City of Rye, NY

FAQs: Building Department

Maureen Eckman,
Building Inspector

(914) 967-7372



1.  When do I need a building permit?  
Examples of buildings, structures and activities requiring the issuance of a building permit are:

  1. Erection of a deck or open porch or the expansion of decks or porches.
  2. Window, door or other changes that increase the thermal conductivity.
  3. The installation of solid-fuel devices, fireplaces and stoves.
  4. Placing a roof over a deck, a terrace or entry door.
  5. Finishing or making improvements in a basement or cellar to provide recreation space, living area or toilet facilities.
  6. Finishing attic space for any type of occupancy.
  7. Changing exits or reducing required natural light or ventilation.
  8. Erection of lawn storage buildings, with or without foundations, if any dimension is eight feet or larger.
  9. Erection of any type of in-ground receptacle for water where the depth exceeds 24 inches.
  10. Public or private utility structures.
  11. Changes in use or occupancy.
  12. Tennis courts and other recreational facilities.
  13. Installation of, repair and or replacement of a fence.

 Examples of buildings, structures and conditions that may not require the issuance of a building permit:

  1. Detached buildings and structures without foundations, such as sheds, doghouses and tree houses where all dimensions are less than eight feet.
  2. Repairs required to restore a building or structure to a sound condition, conforming to the Uniform Code, where the deterioration is due to age.
  3. Retaining wall and terraces (may be subject to other permit requirements).
  4. Interior decorations that do not involve structural changes, including light, ventilation or systems alterations, such as changing kitchen cabinets, closet alterations or bath modernization, provided that plumbing is not moved and replacement is performed by a licensed plumber.
  5. Exterior improvements that do not materially change the appearance of the building and are not structural in nature, including resurfacing deteriorated walls and replacing windows and doors.
  6. Painting

2.  How long is a building permit good for?
A building permit shall be effective to authorize the commencing of work in accordance with the application, plans and specifications on which it is based for a period of 12 months after the date of its issuance.  Upon application and additional fee, an extension of 12 months may be granted.  Permits which have lapsed prior to the start of work will require a new application and full fee.

3.  Where can I install my fence and how tall can it be?  (See Chapter 90)
The following diagrams could help you understand the requirements:

4.  How long does it take to get a building permit?
Depending on what type of permit one applies for.  The City has two types of building permits, interior and exterior.  The interior permits take about two weeks.  The exterior permits could take anywhere from three to five weeks.  All exterior permits are subject to review by the Board of Architectural Review.

5.  What are the building permit fees?

  1. Building permit fee minimum $75.00 or $17.00/1000 Residential $30/1000 Commerical.
  2. Certificate of Occupancy $100.00 for residential and $175.00 for commercial.
  3. SWC (Surface Water Control or Erosion Control Measures) $200.00

6.  My neighbor is doing work, do they have a building permit?
When a building permit is issued the building permit shall be prominently displayed on the job site at all times during the progress of construction so as to be readily seen from adjacent thoroughfares.

7.  What is the name of the water company?
There are two water companies that provide service to the City of Rye.  Westchester Joint Water Works provides water service to the Greenhaven area, the front portion of the Preserve and Glendale Road.  United Water Company provides water service for the remainder of the City.

8.  Where could I get copies of my building plans, building permits and/or certificates of occupancies (CO)?

A  Freedom of Information (FOIL) request can be filed thru the Rye City Website under on line services. There is a computer Kiosk at the Building Dept. where CO's may also be obtained.

9.  When does the Board of Architectural Review meet?

Board of Architectural Review 2014 meeting schedule and submission dates can be found on line  

Can't find an answer here? - E-mail your question directly to the Building Department.