Code Enforcement

Applications, Permits and Inspections

UPDATE and PROCESS as of 6.8.20

Code Enforcement & Town Hall are now open regular hours:

8am-4pm Monday - Friday

The Codes department is issuing permits and conducting inspections. 

Based on Governor Cuomo’s latest executive order 202.31 (issued on 5/14/20), all businesses, are required to have a “business safety plan and affirm their following 'business safety plan' with the state. The “business safety plan template”, guidelines, how to affirm that your business is following your “business safety plan” can be found HERE.

***A copy of the “Business Affirmation” document, must be provided with the permit application and will be required to schedule inspections on active projects***

                                                                                                                                                Applications, Permits and Inspections


  1. Submitting Plans, Applications, and Payment:
    1. A digital copy of all plans must be submitted with the application. If large hard copy plans need to be submitted, they can be mailed or delivered to the Town Hall 

                                                               i.      All permit applications will be required to have a copy of the NYS Business Affirmation document, issued by the New York State Forward program. One can                                                      find information on the NYS Business Affirmation and business safety plan at the following link (related to construction only):    


    1. Payments for all applications need to be mailed in or dropped in the Town office drop box (along Buffalo Street).
    2. Any plans, applications, or payments can also be sent using delivery services (UPS/FedeX etc.) of your choice.
    3. This helpful information is specific for the Town of Ithaca Code Enforcement Department. Other permit applications, through other agencies or departments, should be directed to those department or agencies:

                                                               i.      Septic Systems: Tompkins County Environmental Health Department: 607-274-6688.

                                                             ii.      Internal Plumbing Permits (when connected to public water and sewer): Bolton Point: 607-277-0660

                                                           iii.      External Plumbing Permits: Town of Ithaca Engineering: 607-273-1656 Ext# 225 External Plumbing Permits and SWPPP applications should be submitted                                                          electronically or by USPS. Associated fee(s) can follow via mail or a Bill Pay platform. Forms can be found here:

                                                           iv.      Highway Permits (ROW): Town Public Works Department: 273-1783 Ext#4


  1. Inspections and Reviews:
    1. Rental Registry Operating Permits and Fire Safety Inspections will commence as of June 15, 2020.   
      1. Inspections will be conducted on site or via Zoom (inspectors discretion). Inspectors will be assessing conditions at the job site when he/she arrives for signs of illness, will maintain a 6-foot distance from anyone onsite, and all individuals on the site are required to wear a face covering. Inspectors may end the inspection if they feel it is in their best interest for safety reason.    If an onsite inspection is scheduled, Town staff (scheduling the inspection) will confirm the following (prior to scheduling the onsite inspection):

1.       Is there anyone who is currently sick on the job site (if yes, no inspection is to be scheduled for onsite inspections) and

2.       Has anyone on the job site been in contact with a COVID-19 infected individual (if yes, no onsite are to be scheduled).

3.       Has the contractor received their business safety plan affirmation from the state (if not, then no inspection can be scheduled), which a copy of the business affirmation                     document will need to be provided to the Town in order to conduct inspections

                                                             i.      Once inspectors are on site:

1.       Inspectors need to confirm that the above (#1 and #2) questions are answered no, prior to commencing the onsite inspection to verify that nothing has changed.

2.       If #1 or #2 questions are answered yes, then the inspector shall stop the inspection and return to Town Hall. If the inspector Prior to entering the office, the inspector shall contact the                         department head to inform them of the situation and verify that they can enter Town Hall.

  1. Scheduling of inspections:
    1. If you would like to schedule an inspection, please call 607-273-1783 Ext.#2 24 hours prior. Please indicate the address, permit number, and inspection type.

                                                               i.      Please indicate what kind of inspection you would be requesting (onsite or video conference call)

                                                             ii.      If Zoom Meeting will be utilized, the Code staff will schedule a time and send an invitation to the contractor, applicant, or owner who will then use the Zoom                                                           Meeting to show us the inspection areas. 

The Building and Code Enforcement is a major function  for a municipality. The enforcement of state building and fire codes and local zoning and land use ordinances involves code reviews, issuing building and demolition permits, conducting inspections, and issuing Certificates of Occupancy. In addition, the Town issues Operating Permits to all residences with three or more dwelling units, provides public education, coordinates with other Town staff and County departments.

The Code Enforcement Department processes variance and interpretation applications for the Town of Ithaca Zoning Board of Appeals.

If you have any questions regarding Building and code enforcement, please call (607) 273-1783 between 8am and 4pm, Monday through Friday or via email

An online version of the Town of Ithaca Code Book is available here.

An Online Version of the New York Building Code and other information is available at New York State Division of Code Enforcement and Administration