Working With Your Village Zoning and Code Enforcement Officer

"Why do I need a permit for my building project? It's my property!"

"I plan to live there forever; it will be safe enough for me."

"If I ever sell the place, I'll bring it up to code then."

"I've been doing it this way for years, why change now?"

"Inspectors just make up rules to make it rough on the property owners and builders!"

These are some of the comments we hear when property owners and builders are told how the building code says their construction project is required to be done in order to pass inspection. What homeowners, builders, and do-it-yourselfers need to keep in mind is that the NYS building code is not there to make their lives miserable. The village zoning and NYS building codes are in place to provide safe structures in the Village of Bergen.

The building code provides the minimum requirements for safe construction of all the buildings that we use, from commercial buildings such as offices, stores, factories, service stations, etc. to construction projects in our own homes.

All buildings are required to be constructed to meet the zoning and building code's requirements. While the Department of State, Division of Code Enforcement and Administration control the building codes in New York, it is the local Zoning and Code Enforcement Department's job to make sure that those code requirements are met.

That's where I come in. It is my job to be familiar with the building codes and to keep up to date with changes to the codes. With today's always-changing technology, I also have to be familiar with all of the new products being produced, so that I know what to expect when I conduct an inspection.

Those who believe that a code enforcement officer is there to find anything he can to shut down the job need to rethink that myth. The inspector is not making up rules and regulations just to make your life rough. The building code contains the minimum standard for safe construction, and the inspector is simply enforcing what the building code requires.

If you're not sure what the code requires, ask questions. I am happy to answer any questions you may have, or guide you to the codebook regarding the construction being. I would be happy to review your project and plan with you before you begin the work.

I look forward to communicating regularly with you as you plan your next building project or to help you clear up property maintenance issues. If you check with me during the planning phase, it increases the likelihood of a smooth inspection. At worst, any code violations found during inspections will be minor and simple to correct.

I can be reached by calling the Village Office at (585) 494-1513 or (585) 331-6162.

Gary Cecere
ZEO/CEO/Fire Marshal
Village of Bergen