The Building Department is responsible for enforcing the New York Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code, Town Laws, Zoning Ordinance, and Design Criteria; along with conditions of approval from the Town, Planning, and Zoning Boards to ensure safety in all buildings and grounds.

Services to property owners and contractors for residential and commercial building projects:

  • issuance of building, sign, and temporary recreation permits
  • issuance of Certificate of Occupancy/Certificate of Compliance for completed projects
  • building code interpretation
  • construction and electrical inspections
  • plan review
  • guidance and problem-solving
Interaction with the Building Department varies by project. Department staff will guide you through the steps for a safe and successful project.

Property owner rights and responsibilities: Obtaining permits and inspections

Property owners have the right to develop or improve their 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)

If you fail to get a permit the Town can issue a “stop work” order until you do so. If the work you’ve done does not meet Town Code you will have to redo work to bring it up to Code at your expense.  

You must also close the loop on permitted projects, ensuring all required inspections have been performed—including the final inspection—and that a Certificate of Occupancy/Certificate of Compliance has been issued by the Town of Penfield. Failure to do so will complicate future projects and delay insurance claims and real estate transactions.

Protect yourself!
Before making final payment to a contractor, confirm with the Building Department that all your inspections are complete and that a Certificate of Occupancy/Certificate of Compliance has been issued. Contact the Building Department to get copies of compliance documents for your personal records. 

Permit Process Overview

This table shows the general flow of a successful permitted project that does not require additional approval from any boards of jurisdiction (such as Planning, Zoning, Historic Preservation, Town).  
Step You and/or Contractor Task(s) Town Task(s)
  • Submit completed application with required supporting documents
  • Department review  for compliance
  • Issue permit
  • Collect permit and pay fee(s) from Town Clerk Office
  • Publicly display permit
  • Begin project or construction
  • Monitor construction activities
  • Contact Town to schedule required inspection(s) at each phase of the project
  • Inspect project or construction site
  • Provide feedback & any approvals required to continue the project 
  • Complete construction
  • Contact Town to schedule required final  inspection
  • Inspect and issues project completion document(s)
  • Notify Assessor's Office when appropriate
  • The Assessor's Office will inspect completed projects as needed