Welcome to the Town of Greenburgh
Building Department  
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)  

   Building Department
      - Can I have a Home Occupation in a Single-Family?
      - Can I have a Professional Office in a single or multi-family residence?
      - How do I handle Asbestos?
      - Who do I call for a noise complaint?
      - Do I need a building permit?
      - Do I need a building permit to install a fence?
      - Do I need a permit to abandon/remove an oil storage tank?
      - Do I need a permit to install a shed?
      - Do I need a permit to replace my driveway?
      - Do I need a permit to replace my roof?
      - Do I need to file Wetlands and Steep Slopes Clearance Forms?
      - How long does it take to get the plans reviewed by the Building Department?
      - How do I make a building complaint?
      - How do I make a "NO HEAT/HOT WATER" Complaint
      - What can I do about mold?
 


    Building Department
          Can I have a Home Occupation in a Single-Family?

TOWN of GREENBURGH

DEPARTMENT OF BUILDINGS

177 Hillside Avenue,  Greenburgh,  New York  10607

(914) 989-1560                     Fax (914) 993 -570

www.GreenburghNY.com                     email: building@greenburghny.com

 

 

Home Occupations in a Single-Family Residence

 

 

HOME OCCUPATION  -- Any use customarily conducted entirely within a dwelling and carried on only by the residents thereof, which use is clearly incidental and secondary to the use of the dwelling for dwelling purposes, does not change the character thereof, does not have any exterior evidence of such secondary use, other than a permitted nameplate, and does not involve merchandising, trade, commercial repair or service, manufacturing or processing or the exchanging of commodities by sale. Any business enterprise or activity which shall require a license of the county or state shall be deemed not to be a home occupation.   (§ 285-5 ? Definitions)

 

Regulations for Home Occupation

§285-36C.     Home occupations, where permitted in single-family detached dwellings, shall comply with the following:

(1)      Said home occupations shall be conducted by members of the family residing on the premises. 

(2)      Said home occupation shall be incidental and subordinate to the residential use and shall not occupy more than 50% of the area of one floor of the principal building. No home occupation shall be conducted in an accessory building or outside of the principal building. 

(3)      In no manner shall the appearance of the building be altered or shall the occupation within the residence be conducted in a manner that would cause the premises to differ from its residential character, either by the use of colors, materials, construction, lighting, size or the emission of sounds, noises or vibrations. No display of products shall be visible from the street, and no stock in trade shall be kept on the premises. 

(4)      The home occupation shall not increase the vehicular traffic flow by more than one additional vehicle at a time and shall not involve the use or outdoor storage of commercial vehicles for delivery of materials to and from the premises. 

(5)      No home occupation shall create noise, dust, vibration, odor, smoke, electrical interference, fire hazard or any other hazard or nuisance to any greater extent or more frequent extent than that usually experienced in the district under circumstances wherein no home occupation were to exist. 

(6)      Home occupations shall in no event be deemed to include animal hospitals, kennels, barbershops, beauty parlors, clinics or hospitals, dancing schools, mortuaries, nursery schools or day-care centers, clubs, auto repair shops, television and radio repair shops, restaurants, tourist homes, rooming houses or boardinghouses and uses similar to those listed above.   

 

Required Parking

§285-38 Home occupation 

Two (2), in addition to that which is required for the residential use (two (2) per dwelling unit) 

 

 



          Can I have a Professional Office in a single or multi-family residence?

TOWN of GREENBURGH

DEPARTMENT OF BUILDINGS

177 Hillside Avenue,  Greenburgh,  New York  10607

(914) 993 - 1561                        Fax (914) 993 ? 1570

www.GreenburghNY.com                     email: building@greenburghny.com

 

 

 

 

Professional Office in a

Single-Family Residence or Multi-Family Residence

 

A Building Permit is required for the use of a professional office in a single or multi family residence, including a site plan showing required parking and landscaping, a floor plan detailing the layout of professional office and a copy of the professional?s New York State license.

 

PROFESSIONAL OFFICE  -- An office for a person who practices an occupation in which some department of science or learning is applied to the affairs of others, either advising or guiding them, or otherwise serving their interests or welfare in the practice of an art founded on such knowledge. The word "professional" implies attainments in knowledge, as distinguished from mere skill, and the application of such knowledge to serve others. A professional license issued by the State of New York or validated membership in a national professional organization may be considered sufficient, but not necessary, to establish the status of a professional person. (§ 285-5 ? Definitions)

 

Required Parking

§285-38 Professional office in a residence three (3) per office or two (2) for each professional maintaining office hours for consultation, whichever is greater, in addition to that required for the residential use (two (2) per dwelling unit)  

 

Required Landscaping

§285-38H(2)   Landscape strips with a minimum width of 10 feet shall be provided along all property lines of multifamily and nonresidential uses except as required in § 285-40A(4) of this chapter. Landscape strips with a minimum width of five feet shall be provided between any additional parking spaces required by this chapter for home occupations and professional offices in residence and all property lines of such uses except as required in § 285-40A(4) of this chapter. Such landscape strips shall comply with the following minimum standards as well as all applicable requirements set forth elsewhere in this chapter:  

 

(a)      Said landscape strips shall include evergreen planting and other landscaping of such type, height, spacing and arrangement as, in the judgment of the Planning Board, will effectively screen the activity of the lot from the neighboring uses.  

(b)      Unless specifically required elsewhere in this chapter, a wall or fence of location, height, design and materials approved by the Planning Board may be substituted for part or all of the required landscape strips.  

(c)      Where the existing topography and/or existing landscaping provides adequate screening, the Planning Board may waive or modify the planting and/or landscape requirements of this chapter.     

 

Regulations for Professional Office in a Single-Family

§285-36D.     Professional offices in single-family detached residences, where permitted, shall comply with the following:

(1)      Said office shall be conducted by a professional residing on the premises. Not more than two nonresident assistants shall be employed by any such professional resident. 

(2)      Said office shall be incidental and subordinate to the residential use of the building and shall not occupy more than 50% of the area of the ground floor of the principal building. No office shall be conducted in an accessory building. 

(3)      In no manner shall the appearance of the building be altered or shall the office within the residence be conducted in a manner that would cause the premises to differ from its residential character, either by the use of colors, materials, construction, lighting, sizes or the emission of sounds, noises or vibrations. 

(4)      The professional office shall not increase the vehicular traffic flow by more than one additional vehicle at a time and shall not involve the use or outdoor storage of commercial vehicles for delivery of materials to and from the premises. 

(5)      No professional office shall create noise, dust, vibration, odor, smoke, electrical interference, fire hazard or any other hazard or nuisance to any greater extent or more frequent extent than that usually experienced in the district under circumstances wherein no professional office were to exist. 

 

Regulations for Professional Office in a Multi-Family Residence

§285-36E.      Professional offices in multifamily dwellings, where permitted, shall comply with the following:

(1)      Professional offices in multifamily dwellings shall be limited to the ground floor. For purposes of this subsection only, the words "ground floor" shall mean the first floor of residential use. 

(2)      In no manner shall the exterior appearance of the residential unit or the common areas of the building be altered, nor shall the office within the residence be conducted in such a manner that would cause the premises to differ from the residential character of the building or the appearance of other residential units in the building. 

(3)      No professional office in a multifamily building shall exceed in size the largest unit used for residential purposes. 

(4)      No professional office shall create noise, dust, vibration, odor, smoke, electrical interference, fire hazard or any other hazard or nuisance in excess of that usually experienced in the district under circumstances wherein no professional office were to exist. 

(5)      All professional offices must register with the Building Department and obtain a permit from the Building Inspector. All existing offices as of the date of this Subsection E shall have one calendar year to register and obtain said permit. 

(6)      Professional offices in multifamily buildings established prior to the effective date of this subsection shall not be held to regulations more restrictive than those in effect at which time said offices were constructed, except that said offices shall be required to comply with the registration provisions with the Building Department per Subsection E(5) above.   

 

 



          How do I handle Asbestos?

Should I be Concerned About Asbestos if I Live in an Older Home?

Yes, any home built before or in the 1980s is likely to contain asbestos-

Where Can Asbestos be Found in Older Homes?

Many types of building products and insulation materials used in homes contained asbestos. Some common products that may contain asbestos and have the potential to release fibers include resilient floor tiles, door gaskets, roofing shingles, textured paint, walls, and ceilings. If asbestos is suspected within the home, the first step is to call a licensed professional abatement contractor and have the suspicious material tested. If testing is too expensive, treat the material as if it contains asbestos. Do not attempt to remove the asbestos-containing materials by yourself.

Why Should I be Concerned About Asbestos in My Home?

Excessive amounts of exposure to asbestos are known to cause asbestosis, lung cancer, and mesothelioma cancer. Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that develops in the mesothelial cells found in the body. Pleural mesothelioma, the most common type of mesothelioma cancer, develops in the mesothelial lining of the lungs. Due to an extended latency period, mesothelioma treatment often results in palliative measures rather than curative.

Asbestos Uses and Dangers

The naturally occurring mineral asbestos was widely used in a variety of building components. This unique mineral acts as a superb fire retardant, is resistant to heat and rot, and performs as an excellent insulator. Due to these qualities, producers of construction materials mixed asbestos into paints, glues, cements, fiberboard, insulation, roofing, siding, flooring, and paper in order to enrich such building materials with asbestos’ advantageous characteristics.

Asbestos pipe insulation

Asbestos cement roofing shingles

Thankfully, as long as asbestos fibers remain bound in these materials, it does not present a serious health hazard. However, when asbestos-containing materials are damaged or disturbed, toxic fibers can be released into the air. These microscopic asbestos fibers are easily inhaled and it is extremely difficult for the body to expel them. In fact, exposure to asbestos can cause a variety of illnesses, such as lung cancer, asbestosis, and mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer that affects the body’s mesothelial linings of the lungs, heart, and abdomen. Asbestos is also known to cause gastrointestinal cancer and has been linked to colon cancer as well. Typically, these diseases do not exhibit symptoms for 15 to 50 years after initial exposure, making them especially difficult to diagnose.

Where to Spot and How to Avoid Asbestos

Since most structures built before the 1980s contain asbestos, it is important to know the common places to find asbestos in order to spot and avoid exposure. Spotting asbestos products that are not clearly labeled is practically impossible with the human eye, so testing is the only way to know if a product contains asbestos. Make sure not to sample the product yourself, which comes with the risk of releasing asbestos fibers into the air. Rather, hire a professional to take a sample for testing. Some possible sources of asbestos in homes include the following:

  1. Tile and sheet vinyl flooring (adhesives applied in flooring also contained asbestos)
  2. Roofing materials, such as tiles, felt, and adhesives
  3. Textured plaster used in acoustical ceiling treatment (and decoratively along walls and ceilings)
  1. Sheet products: millboard, rollboard, and others
  2. Joint compounds and plaster used to patch holes and seams
  3. Insulation: including wall insulation, pipe covering, electrical tape and wadding, and in stoves and furnaces

Hire a Professional

There are a variety of professionals available for asbestos abatement. Whether you want to remove the asbestos-containing materials completely, or choose to cover them in some way, a licensed professional offers safety and security, as removing asbestos on your own is exceptionally hazardous. Professionals can perform air quality tests before, during, and after the remediation process. Air monitoring can be particularly reassuring if your family or employees are present during the abatement.

Professional asbestos abatement

For more resources on asbestos, the various forms of asbestos cancer, and other illnesses caused by asbestos exposure, please click on the links below

Mesothelioma www.asbestos.com/mesothelioma
Pleural Mesothelioma www.asbestos.com/mesothelioma/pleural.php

Mesothelioma Cancer Center www.asbestos.com

For further information on asbestosd and to obtain a list of licensed asbestos abatement contractors please visit the New York State Department of State

http://www.labor.state.ny.us/workerprotection/safetyhealth/DOSH_CONTACT_US.shtm



          Who do I call for a noise complaint?
The Town of Greenburgh's noise oridinance (Chapter 380 of the Town Code) is regulated and enforced by the Greenburgh Police Department.  Should you have a complaint about noise please contact the GPD at 914-682-5300.

CONSTRUCTION NOISE
Construction Noise is permitted Monday through Friday 7:00am-8:00pm
Saturdays 9:00am-6:00pm
No construction is permitted on Sunday or Holidays.

GASOLINE POWERED ENGINES
Monday through Friday 8:00am - 8:00pm
Saturdays and Holidays 9:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sunday 11:00 am - 6:00 pm
 
 


          Do I need a building permit?
Building permits are required for all construction projects including but not limited to:  additions,  alterations/repairs, siding, brick facades, kitchen remodeling (cabinetry), new driveways, driveway enlargements, patios, new decks or repair of existing decks, and walls over four feet in height.   It is always recommended to call the Building Department before you begin your project to determine what forms/plans are required.  914-993-1561


Section 285-44 of the Zoning Ordinance states:

No building or structure in any district shall be erected, reconstructed or restored, structurally altered or used without a building permit. 

A structure is defined in Section 285-5 of the Zoning Ordinance as:
STRUCTURE [Amended 7-8-1987 by L.L. No. 3-1987]  
A.   Anything which is constructed or erected which requires a location on the land or attachment to something having such location, including but not limited to the following:  
       (1) Signs or billboards.  
       (2) Fences over six feet in height in a front or side yard and fences over eight feet in height in a rear yard.  
       (3) Walls other than those less than four feet high.  
       (4) Antenna(s), except functional receive-only antenna(s) having a net exposure less than two square feet in the vertical plane and no dimension in the horizontal or vertical plane that exceeds 96 inches, attached directly to a masonry chimney, penthouse or rooftop mechanical appurtenance on a pole no longer than eight feet in length. For the purpose of this chapter, a functional satellite dish antenna having a maximum diameter no greater than 18 inches that does not exceed the maximum permissible exposure limits in Table VIEN shall not be considered a structure. [Amended 8-13-1996 by L.L. No. 7-1996; 4-29-1997 by L.L. No. 6-1997; 3-24-1999 by L.L. No. 3-1999]  
      (5) Pergolas, porches, patios, decks, outdoor bins, tool sheds, carports, equipment and storage buildings or sheds, swimming pools, swimming pool filter pads, tennis courts, doghouses or sheds. [Amended 8-13-1996 by L.L. No. 7-1996; 4-29-1997 by L.L. No. 6-1997]  
      (6) Tents, lunch wagons, trailers, dining cars or similar structures on wheels or other supports used for business or living purposes.    

B. A building permit shall be required prior to the construction or erection of any structure.  

C. All buildings are structures. For the purposes of setback requirements, classification of buildings as "principal" or "accessory" shall be controlling.    

STRUCTURE, MINOR ACCESSORY
  -- A building no larger than 150 square feet in area and no more than 10 feet in height, and customarily found accessory to dwelling units, including playhouses, tree houses, storage sheds, and greenhouses. [Added 6-11-2003 by L.L. No. 5-2003]  

STRUCTURE, TEMPORARY
  -- One erected, constructed or placed upon the premises, to exist there for a brief or temporary duration of time, not exceeding one year. All other structures shall be deemed and considered permanent for the purpose of this chapter.  


          Do I need a building permit to install a fence?

No.  Fences can be installed without a building permit as long as the proposed fence meets the following regulations:

285-40C(5) - Except as provided elsewhere in this chapter, the yard requirements of this chapter shall not be deemed to prohibit any otherwise lawful fence or wall, provided that in any one-family residence district, no fence or wall shall exceed six feet in height in any front or side yard nor eight feet in height in any rear yard. [Amended 7-8-1987 by L.L. No. 3-1987] 

Note:  Corner lots Maximum fence height = 30 inches (corner side and front)  - except if fence is located 20 feet in from the corner/front property lines.

Further, you must call Planning Department at 993-1505 prior to installation of the fence to assure compliance with Wetlands regulations.



          Do I need a permit to abandon/remove an oil storage tank?
Yes.  All tank abandonment/removals require a tank removal permit. You may download the tank removal permit application.

For more information about underground storage tanks, please visit the link to New York State DEC
http://www.dec.ny.gov/chemical/32263.html


          Do I need a permit to install a shed?
Yes.  You will need to first obtain a Wetlands Clearance from the Planning Department and Steep Slopes Clearance from the Engineering Department.  Once you have received those approvals, you may proceed with a Building Permit Application.  You will need to provide a copy of the schematic of the shed (or hand draw, to scale) and a copy of the survey showing the shed drawn on the survey with distances to the rear and side property  lines. 

Only one shed is allowed per single-family unit and is restricted to the rear yard.

A shed cannot exceed 150 square feet and cannot be higher than 10 feet.  If the shed is 100 square feet or less, it must be located  a minimum of 3 feet from the property line, sheds  over 100 square feet but less than 150 square feet must be located 5 feet from the rear and side property lines. 


          Do I need a permit to replace my driveway?
If you are simply repaving an existing driveway, no permit is required.  If you plan to enlarge or reconfigure the driveway a building permit is required.  

Please note that repaving, enlargement/reconfiguration of driveways may require  a curb cut permit and a permit to work in the right-of way may be required from the Department of Public Works.  Please contact DPW to determine what permits are required (914-993-1574).


          Do I need a permit to replace my roof?

A building permit is required for the addition of or replacement of roofing materials on commerical and multi-family residences..  A detailed list of materials that are to be used is required with the submission.  Alterations to roof structure require a building permit with drawings prepared by a New York State licensed design professional.



          Do I need to file Wetlands and Steep Slopes Clearance Forms?
If your proposed project requires any exterior work, Steep Slopes and Wetlands Clearance Forms must be submitted to the Engineering Department and the Planning Department respectively, and both must be approved prior to submission of your building permit application.


          How long does it take to get the plans reviewed by the Building Department?
Normally, one to four weeks


          How do I make a building complaint?
In order to file a complaint regarding building or housing you may either e-mail the Building Department at building@greenburghny.com or complete the 'Complaint Form'  located in the documents and forms section of the Town of Greenburgh site by clicking on this link:
http://www.greenburghny.com/cit-e-access/FormCenter/?TID=10&TPID=1432


Please include your name, e-mail or mailing address along with the address of the complaint and the nature of the complaint.  An inspector will be assigned your case and the results of the inspection will be posted on the website under the 'Complaints' Section.


          How do I make a "NO HEAT/HOT WATER" Complaint
 
If you are renting an apartment or home or are working in an area and have no heat or think the heat is below what is required, you may call
914-989-1565 or 914-989-1637. 

IPMC
602.3 Heat supply.
Every owner and operator of any building who rents, leases or lets one or more dwelling unit, rooming unit, dormitory or guestroom on terms, either expressed or implied, to furnish heat to the occupants thereof shall supply heat during the period from September 15th to May 31st to maintain a temperature of not less than 68°F (20°C) in all habitable rooms, bathrooms and toilet rooms.
 
Exception: When the outdoor temperature is below the winter outdoor design temperature for the locality, maintenance of the minimum room temperature shall not be required, provided that the heating system is operating at its full design capacity. The winter design dry-bulb temperature for the locality shall be as indicated in the Energy Conservation Construction Code of New York State .
 
602.4 Occupiable work spaces.
Indoor occupiable work spaces shall be supplied with heat during the period from September 15th to May 31st to maintain a temperature of not less than 65°F (18°C) during the period the spaces are occupied.
 
Exceptions:
 
1. Processing, storage and operation areas that require cooling or special temperature conditions.
 
2. Areas in which persons are primarily engaged in vigorous physical activities.




 


          What can I do about mold?

For information on how to clean, manage and prevent mold growth, please visit the New York State Department of Environmental Protection's Website at http://www.epa.gov/ 



 


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