Note from the Building, Code Enforcement and Fire Marshal Departments:  Helpful tips as spring begins
Spring is here and the weather is warming up. It’s a sure sign to open the windows, get out of the house, and tackle those projects that have been on your mind all winter.

To help you get started, I have put together some great reminders for this time of year.

Permitting and inspections

Maybe you are looking to build a deck, put on a new roof, or have a pool installed, we’re here to help make sure projects are done safely and correctly. 

Various types of projects require permits and/or inspections in the Town of Penfield. As a property owner, you have the right to develop or improve your property and structures in compliance with Town Code.

Before beginning a project, property owners are legally responsible for obtaining building permits to: 
  • Construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish, or change the occupancy of a building or structure
  • Install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert, or replace any electrical or plumbing system
  • Install a solid fuel burning heating appliance, chimney, or flue in any dwelling unit (as regulated by New York State Building Codes)
With this, it’s important to make sure all required inspections have been completed, including the final inspection. Always confirm with your contractor that all inspections have been completed before making a final payment to the contractor. 

Over the next few months, I will be sending letters to residents that have approved/permitted projects that have not been completed. Failure to obtain a Certificate of Compliance for a completed project may complicate future projects and delay real estate transactions. 

To learn more about the permitting and inspection process, you can visit our website, or call (585) 340-8636.

Property and home maintenance

Do you have the itch to clean up and get rid of junk that has been piling up over the winter? With the better weather, you can now get out there and rake the dead grass, dispose of late leaves that fell, and place the debris that has been blowing around from the cold winter winds into trash bins.

Some great tips to remember to keep your property and the neighborhood looking great and code compliant are:
  • Keep all garbage in approved containers such as totes, dumpsters, trash cans
  • Cut grass and weeds before reaching 10” high
  • Keep no more than one unregistered or uninspected vehicle on your property
  • Keep and maintain your compost pile (organic materials including leaves and grass clippings) 10 feet from the property line without obstructing drainage or utility access
Within your home, make it a weekly habit to discard or donate items that are not being used. Keeping your home decluttered is an important part of home safety because it allows proper egress and ingress in the event of an emergency.

If you have property maintenance or code compliance concerns, please reach out to our Code Enforcement Officer at (585) 340-8636.

Open burning in Penfield

Finally, it's important to note, there is an increased wildland fire risk this time of year. Although the ground may seem wet, brush, bushes, and trees are very combustible and will readily burn. Open burning of any leaves, brush, construction debris, garbage, rubbish as a means of disposal is not allowed at any time within the Town of Penfield. 

Any fire that creates a nuisance is also not allowed at any time within the Town of Penfield. A fire becomes a nuisance when the smoke and/or odors from the fire have a negative impact on other people or property.  Other requirements include:
  • Recreational fires must only burn clean seasoned firewood, like what would be used in an indoor fireplace, and be continuously attended for recreational purposes. 
  • Recreational fires must be a maximum of 3 feet in diameter and 2 feet in height. 
Please contact the Fire Marshal’s Office at (585) 340-8636 for further information.

We’re always here to assist, please stop by Town Hall or call us, and we will be happy to help. You can also visit our website,, for the latest information. 

We look forward to a great spring and summer.

Heidi Boehl, Head of Building/Zoning/Code Enforcement/Fire Marshal Departments