Code Enforcement

Directory of Services

Clerk’s Office

(607) 739–5691

  • Copy of a law/proposed law
  • Foil Requests
  • Property Tax Information
  • Water Billing & Collection

Code Enforcement

(607) 739–5691

  • Building Permits
  • Zoning Information
  • Swimming Pools
  • Village Codes

Police Department


(607) 739–5668

(607) 735–8600

  • Report a Crime
  • File a Complaint
  • Request Assistance

(607) 739–5669

  • Administrative Calls

Horseheads Town Hall

(607) 739–8783

  • Tax Assessment
  • Animal Control
  • Marriage Licenses
  • Hunting Licenses
  • Dog Licenses

Village Hall

Horseheads Village Hall
202 South Main Street
Horseheads, New York 14845
(607) 739–5691

Local Weather Conditions

Village Code

The Village of Horseheads Codebook encompasses local laws and legislation relative to zoning, vehicle and traffic, administration, and many other matters. The Code is available online and is updated automatically as new legislation is adopted. Note: Breaks in the chapter and article numbering are designed for later insertion of new legislation.

Horseheads Village Codebook

Office Information

Code Enforcement Officer - Building Permits, Building Construction, Fire Inspections, Property Maintenance

EFFECTIVE 2018: Jamie Burgess, Bob Young

Tel: (607) 739–5691 Option #2
Fax: (607) 739–3941

Send Email to Code Enforcement:,

The main responsibility of Code Enforcement is to assist residents and property owners in the Village with complying with the zoning codes and regulations of our municipality and enforcement of the New York State Fire Prevention and Building Codes.

Code Enforcement Complaints

If you have a code complaint, you can download our Complaint of Violation form and submit it to Code Enforcement. Either drop it off at Village Hall, or email it to, or to

Complaint of Violation

What is Zoning?

Zoning regulates the use of land within its boundaries. The zoning regulations have different zoning districts with each district having different permitted uses and requirements. The purpose of zoning is to:

  1. Promote the health, safety and general welfare of the community
  2. Reduce congestion on the streets and highways
  3. Ensure safety from fire, panic and other dangers
  4. Provide adequate light and air
  5. Prevent overcrowding of land and avoid undue concentration of population
  6. Establish zones wherein regulations concerning the land and structures, the density of development, the size of yards, the percentage of lots that may be occupied and the provisions of parking will be set forth to encourage the most appropriate development

When Do I Need a Building Permit?

New York State and Village of Horseheads laws mandate when a permit is required. The following is for use as a guideline.


  • New construction of homes, garages and carports
  • Reroofing- There are also building code requirements for ice shield and layers of shingles. See below for requirements.
  • Addition and alterations of buildings
  • Storage buildings 120square feet and over, including prefabricated buildings delivered to site
  • Decks and porches
  • Enclosing porches, decks
  • Extending roofs over decks and porches
  • Rebuilding and structural renovations
  • Swimming pools above and inground, including decks around pools
  • Installation of woodstoves, fireplaces and chimneys
  • Demolition and removal of buildings


  • New construction
  • Most improvements, alterations, enlargements, repairs and change of tenants
  • Signs, including temporary signs
  • Change of Occupancy

When are Permits Not Required?


  • Siding
  • Replacement windows
  • Non structural necessary repairs
  • Fences that meet zoning requirements


  • Check with our office

Documentation Needed for a Permit

  • Site plan drawn to scale or survey map showing size of the lot, location of buildings, location of improvements and distance to property lines and other buildings.
  • Building plans and/or specifications drawn to scale. Plans shall include details on footer, foundation, floor, wall roof construction, insulation, plumbing, windows and doors. To purchase a copy of the building codes go to
  • Residential plans must show energy code compliance. Window and door schedules must be submitted with ƒ±Uƒ° values of each. For free software for energy code compliance go to
  • Some commercial building plans for new construction, additions, and change of occupancy must be referred to the Planning Board for site plan approval before building permit can be issued. The Planning Board meets every 4th Tuesday at 6:00pm. All applications must be submitted to the code office 10 days before scheduled meeting.
  • In some cases plans must be stamped by New York State Engineer or Architect, in compliance with New York State Education Law. Changes or amendments to the stamped plans will not be accepted unless they have been reviewed by the issuing licensed professional. Two copies of site plans, building plans and specifications must be submitted for review.
  • Contractors must submit proof of general liability insurance and workers’ compensation insurance or proof that it is not needed.
  • Self employed contractors with no subcontractors, helpers or other workers must submit New York State Workersƒ Compensation form WC/DB100 (12/03)
  • Contractors with employees, subcontractors and others must submit a Workers’ Compensation Board form C105.2 or New York State Insurance Fund form U26.3. An Accord Form is not acceptable proof of New York State Workers’ Compensation or Disability Benefits Insurance coverage.
  • Homeowners must submit Workers’ Compensation form BP-1(3/99) if the homeowner is the contractor to prove that they are exempt for the law by:
    • Homeowner is performing all the work,
    • Is not hiring, paying or compensating in any way individuals that are performing all the work that which the building permit was issued or helping the homeowner perform the work
    • Has homeowner’s insurance policy that is currently in effect and covers the property for which the building permit was issued and is not paying individuals a total of less than 40 hours per week. This is a total aggregate hours of all paid individuals on job site.

Residential Building Code Design Criteria
TABLE R301.2(1)

Ground snow load 45lbs
Wind speed <90 mph
Seismic design category A&B
Weathering severe
Frost line depth 42″
Termite moderate to heavy
Decay slight to moderate
Winter design temperature −2 degrees Far.
Ice shield underlayment eaves edge to a point 24 inches inside exterior wall line
Flood hazards varies
Energy zone zone 15


Building Permit Application

Frequently Asked Questions on Building Permits

QHow long does it take to obtain a building permit?

AIf all documentation is received and insurance papers are in order usually within a day. However, new construction, major additions and other permits could take up to two weeks depending on work load.

QHow long is a building permit good for?

AA permit is good for one year from the date of issue.

QWhat type of building permit inspections are required?

ADuring construction inspection of footers, foundation, framing, roofing, insulation, plumbing and a final inspection to close out the permit is required. A list of inspections will be given when a permit is issued.

QDo electrical installations need to be inspected?

AYes, all inspections are performed by a third party agency. A list of agencies will be on the building permit card when a permit is issued

QHow do we obtain a Certificate of Occupancy for a permit?

AA final inspection must be performed and any required paperwork (electrical inspection, pre-engineered truss certification , etc) must be on file with the office.

Flood Information

Visit these sites for information regarding floodplains, and general flood information.

Fee Schedule

The Village has adopted fees for certain services provided by the Code Enforcement Dept., and others, relating to building permits, site plan review, signs, area and use variances, fire inspections, etc.

»Click here for fee schedule

Peddlers Permits

Anyone wishing to conduct door-to-door sales or solicitations must first obtain a Peddlers Permit issued by the Village Board. The application fee is $250.00. The license is only good through December 31st of the year in which it was obtained.

»Peddling and Soliciting Local Law

»Application for Peddler/Solicitor Permit

Swimming Pools

All above ground 24″ in height and over and inground pools must have a building permit. These also include the inflatable pools. There are specific requirements for location, fences, gates, locks and electrical regulations for a pool.

Above ground pools with at least 48″ between pool top and adjoining grade do not need a separate barrier (fence) if the only access to the pool is by a ladder or steps either shall be capable of being secured, locked or removed to prevent access or surrounded by a barrier (fence). Decks attached to pools must meet the barrier requirements.

Inground and above ground pools over 24″ in height (including inflatable pools) are required to have a barrier surrounding them. A four foot fence must be installed with a self closing and self latching gate. See code section 3109 that covers swimming pool enclosures.

There are also specific requirements for electrical installations for pools. See code requirements for electric.

Remember that pools cannot be erected below electrical power lines or on any easements on your property.

Other Frequently Asked Questions

QIs open burning allowed?

ANo, there is no open burning in the Town and Village of Horsheads. This also includes burning in a rubbish barrel.

QCan I have a camp fire?

ABonfires and recreational fires are regulated by the Fire Code of New York State. A recreational or bonfire cannot be more than 3 feet in diameter and 2 feet in height. Any open fire that will be offensive or objectionable due to smoke or odor emissions when atmospheric conditions or local circumstances make such fires hazardous shall be prohibited.

QIs there standards for premises identification?

AYes, buildings shall have approved address numbers placed in a position to be plainly legible and visible from the street or road fronting the property. These numbers shall contrast with their background. Address numbers shall be arabic numbers or alphabetic numbers. Numbers shall be a minimum of 4 inches high with a minimum stroke width of 0.5 inch.

QWhat if I need a premises number?

AContact the Town of Horseheads Assessors Office at (607) 739–0873 for number assignment

QCan I run a home occupation from my property?

AYes, with the following regulations.

  • Must be one of the following: Hairdresser or cosmetologist, barber, financial consultant, accountant, tutor, artist, author, licensed massage therapist, computer consultant, home secretary, contractor, custom dressmaking or tailoring, desktop publishing, professional office, cruise agent and mail order sales.
  • Must be conducted by person owning and residing in the dwelling unit.
  • Must be in dwelling unit living space. Cannot exceed 25% or 500 square feet of home whichever is less.
  • Must be no external evidence of the occupation except for a sign not exceeding 2 square feet attached to dwelling.

QCan I place a mobile home or double wide trailer in the village?

AYes, but only in a mobile home park.

QCan I place a temporary sign in front of my business?

AYes, but by permit only and not for more than 60 consecutive days in any calendar year.

QAre smoke detectors required in existing residential buildings?

AYes, The Property Maintenance code of New York State requires smoke detectors at all of the following locations:

  • On each ceiling or wall outside each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of bedrooms.
  • In each room used for sleeping purposes.
  • In each story within a dwelling unit, including basements and cellars but not including crawl spaces and unoccupied attics.

QCan open flame cooking devices, such as LPG-fueled grills and charcoal burners be used on balconies or decks in apartment buildings?

ANo, they cannot be used on combustible balconies or decks. Cylinders greater than 2.5 lbs. cannot be stored on balconies. All cooking must be at least 10 feet from building.

Codes of the Village Of Horseheads

Codes and regulations, common in every community, are established to create a standard of living and protect property values. In populated suburban areas such as Horseheads, these laws are essential to maintaining harmony and providing an attractive community to live, work and shop. The Village’­s codes and regulations are not intended to take away the rights of property owners. Rather, the codes maintain our quality of life that makes our village unique.

This information is intended to inform our community of the standards created to make our village the best place to live in the Southern Tier. Here is an overview of some of the regulations:

  • Animals: Dogs cannot run loose. Dogs and cats cannot be a nuisance to the neighborhood.
  • Dumping: of snow, ice stones, grass clippings, dirt, rubbish, leaves, yard waste or other debris on vacant land, village streets or drainageways is prohibited.
  • Fences: cannot be over six feet high in rear yard and three feet in front yard. Good side must be facing outward.
  • Firewood: Neatly stacked, seven cords maximum, not more than 4 feet high or within three feet of property line and not stored in front yard.
  • Grass, brush and weeds: Lawns must be mowed and kept free of noxious weeds, brush obstructions or rubbish.
  • Parking: Cannot be in the front yard and must be in an established driveway. Cannot be on grass between sidewalk and street.
  • Trailers, House Coaches and Vessels: Must be stored in established driveway and at least 15 feet from intersection of driveway and public road surface.
  • Property Maintenance: All buildings and grounds must be in good repair. Yards must be kept clear of garbage, trash and debris.
  • Rummage Sales: No more than 3 times a year and no longer that 5 consecutive days. Sales can only be conducted between 7:00am and 6:00pm. A sign no larger than 2′ x 2′ on property and cannot be attached to any utility pole, tree or any other public or private property. All goods not sold must be removed from view after sale.
  • Sidewalks: Must be kept free and clear of obstructions and debris. Snow must be cleared within 24 hours of a storm event.
  • Abandoned Vehicles: Any vehicle that is inoperable, unlicensed, unregistered or uninsured is considered a junk vehicle and is not allowed on private property except in an enclosed building. Placing a tarp over the vehicle does not satisfy the requirements.

Useful Links

»New York State Building Codes for purchase
»Free software for energy code compliance
»Information on National Flood Insurance Program
»Information resource for eliminating residential fire deaths
»U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission- recalls and product safety news
»NYS DEC information on stormwater regulations

Forms and Reference Material (coming soon)

Application for Real Property Classification
Short Form SEQRA
R 3109 Swimming Pool Enclosures\\ Electrical Codes for Pools
Workers’ Compensation form BP-1 (3/99)
Workers’ Compensation form WC/DB 12/03
Guidelines for the Applicant to the Zoning Board of Appeals

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