Building Permits

Coronavirus Response Update: The City’s Department of Neighborhood and Business Development issued the following customer-service procedures during the COVID-19 outbreak. Learn more>> 

UPDATE: March 27, 2020:  Buildings and Zoning is open for Building Permits and Building related permits

Applications for Building Permits, Electrical Permits, Fire Permits, Plumbing Permits, Re-roof Permits, Zoning requests and other related permits can be found at the bottom of this page.   Download the appropriate form and either place them in the City Hall Drop Box using the Fitzhugh Street entrance, send by mail to City Hall, 30 Church Street, Room 121B, Rochester, NY 14614 or email to the address at the bottom of the application form when noted.  Please include check or money order for appropriate fees.  Do not place cash in any drop boxes.  

Bureau of Buildings & Zoning 
City Hall - Room 125B
Rochester, New York 14614
Tel: (585)428-6526

Why do I need a Building Permit?

Building Permits are required by the NYS Department of State and the Code of the City of Rochester, and are obtained in the City's Permit Office, Room 121B, City Hall.

Permits establish that a proposed project or use satisfy all codes and regulations to ensure the public's safety, health, and the enjoyment of property.  Building Permits often require zoning approval.  Most projects affecting changes to real property require a Building Permit.

Coastal erosion permits may be required for construction or general activities taking place along the Beach Avenue waterfront. For additional information, please contact Casmic Reid at (585) 428-6643.

Permit Fees are usually based upon the cost of the project's labor and materials, although flat fees are sometimes charged such as to permit a storage shed, a fence, or an outdoor deck.

How can I get Permit information for my project?

For general information on Building permits and requirements, view our Building Permit Brochure. 

For additional information regarding building plans submissions, visit our Building Code Review page.

For information on decks, fences, sheds, signs, pools, additions, 3rd floor use, plumbing work, demolition information, parking lots, vehicle storage and more, check out Permit Brochures and Fee Schedules.

Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) applications are often required when a Permit is issued. Applications are available to property owners either in person, or by mail. Find out more about when you need a C of O. 

Downloading applications

Applications may be made by an owner or someone with a contractual interest in the property.  Select from the following links:

Lists of Current License Holders - see Licensed Trades