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The procedures for variances and appeals regarding the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code (Uniform Code) are established in 19 NYCRR Part 1205. Requests for a variance generally require a hearing before a Board of Review. Some requests for a variance can be resolved through an administrative process when DOS staff determines it is appropriate. Appeals always require a a hearing before a Board of Review. For additional information or to begin a variance or appeal process, contact your Regional office. Mailing an application directly to our central office without first involving a regional office will result in a delay.
Local governments may elect to not administer and enforce the Uniform Code. In this event, the county is responsible for code enforcement; however, counties may also elect to not administer and enforce the Uniform Code. In this case, the Department of State is responsible for code enforcement. The Department’s responsibilities are established in 19 NYCRR Part 1202.
At the present time, the Division is responsible for administration and enforcement of the Uniform Code and the Energy Code for twelve county governments and for local government and privately owned buildings in one town and one village.
It has been a longstanding practice to provide regionalized support and advice to local governments and their code enforcement officials, design professionals, the construction industry, construction products manufacturers and suppliers. DOS regional staff may assist with plan reviews, inspections, respond to questions concerning proper application of the codes and similar activities.
Section 381(3) of Article 18 of the Executive Law, New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code Act, gives the Secretary of State the authority to conduct investigations and hold hearings relative to whether administration and enforcement of the codes meets the minimum standards established in regulations (19 NYCRR Parts 1203 and 1208). This authority does not directly lead to intervention by the Division to resolve complaints that involve local code enforcement. However, a consistent pattern of complaints regarding a specific community or county may lead the Department to decide that further action is necessary to ensure that the Uniform Code is in full force and effect. Investigations of local governments or counties are conducted where there is evidence that the administration and enforcement of the codes does not meet the minimum standards established in regulations.
For More Information, Contact:
Brian S. Tollisen, P.E.
Assistant Director for Regional Services
New York State Department of State Division of Building Standards and Codes
99 Washington Ave., Suite 1160, Albany, NY 12231