Town of Colonie, NY
Albany County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
A. 
Building permits required. Except as otherwise provided in Subsection B of this section, a building permit shall be required for any work which must conform to the Uniform 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 in any dwelling unit. No person shall commence any work for which a building permit is required without first having obtained zoning approval and a building permit from the Building Department Manager. For commercial projects, a separate zoning verification form must be submitted.
B. 
Exemptions. No building permit shall be required for work in any of the following categories:
(1) 
Construction or installation of playhouses or similar uses, provided the gross floor area does not exceed 144 square feet;
(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 the ground;
(4) 
Installation of fences which are not part of an enclosure surrounding a swimming pool;
(5) 
Construction of retaining walls unless such walls support a surcharge or impound Class I, II or IIIA liquids as defined by the Uniform Code;
(6) 
Construction of temporary motion picture, television and theater stage sets and scenery;
(7) 
Installation of window awnings supported by an exterior wall of a one- or two-family dwelling or multiple single-family dwellings (townhouses);
(8) 
Installation of partitions or movable cases less than five feet nine inches in height;
(9) 
Painting, wallpapering, tiling, carpeting, or other similar finish work;
(10) 
Installation of listed portable electrical, plumbing, heating, ventilation or cooling equipment or appliances;
(11) 
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
(12) 
Repairs, provided that such repairs do not involve:
(a) 
The removal or cutting away of a load-bearing wall, partition, or portion thereof, or of any structural beam or load-bearing component;
(b) 
The removal or change of any required means of egress, or the rearrangement of parts of a structure in a manner which affects egress;
(c) 
The enlargement, alteration, replacement or relocation of any building system; or
(d) 
The removal from service of all or part of a fire protection system for any period of time.
C. 
Exemption not deemed authorization to perform noncompliant work. 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 Uniform Code or the Energy Code.
D. 
Applications for building permits.
(1) 
Applications for a building permit shall be made in writing on a form provided by or otherwise acceptable to the Building Department Manager. The application shall be signed by the owner of the property where the work is to be performed or an authorized agent of the owner. Where such application is made by a person other than the owner, it shall be accompanied by an affidavit of the owner or applicant that the proposed work is authorized by the owner and that the applicant is authorized to make such application.
(2) 
The application shall include such information as the Building Department Manager deems sufficient to permit a determination by the Building Department Manager that the intended work complies with all applicable requirements of the Uniform Code and the Energy Code. The application shall include or be accompanied by the following information and documentation:
(a) 
A description of the proposed work;
(b) 
The Tax Map number and the street address of the premises where the work is to be performed;
(c) 
The occupancy classification of any affected building or structure;
(d) 
The valuation of the proposed work;
(e) 
Where applicable, a statement of special inspections prepared in accordance with the provisions of the Uniform Code; and
(f) 
At least two sets of construction documents (drawings and/or specifications) which:
[1] 
Define the scope of the proposed work;
[2] 
Are prepared by a New York State-registered architect or licensed professional engineer where so required by the Education Law;
[3] 
Indicate with sufficient clarity and detail the nature and extent of the work proposed;
[4] 
Substantiate that the proposed work will comply with the Uniform Code and the Energy Code;
[5] 
Where applicable, include a site plan that shows any existing and proposed buildings and structures on the site, the location of any existing or proposed well or septic system, the location of the intended work, and the distances between the buildings and structures and the lot lines; and
[6] 
Such other information as may reasonably be required by the Building Department Manager to establish compliance of the proposed work with the requirements of the applicable building codes, laws, ordinances and regulations.
E. 
Construction documents. Construction documents will not be accepted as part of an application for a building permit unless they satisfy the requirements set forth in Subsection D(2)(f) of this section. Construction documents which are accepted as part of the application for a building permit shall be marked as accepted by the Building Department Manager in writing or by stamp. One set of the accepted construction documents shall be retained by the Building Department Manager, and one set of the accepted construction documents shall be returned to the applicant to be kept at the work site so as to be available for use by the code enforcement personnel. However, the return of a set of accepted construction documents to the applicant shall not be construed as authorization to commence work, nor as an indication that a building permit will be issued. Work shall not be commenced until and unless a building permit is issued.
F. 
Amendments to the application or to the plans and specifications accompanying the same may be filed at any time prior to the completion of the work, subject to the approval of the Building Department Manager.
G. 
The Building Department Manager may examine or cause to be examined in the field the land upon which the proposed work is to be done prior to the issuance of any building permits.
A. 
The Building Department Manager for the Town of Colonie when reviewing applications for building permits, including the plans and specifications for proposed construction, will review all building permit applications to determine if the proposed construction is consistent with the need to minimize flood damage.
B. 
The Building Department Manager shall review all building permit applications to determine if the site of the proposed construction is reasonably safe from flooding and to make recommendations for construction in all locations which have flood hazards.
C. 
The Building Department Manager in reviewing all applications for construction in flood hazard locations within the Town of Colonie shall require that any such proposed construction must:
(1) 
Be designed and anchored to prevent the rotation, collapse or lateral movement of the structure or portions of the structure due to flooding.
(2) 
Use construction materials and utility equipment that are resistant to flood damage.
(3) 
Use construction methods and practices that will minimize flood damage.
(4) 
Provide adequate drainage in order to reduce exposure to flood hazards.
(5) 
Locate public utilities and facilities on the site in such a manner as to be elevated and constructed to minimize or eliminate flood damage. Such utilities and facilities shall include sewer, gas, electrical and water systems.
D. 
The Building Department Manager in reviewing all subdivision applications shall make findings of fact and determine if:
(1) 
All such proposed developments are consistent with the need to minimize flood damage.
(2) 
Adequate drainage is provided so as to reduce exposure to flood hazards.
(3) 
Adequate drainage is provided so as not to increase the exposure to flood hazards of adjacent lands.
(4) 
All public utilities and facilities are located, elevated and constructed so as to minimize or eliminate flood damage. These utilities and facilities shall include sewer, gas, electrical and water systems.
A. 
Issuance of building permits. An application for a building permit shall be examined to ascertain whether the proposed work is in compliance with the applicable requirements of the Uniform Code and Energy Code. The Building Department Manager shall not issue a building permit unless the proposed work is in compliance with the applicable requirements of the Uniform Code and Energy Code.
B. 
Building permits to be displayed. Building permits shall be visibly displayed at the work site and shall remain visible until the authorized work has been completed.
C. 
Upon approval of the application and upon receipt of any required fees, the Building Department Manager shall issue a building permit to the applicant upon the form prescribed by him and shall affix his signature or cause his signature to be affixed thereto.
D. 
Upon approval of the application, both sets of plans and specifications shall be endorsed with the word "approved." One set of such approved plans and specifications shall be retained in the files of the Building Department, and the other set shall be returned to the applicant, together with the building permit, and shall be kept at the building site open to inspection by the Building Department Manager or his authorized representative at all reasonable times.
E. 
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 regulations, the Building Department Manager shall disapprove the same and shall return the plans and specifications to the applicant. Upon the request of the applicant, the Building Department Manager shall cause such refusal, together with the reasons therefor, to be transmitted to the applicant in writing.
A. 
Work to be in accordance with construction documents. All work shall be performed in accordance with the approved construction documents issued pursuant to § 62-16D which were submitted with and accepted as part of the application for the building permit. The building permit shall contain such a directive. The permit holder shall immediately notify the Building Department Manager of any change occurring during the course of the work. The building permit shall contain such a directive. If the Building Department Manager determines that a change warrants a new or amended building permit, such change shall not be made until and unless a new or amended building permit reflecting the modification is issued.
B. 
Time limits. Building permits shall become invalid unless the authorized work is commenced within six months following the date of issuance. Building permits shall expire 12 months after the date of issuance for residential permits and 24 months after the date of issuance for commercial permits. A building permit which has become invalid or which has expired pursuant to this subsection may be renewed upon application by the permit holder, payment of the applicable fee, and approval of the application by the Building Department Manager.
A. 
Work to remain accessible and exposed. Work shall remain accessible and exposed until inspected and accepted by the Building Department Manager. The permit holder shall notify the Building Department Manager when any element of work described in Subsection B of this section is ready for inspection.
B. 
Elements of work to be inspected. The following elements of the construction process shall be inspected, where applicable:
(1) 
Work site delineated in the building permit;
(2) 
Footing and foundation;
(3) 
Preparation for concrete slab;
(4) 
Framing;
(5) 
Building systems, including underground and rough-in;
(6) 
Fire-resistant construction;
(7) 
Fire-resistant penetrations;
(8) 
Solid-fuel-burning heating appliances, chimneys, flues or gas vents;
(9) 
Energy Code compliance; and
(10) 
A final inspection after all work authorized by the building permit has been completed.
C. 
Inspection results. After inspection, satisfactory work shall be noted by the Building Department Manager or the permit holder shall be notified as to where the work fails to comply with the Uniform Code or Energy Code. Work not in compliance with any applicable provision of the Uniform Code or Energy Code shall remain exposed until such work shall have been brought into compliance with all applicable provisions of the Uniform Code and the Energy Code, reinspected, and found satisfactory as completed.
D. 
The architect or professional engineer whose seal and signature appear on the drawings for buildings or structures other than one- or two-family dwellings, or his designated representative, shall be responsible for making periodic visits to the construction site to familiarize himself with the progress and quality of the construction and to determine, in general, if the construction is proceeding in accord with the approved drawings, specifications and addenda thereto. He shall file reports with the Building Department at regular intervals indicating the times of such visits, the status of the construction and any defects or discrepancies between the actual construction and the approved drawings and specifications affecting structural, fire, health or safety which he may observe. He shall advise the Building Department when such discrepancies have been corrected.
E. 
The architect or engineer shall not be required to make exhaustive or continuous on-site inspections to check the construction. He shall not be responsible for construction means, methods, techniques, sequences or procedures or for safety precautions and programs in connection with the construction, nor shall be be responsible for the contractor's failure to carry out the construction in accord with the approved drawings and specifications.
F. 
Upon completion of the construction, the architect or engineer shall file a certificate of the completion with the Building Department stating that, to the best of his knowledge, the building or structure has been completed in accord with the approved drawings, specifications and addenda thereto, insofar as structural, fire, health and life safety are concerned, or he shall identify any defects of which he is aware.
A. 
A fee schedule may be established and thereafter amended by resolution of the Colonie Town Board. Fees may be set for all actions of the Building Department Manager described in or contemplated by this chapter, including but not limited to the submission of applications, the issuance of building permits, amended building permits, renewed building permits, certificates of occupancy, certificates of compliance and temporary certificates.
B. 
Where a building permit has been issued and the applicant shall surrender the same and request a refund of the fee paid, accompanied by an appropriate claim, the same may be refunded, in whole or in part, by the Supervisor upon the recommendation of the Building Department Manager to that effect, the adoption by the Town Board of a resolution approving the payment of the refund, and the issuance by the Comptroller of an appropriate warrant.
A. 
Revocation or suspension of building permits. Where the person to whom a building permit has been issued fails to or refuses to comply with a stop-work order issued by the Building Department Manager, the Building Department Manager may revoke or suspend the building permit. If the Building Department Manager determines that a building permit was issued in error because of incorrect, inaccurate or incomplete information, or that the work for which a building permit was issued violates the Uniform Code or the Energy Code, the Building Department Manager may revoke the building permit or suspend the building permit until such time as the permit holder demonstrates that all work then completed is in compliance with all applicable provisions of the Uniform Code and the Energy Code and all work then proposed to be performed shall be in compliance with all applicable provisions of the Uniform Code and the Energy Code.
B. 
A building permit may also be revoked for nonpayment of required fees.
A. 
Authority to issue. The Building Department Manager is authorized to issue stop-work orders pursuant to this section. The Building Department Manager shall issue a stop-work order to halt:
(1) 
Any work that is determined by the Building Department Manager to be contrary to any applicable provision of the Town Code, Uniform Code or Energy Code, without regard to whether such work is or is not work for which a building permit is required, and without regard to whether a building permit has or has not been issued for such work,
(2) 
Any work that is being conducted in a dangerous or unsafe manner in the opinion of the Building Department Manager, without regard to whether such work is or is not work for which a building permit is required, and without regard to whether a building permit has or has not been issued for such work, or
(3) 
Any work for which a building permit is required which is being performed without the required building permit or under a building permit that has become invalid, has expired, or has been suspended or revoked.
B. 
Content of stop-work orders. Stop-work orders shall:
(1) 
Be in writing;
(2) 
Be dated and signed by the Building Department Manager;
(3) 
State the reason or reasons for issuance; and
(4) 
If applicable, state the conditions which must be satisfied before work will be permitted to resume.
C. 
Service of stop-work orders. The Building Department Manager shall cause the stop-work order, or a copy thereof, to be served on the owner of the affected property (and, if the owner is not the permit holder, on the permit holder) personally or by registered or certified mail. The Building Department Manager may but is not required to provide the stop-work order, or a copy thereof, to any builder, architect, tenant, contractor, subcontractor, construction superintendent, or their agents, or any other person taking part or assisting in work affected by the stop-work order, personally or by first class mail; provided, however, that failure to serve any person mentioned in this sentence shall not affect the efficacy of the stop-work order.
D. 
Effect of stop-work order. Upon the issuance of a stop-work order, the owner of the affected property, the permit holder and any other person performing, taking part in or assisting in the work shall immediately cease all work which is the subject of the stop-work order.
E. 
Remedy not exclusive. The issuance of a stop-work order shall not be the exclusive remedy available to address any event described in Subsection A of this section. It shall be in addition to, and not in substitution for or limitation of, the right and authority to pursue any other remedy or impose any other penalty under § 62-26, Violations, of this chapter or under any other applicable local law or state law. Any such other remedy or penalty may be pursued at any time, whether prior to, at the time of, or after the issuance of a stop-work order.
Any employee of the Building Department or any member of a Fire Department or fire company specially authorized by the Building Department Manager to do so, and any member of the Fire Services Division, upon the showing of proper credentials and in the discharge of his duties, may enter upon any building, structure or premises at any reasonable hour, with the permission of the owner of said premises. To enter the premises without permission, a warrant for entry must be obtained.
A. 
A certificate of occupancy is a document issued by the Building Department upon substantial completion of a building which is to be primarily used for human occupancy. A certificate of compliance is a document issued by the Building Department upon substantial completion of a building or a structure which is not to be primarily used for human occupancy.
B. 
New construction. No building or structure or any part thereof erected shall be used or occupied, in whole or in part, until a certificate of occupancy or a certificate of compliance shall have been issued by the Building Department Manager.
C. 
Renovations. No portion of a building or structure or any part thereof hereafter enlarged, extended or altered or upon which work has been performed which required the issuance of a building permit shall continue to be occupied or used for more than 30 days after the substantial completion of the alteration or work unless a certificate of occupancy or certificate of compliance shall have been issued by the Building Department Manager.
D. 
No change shall be made in the use or type of occupancy of an existing building or structure unless a certificate of occupancy or certificate of compliance shall have been issued by the Building Department Manager.
E. 
Issuance of certificates of occupancy or certificates of compliance. The Building Department Manager shall issue a certificate of occupancy or certificate of compliance if the work which was the subject of the building permit was completed in accordance with all applicable provisions of the Uniform Code and Energy Code and, if applicable, the structure, building or portion thereof which was converted from one use or occupancy classification or subclassification to another complies with all applicable provisions of the Uniform Code and Energy Code. The Building Department Manager shall inspect the building, structure or work prior to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy or certificate of compliance. In addition, where applicable, the documents listed below shall be provided to the Building Department Manager prior to the issuance of the certificate of occupancy or certificate of compliance. They shall be prepared in accordance with the provisions of the Uniform Code by such person or persons as may be designated by or otherwise acceptable to the Building Department Manager, and at the expense of the applicant, for the certificate of occupancy or certificate of compliance:
(1) 
A written statement of structural observations and/or a final report of special inspections; and
(2) 
If applicable, flood hazard certifications prepared in accordance with the Uniform Code.
F. 
Contents of certificates of occupancy/certificates of compliance. A certificate of occupancy or certificate of compliance shall contain the following information:
(1) 
The building permit number, if any;
(2) 
The date of issuance of the building permit, if any;
(3) 
The name, address and Tax Map number of the property;
(4) 
If the certificate is not applicable to an entire structure, a description of that portion of the structure for which the certificate is issued;
(5) 
The use and occupancy classification of the structure;
(6) 
The type of construction of the structure;
(7) 
The assembly occupant load of the structure, if any;
(8) 
If an automatic sprinkler system is provided, a notation as to whether the sprinkler system is required;
(9) 
Any special conditions imposed in connection with the issuance of the building permit; and
(10) 
The signature of the Building Department Manager issuing the certificate and the date of issuance.
G. 
Temporary certificate. The Building Department Manager shall be permitted to issue a temporary certificate of occupancy or compliance allowing the temporary occupancy or use of a building or structure, or a portion thereof, prior to completion of the work which is the subject of a building permit. However, a temporary certificate cannot be issued unless the Building Department Manager determines that the building or structure, or the portion thereof covered by the temporary certificate, may be occupied or used safely; that any fire- and smoke-detecting or fire-protection equipment which has been installed is operational; and that all required means of egress from the building or structure have been provided. A temporary certificate may include such terms and conditions as the Building Department Manager deems necessary or appropriate to ensure safety or to further the purposes and intent of the Uniform Code. A temporary certificate shall be effective for a period of time, not to exceed six months, which shall be determined by the Building Department Manager and specified in the temporary certificate. During the specified period of effectiveness, the permit holder shall undertake to bring the building or structure into full compliance with all applicable provisions of the Uniform Code and the Energy Code.
H. 
Revocation or suspension of certificates. If the Building Department Manager determines that a certificate of occupancy or certificate of compliance or a temporary certificate was issued in error because of incorrect, inaccurate or incomplete information, and if the relevant deficiencies are not corrected to the satisfaction of the Building Department Manager within such period of time as shall be specified by the Building Department Manager, the Building Department Manager shall revoke or suspend such certificate.
Whenever there are reasonable grounds to believe that any material, construction equipment or assembly does not conform to the requirements of the applicable building laws, ordinances or regulations, the Building Department Manager may require the same to be subjected to tests in order to furnish proof of such compliance. Such tests shall be paid for by the applicant.
The Building Department Manager shall review and investigate complaints which allege or assert the existence of conditions or activities that fail to comply with the Uniform Code, the Energy Code, this chapter, Chapter 20, or any other local law or regulation adopted for administration and enforcement of the Uniform Code or the Energy Code. The process for responding to a complaint shall include such of the following steps as the Building Department Manager may deem to be appropriate:
A. 
Performing an inspection of the conditions and/or activities alleged to be in violation, and documenting the results of such inspection.
B. 
If a violation is found to exist, providing the owner of the affected property and any other person who may be responsible for the violation with notice of the violation and opportunity to abate, correct or cure the violation, or otherwise proceeding in the manner described in § 62-26, Violations, of this chapter.
C. 
If appropriate, issuing a stop-work order or appearance tickets.
D. 
If a violation which was found to exist is abated or corrected, performing an inspection to ensure that the violation has been abated or corrected, preparing a final written report reflecting such abatement or correction, and filing such report with the complaint.
A. 
Orders to remedy.
(1) 
The Building Department Manager may order in writing the remedying of any condition or activity found to exist in, on or about any building, structure, or premises in violation of the Uniform Code, the Energy Code, this chapter or Chapter 20. Upon finding that any such condition or activity exists, the Building Department Manager may issue an order to remedy. The order to remedy shall:
(a) 
Be in writing;
(b) 
Be dated and signed by the Building Department Manager;
(c) 
Specify the condition or activity that violates the Uniform Code, the Energy Code, this chapter or Chapter 20;
(d) 
Specify the provision or provisions of the Uniform Code, the Energy Code, this chapter or Chapter 20 which is/are violated by the specified condition or activity;
(e) 
Specify the period of time which the Building Department Manager deems to be reasonably necessary for achieving compliance;
(f) 
Direct that compliance be achieved within the specified period of time; and
(g) 
State that an action or proceeding to compel compliance may be instituted if compliance is not achieved within the specified period of time.
(2) 
The Building Department Manager shall cause the order to remedy, or a copy thereof, to be served on the owner of the affected property personally or by first class mail. The Building Department Manager shall be permitted, but not required, to cause the order to remedy, or a copy thereof, to be served on any builder, architect, tenant, contractor, subcontractor, construction superintendent, or their agents, or any other person taking part or assisting in work being performed at the affected property personally or by registered mail or certified mail; provided, however, that failure to serve any person mentioned in this sentence shall not affect the efficacy of the order to remedy.
B. 
Criminal remedy.
(1) 
Appearance tickets. The Building Department Manager and each Inspector are authorized to issue appearance tickets for any violation of this chapter, the Uniform Code, Energy Code, and any term or condition of any building permit, certificate of occupancy, certificate of compliance, temporary certificate, stop-work order or any other notice or order issued by the Building Department Manager under this chapter.
(2) 
Any person who shall fail to comply with a written order of the Building Department Manager within the time fixed for compliance therewith and any owner, builder, architect, tenant, contractor, subcontractor, construction superintendent or their agents or any other person taking part or assisting in the construction or use of any building who shall knowingly violate any of the applicable provisions of this chapter, or any lawful order, notice, directive, permit or certificate of the Building Department made thereunder shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $500 or 15 days in jail, or both. Each day that a violation continues shall be deemed a separate offense.
C. 
Civil penalties. In lieu of an appearance ticket and a criminal remedy, any person who violates any provision of the Uniform Code, the Energy Code or this chapter, or any term or condition of any building permit, certificate of occupancy, certificate of compliance, temporary certificate, stop-work order, operating permit or other notice or order issued by the Building Department Manager pursuant to any provision of this chapter, shall be liable to a civil penalty of not more than $500 for each day or part thereof during which such violation continues. The civil penalties provided by this subsection shall be recoverable in an action instituted in the name of the Town of Colonie.
D. 
Injunctive relief. An action or proceeding may be instituted in the name of the Town of Colonie, in a court of competent jurisdiction, to prevent, restrain, enjoin, correct or abate any violation of, or to enforce, any provision of the Uniform Code, the Energy Code, this chapter, or any term or condition of any building permit, certificate of occupancy, certificate of compliance, temporary certificate, stop-work order, order to remedy, or other notice or order issued by the Building Department Manager pursuant to any provision of this chapter. In particular, but not by way of limitation, where the construction or use of a building or structure is in violation of any provision of the Town Code, the Uniform Code, the Energy Code, this chapter, or any stop-work order, order to remedy or other order obtained under the Uniform Code, the Energy Code or this chapter, an action or proceeding may be commenced in the name of the Town of Colonie, in the Supreme Court or in any other court having the requisite jurisdiction, to obtain an order directing the removal of the building or structure or an abatement of the condition in violation of such provisions. No action or proceeding described in this subsection shall be commenced without the appropriate authorization from the Supervisor of the Town.
E. 
Remedies not exclusive. No remedy or penalty specified in this section shall be the exclusive remedy or remedy available to address any violation described in this section, and each remedy or penalty specified in this section shall be in addition to, and not in substitution for or limitation of, the other remedies or penalties specified in this section, in the stop-work order section of this chapter, in any other section of this chapter, or in any other applicable law. Any remedy or penalty specified in this section may be pursued at any time, whether prior to, simultaneously with, or after the pursuit of any other remedy or penalty specified in this section, in the stop-work order section of this chapter, in any other section of this chapter, or in any other applicable law. In particular, but not by way of limitation, each remedy and penalty specified in this section shall be in addition to, and not in substitution for or limitation of, the penalties specified in Subdivision 2 of § 382 of the Executive Law, and any remedy or penalty specified in this section may be pursued at any time, whether prior to, simultaneously with, or after the pursuit of any penalty specified in Subdivision 2 of § 382 of the Executive Law.