Shawn M. Morse
Ask the Mayor!
City of Cohoes
97 Mohawk Street
Cohoes, NY 12047

City Hall hours
Monday thru Friday
8am - 4pm

March 28, 2017
1:37 PM


Building and Code  
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Chief Joseph Fahd
(518) 233-2127

The Building Department (BPD) encompasses Code Enforcement and Engineering.  The department handles the MS4 or stormwater program, code complaints, building permits, rental occupancy permits, and vacant buildings.  Property owners and residents can contact the following offices for assistance:
  • Building permits - please call Patty at 233-2127
  • MRI and ROP information - please call Julie at 233-2121 ext. 217
  • Section 8 tenants - please call 233-2128 to leave a message
  • Utility markings, traffic requests or street closures - please call Terry at 233-2139

The Planning Board meets once a month on the second Monday of each month.  Submit application materials three weeks prior to the next meeting for consideration.  All proposals for residential development of three or more units or any commercial projects require site plan approval from the planning board.  The planning board also approves subdivisions and special use permits for pools and home occupations.  For more information check the City Code Online available in the left hand column of the City homepage.  Applications are available at the Forms Center link.


ZBA meets once a month on the fourth Wednesday of each month.  Residents can apply for area and use variances from the ZBA.  Use variances concern permitted uses in the given zoning district; whereas area variances concern exceptions to the zoning code regulations such as setbacks from property lines.  Applications are available at Form Center on the City homepage.  Specific zoning code sections are available for review at the City Code Online link.


The HPARB has identified typical categories of work, issues and treatments that occur in historic preservation projects, as well as preservation recommendations for each category.  The Certificate of Appropriateness application is available at Forms Center in the upper right hand corner of the homepage.  For more information click Technical Historical Preservation Guidance.


Click here to read the department's Annual Reports.


The BPD tracks vacant buildings, compiles building registrations and patrols vacant buildings for code violations.  Forms are available on the webpage by selecting Forms Center in the upper right hand corner of the City's home page.  For more information on the vacant building registration requirements click on the following link:

New Yorkers Are Encouraged to Call (800) 342-3736 to Report "ZOMBIE" Properties in Their Neighborhoods


Download the Application for a Building Permit
When do you need a Building Permit?
Applicant's Responsibilities
Frequently Asked Questions


Own a rental property?  The City of Cohoes requires residential occupancy permits (ROPs) every three years or with every change in tenancy.  Inspection of each rental unit costs $40.
  Contact the Treasurer’s Office at 233-2111 to schedule your inspection.  Click here for answers to
Frequently Asked Questions for Landlords and the **Landlord's Guide to Cohoes**.

Click here for Landlord Responsibilities:

Here for a sample lease:

And here for a sample notice to terminate:

CO Monitoring in Existing and New Commercial Spaces-
  • A new NYSDOS rule effective June 27, 2015 requires installation of Carbon Monoxide detectors in new and existing commercial buildings that have a CO source.  Those with less than 10,000 sq ft should install the CO detector in a central location.  Commercial buildings with more than 10,000 sq ft will need one centrally located CO detector as well as additional CO detectors within every 100 ft.  Each floor shall have separate CO detectors as should each classroom.  Anyone with questions about the new rule can contact Code Enforcement at 233-2127.

Carbon Monoxide (CO) Detectors - "Amanda's Law"
Click here for Carbon Monoxide Safety Tips & a Safety Flyer.

New York State recently passed legislation requiring Carbon Monoxide (CO) detectors in all new and existing residential buildings, and institutions. Called “Amanda’s Law” the legislation takes effect February 22, 2010. Amanda’s Law requires that all dwelling units have at least one CO detector; battery operated devices suffice in existing buildings, but new buildings must install either plug-in or wired detectors. If applied to an apartment building, one CO detector should be placed outside the bedrooms in each unit.  


Another CO detector should be placed near the potential source of CO if it is on a different floor than the sleeping units. Usually, the source of CO is in the basement where the heating equipment is located. Therefore, a CO detector is required in the basement as well. There is one Exception: Compliance with this section is not required where no carbon monoxide source is located within or attached to the structure. However, compliance with this section is required if any carbon monoxide source is subsequently located within or attached to the structure.


Some residents have been confused by the wording of the legislation – one CO detector in each dwelling unit or sleeping unit. The “sleeping unit” requirement would only apply to institutions. The definitions section clarifies: “The term ‘sleeping unit’ means a room or space in which people sleep, which can also include permanent provisions for living, eating, and either sanitation or kitchen facilities but not both. Such rooms and spaces that are also part of a dwelling unit are not sleeping units.


The City of Cohoes is an MS4 - municipal separate storm sewer system - permitted by NYSDEC.  As such Cohoes is responsible for overseeing any change in topography.  The City Code Online details the MS4 restrictions and submission requirements for those who would like to alter the topography of land.  In addition, the BPD accepts telephone complaints about MS4 violations, such as dumping in catch basins or illegal connections.  Contact BPD offices with questions about any of the aforementioned items from vacant buildings to MS4 regulations.


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