The Town of Washington Building Department enforces the New York State Building codes by issuing building permits, performing inspections, issuing Certificates of Occupancy and receiving and investigating complaints of violations or hazardous conditions. Statewide, building codes have been in effect since 1984, and a building permit, followed by a Certificate of Occupancy, is required for any work which must comply with these codes, and is not specifically exempted from requiring a building permit, such as repairs or detached storage sheds smaller than 144 square feet in size.
Land use is regulated by the Town of Washington Zoning Code, and is enforced by the Zoning Administrator. In addition to reviewing all building permit applications for compliance with zoning regulations and for any known violations prior to a building permit being issued, the Zoning Administrator also receives and reviews applications to the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals, receives and investigates complaints of zoning code violations, and conducts municipal title searches as part of real estate transaction.
A typical sequence of events, from a building permit application being received to a building permit being issued is described in the following flow chart.
Building Permit Application (5/2023)- Required for all actions requiring Building Inspector Approval
Zoning Review Checklist (3/2023)- For reference. May be included with building permit applications where applicable.
Swimming Pool Barrier Agreement (2/2023)-Required for all applications for Pools, Hot Tubs and Spas
pdf Owner's Endorsement - Required if the owner is authorizing another person or entity to make an application on their behalf. If property is in a partnership, LLC or corporation additional information is required.
CE-200 - To be provided by homeowner or sole proprietor. Contractors with employees MUST submit Certificate of Worker's Compensation Insurance (C105.2 or U26.3) AND Certificate of Disability Benefits Compensation (DB120.1) Per Section 57 of Worker's Compensation Law, ACORD forms are NOT acceptable proof of coverage.
Fee Schedule- For complex renovations, additions or new construction it is recommended that the permit fee total be verified with the Building Inspector prior to submitting a payment. Permit payments and renewals should be made payable to the Town of Washington.
Tent Permit- Simplified application for large tents or temporary structures requiring a building permit.
Truss Notice 4/24/23- Required to be submitted with any applications for construction that will utilize trusses or engineered lumber structural elements. Additionally, a sign or symbol compliant with applicable NYS codes is required to be posted prior to the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy.
Table R301.2- Local design criteria.
LAND USE RESOURCES
Zoning Code Complete (Revised 7 22 2022)
pdf Wetlands Law (Adopted 5-12-2011) Regulations of activities such as construction or land clearing within the controlled buffer areas around sensitive wetlands or watercourses
Solar and Wind Energy Law (Adopted 2018) Regulations pertaining to solar panels and windmills
pdf Appendix A, Schedule of District Use Regulations A description of uses permitted by right or with Town approval in the respective zoning districts.
pdf Appendix B, Schedule of Area & Bulk Regulations Includes required setbacks from property lines and maximum lot coverage or structure height.
pdf Current Zoning Map Includes a map of the Town of Washington with Zoning use districts marked. Dutchess County ParcelAccess also includes this information as part of the parcel property card, as well as additional useful aerial, topographic and wetland overlays, property inventory information and measurement tools.
pdf Current Wetlands Map Please note, this is subject to field verification or deliniation.
LAND USE APPLICATIONS
Applications for structures, improvements or uses are first received by the Building Inspector or Zoning Administrator. In cases where the proposed construction or activity requires further approval, or is not permitted under the Town Zoning Code, this initial application will be denied and the applicant referred to either the Planning Board or Zoning Board of Appeals.
Planning Board: Hears applications such as subdivisions, lot line adjustments, site plans for commercial projects, conversions of barns or construction of new accessory (guest or farm employee) residential housing, permit applications for signage, home occupations and soil mining or quarrying, applications for the installation of commercial solar arrays and telecommunications equipment, wetlands permits and other special permits as listed in the Zoning Code.
Zoning Board of Appeals: Hears applications for Use and Area Variances to the restrictions of the Zoning Code, Appeals for Review of orders, decisions and requirements made by the Building Inspector or Zoning Administrator, and Appeals for Interpretation.
MUNICIPAL TITLE SEARCHES
Typically conducted as part of a real estate transaction or refinancing, a municipal title search is requested by an attorney or title search company to check if there are any Building or Zoning violations or open permits at a property, and includes a full report of the known inventory.
The fee for a municipal title search is $200, plus an additional $15 for each improvement separate from the primary structure, such as a barn, detached garage, guest house or swimming pool.
The Town of Washington requires that the following forms be supplied with every municipal search request, and the search cannot be completed until these have been received. A site visit will only be requested if there are any violations or inconsistencies discovered during the search.
Request for a Municipal Records Search
Owner's Endorsement (Approved 8/13/20)
Complaints regarding Zoning Code violations, such as commercial use of a residentially zoned property without a Special Permit, or activity impacting a regulated wetland or watercourse must be received in writing, per Section 490.1 of the Zoning Code, except where such violations pose a threat to life, health or safety.