]
C. 
Contents of conditional certificate of occupancy. In addition to the contents required in § 39-216, conditional certificates of occupancy shall state:
[Added 6-18-1996 by Ord. No. 96-205]
(1) 
The location and extent of occupancy to be permitted.
(2) 
Specific work remaining to correct all violations.
(3) 
The date by which remaining work shall be completed.
(4) 
A warning that failure to complete the work by the date specified shall be sufficient cause for the revocation of the conditional certificate of occupancy without further notice.

§ 39-218 Partial certificate of occupancy.

[Amended 6-18-1996 by Ord. No. 96-205]
A. 
At the discretion of the Commissioner, a partial certificate of occupancy may be issued when permanent occupancy of a portion of the building is required, before the entire work covered under the building permit is completed.
B. 
The Commissioner must find that:
(1) 
The portion of the building to be occupied is in substantial compliance with applicable regulations.
(2) 
That portion of the building to be occupied is in compliance with the Zoning Code, Chapter 120, as certified by the Director of Buildings and Zoning.
[Amended 11-19-2002 by Ord. No. 2002-354; 10-21-2003 by Ord. No. 2003-341; 6-16-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-179; 6-20-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-170]
(3) 
Partial occupancy would not endanger life or the public health or welfare.
C. 
In addition to the contents required in § 39-216, partial certificates of occupancy shall state:
(1) 
The location and extent of occupancy to be permitted.

§ 39-219 Renewal or revocation of certificate of occupancy or certificate of compliance.

A. 
Renewals of certificates of occupancy may be required under Chapter 90, Property Conservation Code, of the City Code.
[Amended 6-27-1985 by Ord. No. 85-263]
B. 
The Commissioner may cause a building to be inspected as often as necessary to determine if there are violations of applicable regulations. If violations are found that affect the structure's substantial compliance with applicable regulations, the Commissioner may revoke the certificate of occupancy or certificate of compliance and shall then notify the owner of the building that continued occupancy or use is prohibited until necessary corrections are made.
[Amended 3-20-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-71]

§ 39-220 General provisions regarding fees.

A. 
A permit shall not be issued until the fee appropriate to the type and cost of work described below has been paid. The fee shall be made payable to the City Treasurer and deposited at the office of the Commissioner.
B. 
(Reserved)[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection B, which exempted construction on property owned by various governments and their subdivisions and certain not-for-profit corporations from the fees under this chapter, was repealed 4-28-1981 by Ord. No. 81-144.
C. 
Where the fee is based on an estimated cost of work, the Commissioner may require from the applicant an affidavit to establish that the correct fee was charged. The affidavit shall establish the construction cost and shall be supported by whatever additional documents the Commissioner deems necessary. Any adjustments in fee shall be made prior to the issuance of the certificate of occupancy.
D. 
Refund policy.
(1) 
On written request by the applicant and for good cause, an applicant whose permit has expired in accordance with § 39-210F or who surrenders a permit because of a change in plans may request a refund from the Commissioner. If a request is made within two months of the application, a refund shall be limited to any portion of the permit fee paid in excess of $50, or 50% of the permit fee paid, whichever is less. If a request is made at least two months but not more than three months after the application, a refund shall be limited to any portion of the permit fee paid in excess of $50, or 25% of the permit fee paid, whichever is less. No refund shall be available beyond three months after the application.
[Amended 11-10-1992 by Ord. No. 92-406; amended 3-20-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-71]
(2) 
If a permit is issued in error, such permit shall be returned to the Commissioner for cancellation and the Commissioner is authorized to refund the total permit fee paid.
(3) 
There may be cases where the final construction cost is less than the estimated amount on which the fee is based. In that event, the applicant may apply to the Commissioner for a refund of the excess portion of the fee and the Commissioner may make such a refund.
(4) 
On written request by the applicant and for good cause, an applicant who withdraws an application before issuance of a permit may request a refund from the Commissioner. If a withdrawal request is made within one week of the application, a refund shall be limited to any portion of the permit fee paid in excess of $50. If a withdrawal request is made at least one week but not more than two weeks after the application, a refund shall be limited to any portion of the permit fee paid in excess of $50, or 75% of the permit fee paid, whichever is less. If a withdrawal request is made more than two weeks after the application, a refund shall be limited to any portion of the permit fee paid in excess of $50, or 50% of the permit fee paid, whichever is less.
[Added 11-10-1992 by Ord. No. 92-406; 3-20-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-71]

§ 39-221 Fees for permits.

[Amended last 4-8-2003 by Ord. No. 2003-78 [1]]
A. 
The fee for a permit to construct, enlarge, alter, improve, relocate, convert, maintain use, establish use, legalize use or change the occupancy of a building or structure, or for the installation or replacement of a heating appliance or system, shall be based on the actual cost of such work, per the following schedule:
Actual Cost
Base Fee
Plus Incremental Fee
$0 to $2,000
$50
None
$2,001 to $4,000
$70
None
$4,001 to $6,000
$90
None
$6,001 to $8,000
$110
None
$8,001 to $10,000
$130
None
$10,001 to $12,000
$150
None
$12,001 to $14,000
$170
None
$16,001 to $18,000
$190
None
$18,001 to $20,000
$210
None
$20,001 to $22,000
$230
None
$22,001 to $24,000
$250
None
$24,001 to $26,000
$270
None
$26,001 to $28,000
$290
None
$28,001 to $30,000
$310
None
$30,001 to $32,000
$330
None
$32,001 to $34,000
$350
None
$34,001 to $36,000
$370
None
$36,001 to $38,000
$390
None
$38,001 to $40,000
$410
None
$40,001 to $42,000
$430
None
$42,001 to $44,000
$450
None
$44,001 to $46,000
$470
None
$46,001 to $48,000
$490
None
$48,001 to $50,000
$510
None
$50,001 to $52,000
$530
None
$52,001 to $54,000
$550
None
$54,001 to $56,000
$570
None
$56,001 to $58,000
$590
None
$58,001 to $60,000
$610
None
$60,001 to $100,000
$150
.009 x Actual Cost
$100,001 to $500,000
$375
.007 x Actual Cost
$500,001 to $1,000,000
$1,475
.005 x Actual Cost
$1,000,001 and Over
$3,675
.003 x Actual Cost
B. 
Actual cost shall be based on a signed contractual agreement or detailed cost estimate provided by the applicant. Actual cost shall include expenditures for all labor, materials, construction, equipment, rental and equipment installations. Mechanical work, in addition to general contractual work, is specifically included. In the event that no contractual agreement or detailed cost estimate is available, or there is a discrepancy with the cost estimate provided, the current "RS Means Square Foot" costs shall be used to determine the actual cost.
C. 
Actual cost need not include:
(1) 
Cost of labor and material of electrical wiring fixtures and equipment where an electrical permit is obtained pursuant to § 39-304 of the Municipal Code.
(2) 
Cost of material and labor of plumbing work when a plumbing permit is obtained pursuant to Chapter 40, Building Construction: Plumbing, of the Municipal Code and the plumbing provisions of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code.
(3) 
The cost of land, surveying, site preparation, soil investigation, private sidewalks, professional fees and other work intended primarily for appearance or embellishment.
(4) 
Costs of materials, equipment and systems related to production, manufacturing or processing or which are requirements of owners, specialized codes or specialized regulations.
D. 
If separate permits are obtained for building appurtenances such as signs, elevators and tanks, the cost of such items may be subtracted from the permit fee calculation and a separate fee paid for these items.
E. 
There shall be no fee for a building permit to legalize an existing occupancy or to change occupancy where other work is not involved.
F. 
Building permit fees for the following actions shall be as follows:
[Amended 8-21-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-296; 10-11-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-323[2]]
Purpose
Fee
Demolition1 of:
Any structure, the demolition of which would be a Type II action as identified in § 48-5B of Chapter 48, Environmental Review, of the Municipal Code or in 6 NYCRR 617.13, State Environmental Quality Review
$50.00
Frame building up to 3 stories in height
$150.00
Any other structure
$300, plus $135 for each full 5,000 square feet of building floor area
Installation of exterior paved area or parking lot
$100
Installation, alteration, repair or removal of a flammable liquid storage facility
Per tank
$100
Per pump
$80
Installation of other structures such as tents, amusement devices, temporary classrooms or construction trailers where it is impractical to base a fee on cost
$100
Deck
< = 144 square feet
$75
> = 144 square feet
$100
> = 400 square feet
$150
Wood-burning stove, solid fuel device, fireplace insert, gas fireplace
$100
Swimming pool
$50
Electrical inspections
Residential
New dwelling unit with service
$150 + $75 per each additional unit
Renovation/addition
Less than or equal to 200 square feet
$70
Greater than 200 square feet
$100
Commercial new construction or alteration/renovation
Less than or equal to 1,500 square feet
$125
1,501 to 5,000 square feet
$250
Greater than 5,000 square feet
$250 + $0.05 per square foot
(All above-listed fees do not include service installation.)
Alarm system
$70
A/C or heat pump
$70
Elevator/escalator
$70
Fuel dispensing unit
$70
New service installation or upgrade less than or equal to 200 amps each
$70 + $35 per each meter
New service installation or upgrade greater than 200 amps each
$110 + $35 per each meter
Other
$70
Pool/hot tub wiring
$70
Reinspection fee
$50
Safety inspection (5 meters or fewer)
$70
Safety inspection (more than 5 meters)
$70 + $10 per meter over 5
Signs
$70
Temporary service installation
$70
Exterior lighting
$70
Pole lights
$70 + $10 per pole
Plumbing inspections:2,3
Base fee for all plumbing permits
$55
In addition to the base fee, plumbing permit fees shall be as follows:
Fixtures: installation, removal or capping of each fixture
$10
Building sewers
$45
Sump pumps:
Residential
$15
Single (commercial)
$35
Duplex (commercial)
$75
Catch basins or yard drains, each
$50
Parking area trench drains, each
$20
Outside conductors (residential), each
$5
Conductors or roof drains (commercial), each
$10
Sewer ejectors:
Single
$20
Double
$35
Hot-water heaters (over 70 gallons' capacity), each
$30
Hot-water heaters (70 gallons' capacity or less), each
$10
Commercial and industrial establishments, including restaurants:
Garbage disposals, each
$35
Dishwashing machines, each
$40
Grease interceptors, each
$40
Ice-cube-making machines, each
$25
Laundry-washing machines, each
$35
Backflow prevention devices (installation):
Size from 1/4 inch to 3/4 inch, each
$10
1 inch to 1 1/2 inches, each
$15
More than 1 1/2 inches, each
$30
Water service renewal:
Renewal of water service, less than 2 inches, without any street work, each
$85
Water main services in property line of 3/4 inch to 2 inches, each
$35
Water main and sewer repairs or renewal, public or private, over 2 inches
$35 for the first 60 feet; each additional 100 feet: $10
Cleanouts at property line, each
$35
Manholes in property line, each
$35
Sand interceptors, each
$35
Oil interceptors (all types), each
$35
Future use openings, each
$10
All notice and order plumbing violations, each
$10
Repair or replacement of gas supply, domestic water, storm, sanitary or vent piping
$10 for the first 100 feet, and $2 per foot thereafter
Reinspection or callback when work is not ready for inspection, each
$50
NOTES:
1For demolition work done after 5:00 p.m. on weekdays or at any time on weekends, an additional fee equal to the demolition fee shall be charged.
2 For items not listed in the Fee Schedule, the permit fee shall be established by the Commissioner of Neighborhood and Business Development.
3 For any inspections requested on Saturdays, Sundays, holidays or other than regular working hours, the rate shall be $50 per hour. A minimum of four hours may be charged if the inspector was called in and/or has no other inspections during the four hours.
[2]
Editor's Note: This ordinance provided an effective date of 12-1-2011.
G. 
Upon completion of a plan review, if the contract documents are determined to be insufficient and require revision and resubmission or if the applicant resubmits drawings due to significant changes in the proposed work, an additional fee of $50 or 50% of the full permit fee, whichever is greater, shall be required.
[Amended 3-20-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-71]
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance provided that it would take effect 7-1-2003.

§ 39-222 Fees for certificates of occupancy.

A. 
There shall be a separate fee charged for each certificate of occupancy, partial certificate of occupancy, conditional certificate of occupancy or renewal of a certificate of occupancy.
B. 
There shall be no fee for a certificate of occupancy for a structure for which a permit has been issued when the construction value is equal to or exceeds $20,000.
[Amended 3-16-1999 by Ord. No. 99-74; 6-16-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-179]
C. 
Existing structures. The fee for a certificate of occupancy for a structure shall be as follows:
[Last amended 10-11-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-323]
(1) 
Residential structures.
Type Fees
Base Fee
Plus Incremental
Single-family
$60
None
Two-family
$80
None
3 or more dwelling units
$100
$10 for each additional unit over 5
Mixed commercial/residential occupancy
$100
$10 for each additional commercial/residential unit over 5
Rooming house
$100
$10 for each additional rooming unit over over 5
(2) 
Nonresidential structures.
Type
Fee
Per Square Foot of Gross Floor Area
All uses
$100
0 to 25,000
$150
25,001 or more
(3) 
If title to a property has been transferred without the required certificate of occupancy or if the application to renew a certificate of occupancy is not made within 40 days after the mailing by the City of a notice to the owner of the property, informing the owner of the certificate of occupancy requirement, sent by first class mail, addressed to the owner's address on file with the Bureau of Assessment or the owner's last known address or place of residence, if such address is not so filed, the fee shall be double the fees listed in Subsection C, subject to the limitations listed in Subsection E.
D. 
The fee for a partial or conditional certificate of occupancy shall be the same as in Subsection C.
[Amended 6-18-1996 by Ord. No. 96-205]
E. 
The fee to renew a certificate of occupancy when required by § 90-16A of the Municipal Code shall be the same as set forth in Subsection C, except that the renewal fee shall not exceed $200.
[Amended 2-27-1990 by Ord. No. 90-60; 10-23-1990 by Ord. No. 90-430; 5-12-1992 by Ord. No. 92-177; 6-18-1996 by Ord. No. 96-205; 4-8-2003 by Ord. No. 2003-78; 6-16-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-179; 10-11-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-323[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance provided an effective date of 12-1-2011.
F. 
The Commissioner, at his or her discretion, may waive the fees for a certificate of occupancy to legalize occupancy or use of a property when an undocumented change to a less intensive occupancy or use has occurred prior to transfer of title to the present owner.
[Added 2-27-1990 by Ord. No. 90-60]
G. 
The fee for a certificate of occupancy when required for transfer of title as per § 90-16A(2)(a) of the Municipal Code shall be the same as in Subsection C.
[Added 4-8-2003 by Ord. No. 2003-78; amended 6-16-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-179]

§ 39-223 Fees for other Department actions.

[Amended 2-27-1979 by Ord. No. 79-91; 10-14-1980 by Ord. No. 80-450; 4-28-1981 by Ord. No. 81-144; 5-25-1982 by Ord. No. 82-208; 6-12-1984 by Ord. No. 84-226; 5-22-1990 by Ord. No. 90-193; 5-11-1993 by Ord. No. 93-147]
A. 
The fee for each partial permit is $100 in addition to the fee based on the actual cost of the work. When a partial permit is requested, this fee and the entire permit fee shall be paid at the time of the issuance of the partial permit.
[Amended 3-20-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-71; 10-11-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-323[1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance provided an effective date of 12-1-2011.
B. 
The fee to rescind a stop-work order is $50 for work up to $5,000 in actual cost of the total project, $100 for work exceeding $5,000 and up to $25,000 in actual cost of the total project, and $500 for work exceeding $25,000 in actual cost of the total project.
C. 
There shall be no fee to file an affidavit as a permanent record of the Department.
[Amended 6-18-1996 by Ord. No. 96-204]
D. 
The fee to file a certificate of electrical work per § 39-305 is $50.
E. 
The fee for the issuance of a letter of compliance with local code requirements for situations not involving a building permit or a certificate of occupancy shall be in accordance with the fee schedule listed in § 39-222C.
[Amended 10-11-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-323]

§ 39-224 Appeals.

A. 
Objective. It is the intent of this section to provide a definite and orderly administrative appeal process which will prevent unnecessary delay or litigation.
B. 
Procedure. An owner or owner's agent may appeal from any local provision or any interpretation of a local provision of the Building Code by filing a written appeal with the Commissioner. The Commissioner will conduct a hearing and render a written decision within 10 days of receipt of the appeal. If no decision is rendered within that time, the appeal will be deemed denied. If the Commissioner shall take no action or decide against the appellant, the appellant may appeal to the Board of Review, established by Chapter 4 of the City Code. The Board of Review will conduct a hearing and render a written decision. If the Board decides against the appellant, the appellant may appeal to the Supreme Court, State of New York, pursuant to Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules. Variances, appeals or interpretations of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code must be sought in accordance with the provisions of Title 19 NYCRR, Part 444, titled "Variance Procedures," administered by the Secretary of State.
[Amended 6-27-1985 by Ord. No. 85-263; 10-21-2003 by Ord. No. 2003-341]
C. 
Fees. Fees shall not be charged for appeals to the Commissioner. A fee of $50 shall be charged for appeals to the Board of Review, as provided by Chapter 4 of the Municipal Code.
[Amended 6-18-1996 by Ord. No. 96-205][1]]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection D, regarding the fee for variances or appeals from the New York State Board of Review, which subsection immediately followed, as added 6-18-1996 by Ord. No. 96-205, was repealed 10-21-2003 by Ord. No. 2003-341.

§ 39-225 Penalties for offenses.

[Amended 10-14-1980 by Ord. No. No. 80-450]
A. 
A person performing work for which a permit is required and for which no permit has been obtained shall be charged a penalty equal to the applicable permit fee. The person must also pay the applicable permit fee itself.
B. 
Violations of this chapter may be referred to the Municipal Code Violations Bureau, wherein violators shall be subject to the penalties for high violations set forth in § 13A-11D(1) of the Municipal Code.
[Added 6-19-1990 by Ord. No. 90-259;[1] amended 10-13-1992 by Ord. No. 92-372; 10-11-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-323]
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also provided for the redesignation of former Subsection B as Subsection C.
C. 
Violations of this chapter may also be enforced pursuant to Chapter 52 of the Municipal Code, and violators shall be subject to the penalties set forth in said chapter.
[Amended 10-13-1992 by Ord. No. 92-372]

§ 39-226 Tests of materials.

Whenever reasonable doubt exists as to whether any material or type of construction meets the requirements of the Building Code, the Commissioner may require tests as proof of compliance to be made by an approved agency at the expense of the owner.

§ 39-227 Zoning Code.

[Amended 6-27-1985 by Ord. No. 85-263; 8-8-1995 by Ord. No. 95-284; 11-19-2002 by Ord. No. 2002-354; 10-21-2003 by Ord. No. 2003-341]
Where there are inconsistencies between the provisions of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code and the Zoning Code, Chapter 120, the provisions of the more restrictive code shall govern.

§ 39-228 Electrical inspection licensing.

[Added 2-7-1984 by Ord. No. 84-40]
A. 
License; when required. No person shall conduct electrical inspections pursuant to applicable codes unless the person undertaking such inspections has obtained a license to inspect from the Commissioner of Neighborhood and Business Development.
[Amended 6-16-2009 by Ord. No. 2009-179]
B. 
Application for license.
(1) 
Applications for licenses shall be made at the Department of Neighborhood and Business Development. Such applications shall be made on forms prescribed by the Commissioner of Neighborhood and Business Development and shall contain such information as the Commissioner may require.
(2) 
Persons seeking a license must submit documentation and certify that they meet the standards for an electrical inspection agency established by the Commissioner. The standards shall be filed in the office of the Commissioner and the City Clerk.
C. 
Issuance of license. The Commissioner shall issue a license if in his or her judgment, the agency meets the standards for an electrical inspection agency and is competent to conduct electrical inspections.
[Amended 2-14-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-22]
D. 
Revocation and expiration.
(1) 
The Commissioner, at any time subsequent to the issuance of a license, if he or she has reason to believe that the agency no longer meets the standards for an electrical inspection agency or is no longer competent to conduct electrical inspections, shall, after a hearing, have the power to suspend or revoke the license.
[Amended 2-14-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-22]
(2) 
All licenses, unless sooner revoked, shall expire on the last day of July after the date of issuance, and application for a new license shall be made in the same manner as for the original license by the last day of June.
E. 
Fee. The annual license fee shall be $100.
[Amended 5-11-1993 by Ord. No. 93-147]
F. 
Standards and rules. The Commissioner is hereby authorized to adopt any standards, procedures, rules, regulations and forms that are necessary to effective administration and enforcement of this section.

§ 39-229 Compliance with provisions relating to individuals with disabilities.

[Added 8-19-1997 by Ord. No. 97-328]
It shall be a requirement of all loans and grants from the City for projects involving new construction or renovations, additions or alterations to existing facilities that the person receiving the loan or grant comply with all applicable provisions of law, including the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Architectural Barriers Act of 1968 and the Fair Housing Act.