Navigating construction rules and building code can be complicated. A professional architect or contractor may be able to offer helpful advice and planning assistance, as well as create necessary plans which include site plan drawings and construction documents (CDs). You may need a licensed architect to “draw and stamp” your plans before showing them to city staff.
If you plans include site work, building work AND right of way work, you should go through a Pre-Development meeting before formally submitting your plans.
If you have a smaller project, you can bring your plans to the Central Permit Office without any review first. Complete a Permit Application. Ask to submit your application and plans.
You will first meet with a plan reviewer at the Central Permit Office to check your plans. If the project does not need review from other departments, the reviewer may be able to approve your permit that day.
If the plans need a more thorough review, they will be taken in for review by permit office staff and sent to the appropriate departments. Most plans routed to departments are approved within 7 to 10 business days.
Pick Up Your Plans
Once your plans have been reviewed, you may pick them up to make corrections if needed. Any corrections you need will be written down. After corrections are made, bring them back to the Central Permit Office.
When your plans are approved and you have paid your permit fees, you will receive your permits to make building alterations, and schedule inspections.
If a project includes site work, building work, and right of way work, or if you are a first time developer, we recommend a pre-development meeting. A pre-development meeting is scheduled if your project is reviewed by city staff and they think your plans can be approved.
During this meeting, the developer is notified of the relevant city and other municipal approvals required for this project. Staff from the Central Permit Office and the Department of Neighborhood and Business Development will be present.
The developer or architect must submit preliminary plans including a site plan, elevations, and floor plans via email for review at least one week prior to the pre-development meeting. The developer is encouraged to bring the project’s architect, engineer, contractors, and other professionals to the meeting. The developer will present the project time lines and plans, and City staff will discuss any development challenges and concerns, and highlight any issues they have been able to identify.
After the pre-development meeting, the developer is given a summary of the feedback provided at the meeting. This usually takes about a week. At this time, the developer is also given a contact list of relevant staff so the developer can pursue any outstanding issues with the appropriate person.
To schedule a predevelopment meeting, please contact
Director of Pre-development
Department of Neighborhood and Business Development
Some projects may require special reviews for stormwater management, changes to traffic flow, or new curb cuts. These reviews usually take several weeks or longer.
Onondaga County Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) Review
- include stripping or grading 10,000 square feet or more of land,
- Include excavation or filling that exceeds 300 cubic yards in any parcel or contiguous area, or
- Include site preparation on slopes of 15% or greater, or result in a slope of 15% or greater
will need a Stormwater Management Review.
The SWMP can be submitted directly to the Engineering Department (City Hall, Room 401), or submitted with either your Zoning application or Building Permit plans at the Central Permit Office (City Hall Commons, Room 101). For state and local stormwater management documents, please visit the Engineering Department's web page.
For any questions about stormwater management reviews, please contact:
Traffic Study (Transportation Impact Study, or TIS)
A project may require a TIS when changes in land use, new development, or site access are proposed. A TIS evaluates the effects that a change in traffic volumes or travel patterns will have on the transportation network.
A TIS may be required for a project that is expected to result in 100 or more added (new) trips during the adjacent roadway’s peak hour or the development’s peak hour. The TIS should include a site plan and capacity analysis of existing, future no-build and future build conditions. The TIS must use the latest version of SYNCHRO traffic planning software, and must include all site access points and all signalized intersections that are expected to see an increase of 100+ vehicles per hour.
All traffic impact study (TIS) scopes must be reviewed and accepted by the City prior to the start of the study to determine the study area. It also determines what specific analysis may need to be included.
Developers will learn at the pre-development meeting if a traffic study is required, but advance contact with the Department of Public Works is encouraged. For questions, please contact
Jim French, Superintendent,
To maintain a safe and pedestrian-friendly environment, requests for new curb cuts will be reviewed carefully. If a site has an existing curb cut(s), the developer may be required to demonstrate that development without additional curb cuts would create a financial hardship. Curb cut applications, and if applicable, documentation of hardship must be submitted with zoning applications so the curb cut request can be reviewed in context with the entire project.
For questions, please contact the Transportation Planner.