Code Enforcement

Applications, Permits and Inspections

UPDATE and PROCESS 3/30/20

Applications, Permits and Inspections – Severe Limitations Enacted

UPDATE 3/30/20

Based on Governor Cuomo’s Executive order 202.6 on 3/27/20

The Town of Ithaca will no longer be issuing permits or conducting inspections for projects unless it meets one of the following categories as defined and listed in the Executive Order 202.6 and the Empire State Development Guidance for Construction Activities:

  1. The project is determined to be essential, such as, but not limited to: roads, bridges, transit facilities, utilities, hospitals or health care facilities, affordable housing, and homeless shelters
  2. The project is determined to be emergency construction (e.g. a project necessary to protect health and safety of the occupants, or to continue a project if it would be unsafe to allow to remain undone until it is safe to shut the site).
  3. A project where only a single worker, who is the sole employee/worker, is on a job site.

All applications can still be submitted for review, but a permit will not be issued unless it is determined to fall into one of the categories described above.

If you feel your application meets one of the categories, please CLEARLY mark that on your application

All other procedures and processes from the earlier Applications, Permits, and Inspection Update are in force for those projects identified above. 


Applications, Permits and Inspections



Due to the COVID-19 virus, all Codes Staff are working remotely on a daily basis. You can contact the department email or by calling 607-273-1783 Option 2 and leaving a voice message. The message will be forwarded directly to one of our Code Enforcement Department staff. We will return your phone calls at our earliest opportunity. Codes staff is available for emergency response, when necessary.

Below is a helpful list of how the Town is attempting to continue to provide services from the Code Enforcement Department for applications, permits, and inspections.


1.      Submitting Plans, Applications, and Payment:

a.      If a project is an emergency, identified as essential, or only has one single worker/sole employee for the jobsite, please clearly state that on the permit application (as identified above).

b.      All plans are to be submitted digitally. If plans need to be submitted in paper, they can be mailed or delivered to the office at the rear door entrance under the canopy of Town Hall, facing the parking lot (Corner of Aurora St. and Buffalo St). 

c.       All permit applications should be submitted digitally. If applicants can’t provide digital permit applications, hard copies can be mailed to the office or dropped at the rear door facing the Town’s parking lot door (facing Aurora Street under the canopy).  Forms can be downloaded at the following link:

d.      Payments for all applications need to be mailed in or dropped in the Town office drop box (along Buffalo Street).

e.      Any plans, applications, or payments can also be sent using delivery services (UPS/FedeX etc.) of your choice.

f.        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

1.      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



2.      Inspections and Reviews:

a.      See the note dated 3/27/20, at the beginning of this document, identifying what inspections can be conducted. If an inspection can be conducted then the following will apply

b.      Rental Registry Operating Permits and Fire Safety Inspections have been suspended until further notice.

c.       Inspections -- The first option for inspections is to use a remote video/voice program like Zoom Meeting. The contractor/applicant should contact the Codes department to schedule the inspection and the contractor/homeowner/applicant would show us the work.

d.      If the contractor does not have the capability of video/voice program like Zoom Meeting, The Codes Department may rely on videos and/or pictures being provided by the applicant/contractor to conduct inspections.

e.      Onsite inspections are our last option (due to limiting person to person contact.) These Onsite inspection procedures will be followed by Town Code Staff:

                                                              i.      If the applicant does not have the capability for video/voice program like Zoom Meeting and cannot take pictures or videos, we will analyze the inspection request on a case by case basis.  If the inspection is in tight quarters, does not allow individuals to maintain a 6-foot distance, or could contaminate Staff in any way, the inspection will not be conducted. If we can safely conduct the inspection, then we will do so.

                                                             ii.      All onsite inspections cannot have more than one individual in addition to the inspector.  The Inspector will be assessing conditions at the jobsite when he/she arrives for signs of illness and will maintain a 6 foot distance from anyone onsite.  Inspectors may end the inspection if they feel it is in their best interest for safety reasons. 

3.      Scheduling of inspections:

a.      If you would like to schedule an inspection, please call (607-273-1783 Ext.#2) and leave a message for Code staff. Please indicate the address, permit number, and inspection type.

b.      If Zoom Meeting can 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.

Thank you,

Marty Moseley

Director of Code Enforcement

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 by fax at (607) 273-1704. or 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.