Select from the list of departments to browse that area. Click on the question within each department to expand it and view the answer.
Can a tank be abandoned in place or do I have to remove it?
A tank can be abandoned in place, provided that a permit is issued by the Department of Buildings, Fire Department, and work is done by a N.Y.S. Environmental Contractor.
Can I still work while the permit is being processed?
No. Not until the permit is approved and posted in public view. Doing work without a permit will result in a violation and penalty fees.
Do I need a permit for Swimming Pool?
Yes. See Swimming Pool, SPA, Hot Tub. WHEN IN DOUBT---ASK! Call the Department of Buildings at (914) 665-2484. A professional member of the Department will discuss your plans with you and answer all of your questions?
Do I need a plumbing permit for a (OIL-FIRED AND GAS-FIRED) boiler?
Yes. Products of combustion need to be disposed of properly. Combustion air is a requirement. Along with proper backflow prevention on the domestic water connection, as per N.Y.S. Plumbing Code.
How do I file an anonymous complaint?
All complaints may remain anonymous unless it pertains to your individual dwelling unit. In such case, you will be required to give your name, address and number, along with your apartment/floor number, name of landlord, address and phone number, a detailed description of your complaint and be available at an appointed time to allow the Inspector access.
How do I get a permit?
File an Application and follow given instructions with each application type.
How long is the permit good for?
A permit is valid for one (1) year as long as insurances are dept current (liability, disability, workers compensation).
How long will it take to receive a permit?
Permits are issued timely, dependent on scope of work and completeness of application and construction documents submitted.
How many layers of roofing are permitted on a one or two family dwelling?
Only two (2) layers allowed on any structure before complete removal of all layers, not limited to one or two family dwellings.
How much does a permit cost?
Eighty dollars ($80.00) for the application fee, plus $6.00 per $1,000.00 of the estimated cost (see fee schedule posted on website).
How to avoid unnecessary Plan Objections?
Provide necessary and accurate documentation certified by licensed professional and show compliances to all appropriate codes.
How to file for a change of use?
File a building permit for a conversion with professional construction documents.
I am having new siding put on my house, do I need a permit?
Yes. You must provide a survey of your property showing your property lines and pictures of adjacent two properties.
If I have a current building permit, why should I have to file for an additional permit to erect a wall sign?
The wall sign is reviewed under a different zoning code.
I have been working/living in Mount Vernon for years, since when do I need a permit?
Permits are on record of being issued since late 1880’s.
I intend on putting up a fence on my property; do I need a permit?
Yes. There are several requirements that the Zoning Ordinance contains that must be adhered to. Some of these requirements are: (1) a maximum of four (4) feet in height in any yard fronting a street shown on the official map of the City of Mount Vernon; (2) a maximum of six (6) feet in height in any side or rear yard; and (3) no encroachment beyond your property lines is permitted. Please contact the Department of Buildings at (914) 665-8484 for assistance or further questions.
I intend to put a shed on my property, do I need permit?
Yes. The Zoning Ordinance and the Codes of New York State have setback requirements. Sheds more than 60 square feet require professional drawn plans.
I need to find out in what Zoning District my property/house is located?
See our zoning map on the website or call the Department of Buildings at (914) 665-2484.
I need to see if I have a copy of a Certificate of Occupancy or a Survey for my property. Where do I look for this?
Come into the Department of Buildings, fill out a request form for the address and lot of the property which you are looking for and the file (if one exists) will be pulled for you to review and see if these documents exist in the file. You can request a copy of the documents, which you find in our file, with a freedom of information request.
Is a plumbing permit needed to clean out sewers and drains?
No. As long as the seal of the traps are not altered or disturbed a plumbing permit is not necessary. Once the seal of the traps are altered or disturbed, this constitutes a plumbing permit!
Is a plumbing permit needed to install a gas fired hot water heater?
Yes. The fact that hot and cold domestic (potable) water pipes are being altered. The same for natural gas pipe, and most importantly, the products of combustion are disposed of properly to the chimney! If not done to code this could be dangerous!
I want to build a deck. Do I need a permit?
Yes. A deck is a structural system that must be evaluated for compliance with the City of Mount Vernon Zoning Ordinance and the Codes of New York State.
I want to install a patio in my yard, do I need a permit?
Yes. But there are certain requirements that the Zoning Ordinance has which could affect where and how big you can build. You should definitely contact the Department of Buildings on (914) 665-2484 for more information.
I will be replacing the roof on my house, do I need a permit?
The Landlord has not made any repairs in my apartment so I am withholding the rent?
You can call the Department of Building at (914) 665-2484 or come in person Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to file a complaint. An inspector will contact you to make an appointment to validate your complaint. if the complaint is valid a violation can be issued to the owner. The Department does not interfere with any rent issues between landlord and tenant.
The Landlord is not providing adequate heat in my apartment. What do I do?
You can call the Department of Building at (914) 665-2484 or come in person Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. to file a complaint. An Inspector will contact you to make an appointment to validate your complaint by taking a temperature reading. If temperature is below 68°F, the complaint is valid and a violation can be issued to the owner.
What actions would be taken if a landlord/owner/tenant refuses to allow an inspector access to investigate a complaint?
This answer would depend on who made the complaint. Our biggest ally in all issues in this department is the Law Department. Any difficulties can be brought to the attention of the city attorney who represents this department.
What codes does the City of Mount Vernon use?
The City of Mount Vernon enforces the Mount Vernon Zoning Ordinance, the Municipal Codes of the City of Mount Vernon and the Codes of New York State. Currently New York State uses the Uniform Fire Prevention & Building Code and has allowed the property owner to use either the current or the new code. It is worth noting that the codes that are enforced by the Department are minimum standards which have been adopted to protect you and your interests.
What is a Certificate of Occupancy and how do I get one?
A Certificate of Occupancy certifies a premises maybe occupied in accordance with codes for the use specified in the C.O.
Come into the Department of Buildings with your block and lot number(s) and review our file to see if a Certificate of Occupancy (C.O.) and/or floor plans are there. If you do not find a C.O. then you will be required to file an application for one. If floor plans exist in your file then you only need to provide us with a copy f your survey along with the application and we will make an appointment to come and check your home. If floor plans do not exists in your file then you will be required to provided the Department with plans drawn to architectural standards showing the occupancy of each room/space. If work was done with permits and does not agree with the City’s records, then you will be required to legalized the work done by applying for a building permit.
The filing fee for a “Certificate of Occupancy” application shall be:
- Residential use: $150.00, plus $ 50.00 per dwelling unit
- Other uses: $300.00 per 5,000 square feet of gross floor area of non-residential use.
What is a certificate of tenancy? When is it required?
A certificate of tenancy is a certificate of occupancy for the Tenant space only. It certifies that the tenant space can be occupied in accordance with the use listed on the certificate and in compliance with applicable codes.
The filing fee for a “Certificate of Tenancy” application for non-residential tenancies shall be:
- $ 200.00 for up to 5,000 square feet of gross floor area, plus $50.00 for each additional 5,000 square feet.
- $500.00 occupancy legalization fee shall be charged in addition to the filing feefor new non-residential tenancies occupying a space without first obtaining a Certificate of Tenancy.
What is a Survey?
A survey is a plan that shows the legal boundaries of a plot with all its improvements and its amenities.
What is a task force inspection?
A task force inspection is a building wide inspection conducted by the Department of Building’s housing, building, plumbing and electrical inspectors and the Fire Department to assure that all multiple dwellings in the City of Mount Vernon meet state, city and fire code requirements.
What is a vacancy inspection? When is it required?
A vacancy inspection is an inspection of a vacant apartment required by the City of Mount Vernon to assure that all rental units meet city and state property maintenance codes and as well as to avoid the rental of illegal units.
What is the difference between a deck and a patio?
A deck is elevated above the surrounding grade and is structural in nature. A Patio fully supported by/in contact with the ground. A patio is placed on the surface of the ground.
What is the largest penalty ever assessed a property owner by the courts for code violations in the City of Mount Vernon?
The highest amount assessed so far for a Building Code Violation was in 2003 in the amount of $160,500.00.
Where is the Department of Buildings located, what are the normal business hours and can I come in or talk to someone on the phone?
The Department of Buildings is located at City Hall, 1 Roosevelt Square, Room 210, Mount Vernon, NY 10550. Our hours of operation are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.. Our main number is (914) 665-2484. One our staff will gladly direct you to a professional staff person whom can further assist you.
Whose ultimate responsibility is it to obtain a permit, the owner or the contractor?
The owner is ultimately responsible to obtain a permit. The owner may designate a contractor to file for a permit on his behalf after the owner has signed and the letter is notarized.
Why can’t I park as many cars and trucks on my private property as I want?
You can only park vehicles on residential property zone. All vehicles must be registered and in working order.
Why does it take so long for a permit?
There is documentation and information that must be submitted with each application before it can be accepted by the building department front desk staff. Once the application has been accepted and the fee paid, the application along with all required documentation is prepared for the Plans Examiner to review in the order in which it is received. The more accurate your submission, the faster the permit may be issued.
Why do I have to get a Certificate of Occupancy if my house was built in 1932 when Certificate of Occupancies were not required?
The Department of Buildings does not require you to file for Certificate of Occupancy unless you have done major work. Also change of use since house was built.
Why do I need a licensed Electrician or Plumber?
It is the state law. Having your Plumber and/or Electrician file with the Department of Buildings is necessary to ensure that they are licensed to perform work in Westchester County. When they file an application they are required to provide a copy of their license from Department of Consumer Protection, Licensing Division in White Plains, and proof of insurance.
Why do I need a permit, drawings and a survey to fix a wall that came down?
To protect you as a homeowner and to comply with zoning codes and building codes.
Why do I need permits from the Department of Buildings?
The Department of Buildings is charged with the responsibility of protecting your health, safety and welfare. The Department issues building permits and inspects the work performed to insure that it is done correctly and that no injury will result to you the owner/occupant/visitor of the premises. Can you imagine what would happen if someone did work on a house that you later bought and it was not structurally sound. Unfortunately, many people try to do that every day. If it was not for the banks and the title companies checking the files in the Department of Buildings prior to a closing taking place on home sales/refinancing requiring that you have a certificate of occupancy for all work that has been done to the property then you may end up with a home that has a deck that could fall down, or some other disastrous event, even a fire. The house that you own is the biggest investment of your life and you deserve to have this investment compliant with the Codes of the City of Mount Vernon and New York State.
Why do I need plans?
Plans identify structural, esthetic, fire safety, code compliances and are required to maintain legal records.
Why do I need to file a building permit to erect a fence?
To insure that a fence is erected on your property and in code compliances.
Why do the good side of the fence have to face the neighbors?
To comply with the City of Mount Vernon Zoning Code.
Why should I have to file for a permit when I am making home improvements to my personal property?
Compliances with codes is necessary for all citizens. This is the only method to assure home improvements are done correctly.
Why should I insure the City of Mount Vernon when filing for permits?
The City of Mount Vernon must be the additional insurer so that it is not liable for any accidents occurring during the life of the permit?
Can I pick up a birth or death certificate for my aunt, uncle, cousin, grand-daughter, etc?
No. Birth and death records can only be obtained by immediate family members or the person themselves, in the case of a birth.
I need to change the name of my child. What should I do?
Both parents must complete the appropriate forms and have them notarized. Completed forms can be returned to the Office or Vital Statistics or mailed directly to the New York State Department of Health.
I need to do a genealogical search. Can your office help me?
Birth and death record searches can be done, but may take time. Depending on the extent of the search, one to two weeks may be required for the search to be completed. Download Death Certificate/Genealogical Form. The fee is $11.00. Genealogical searches are only conducted for deaths/births that have occurred after 75 years.
Death Certificate Form (Check box for Genealogical Search and enclose money order for $11.00. The form needs to be notarized)
What is the process for applying for a Civil Service job?
Civil Service Examinations – How to Take A Written Test
2012 Civil Service Meeting Schedule (Revised)
Civil Service Commission
Notice of Meetings
Listed below is the Civil Service Commission’s monthly meeting schedule for 2012.
Please note special meetings may be scheduled to address urgent matters. When such occurs, a meeting notice will be posted on the City of Mount Vernon’s website www.cmvny.com. In the event a public hearing becomes necessary, the Commission will adhere to the contractual obligation of providing 30 days advance notice to the labor unions.
All meetings are open to the public and will convene at 4:30 PM at City Hall in the Memorial Room located on the 2nd floor.
If you would like to speak at the meeting, please go to the Civil Service office located room 14 on the ground floor to sign-up.
January 30, 2012 July 9, 2012
February 14, 2012 August 2012 (No Meeting)
March 7, 2012 September 10, 2012
April 9, 2012 October 8, 2012
May 14, 2012 November 12, 2012
June 11, 2012 December 10, 2012
Do I have to be a Mount Vernon resident to take a Civil Service Examination?
For most positions, there are no residency requirements to participate in the examination, but preference in appointment may be given to eligible candidates who have been residents of the appointing jurisdiction for 30 days prior to the examination date and at least 30 days prior to the effective date of appointment.
There are some positions that do require residency. The examination announcement will indicate such a requirement under the "Residence" section.
How can I obtain information on particular civil service examinations?
Announcements for civil service examinations are publicized on the City of Mount Vernon web site and in the Journal News paper. Printed copies are also available in all County and municipal buildings, and local libraries.
The City of Mount Vernon Application for Examination/employment is available at the Department of Civil Service - City Hall, Room 103, 1 Roosevelt Square, Mount Vernon, New York 10550, or may be downloaded from our web site.
How can I tell when a particular test will be given by Mount Vernon Civil Service Commission?
Not all examinations are held on an annual basis. Examinations are prepared and scheduled by the New York State Civil Service Commission. Civil Service requests examinations to be scheduled based on the number of positions, the length of the current eligible list, the age of the list, and the turnover of employees within the title. Eligible lists are valid for a minimum period of one year from the date of establishment and up to four years at the discretion of the Commissioner of Civil Service.
In order to find out if a specific examination is being offered, you must check on the schedule of announced examinations.
Who uses Mount Vernon Civil Service Lists?
Lists of eligible job candidates established by the Civil Service Department are used to fill vacancies in competitive class titles.
I received a ticket and want to pay it. What do I do?
If you do not wish to contest the summons, you must sign the Authorization and Waiver on the back of the summons and make payment of the indicated amount by no later than 30 days after the issuance of the summons either directly to the Traffic Violations Bureau of the Court or by mail using the summons envelope enclosing your check or money order payable to CITY COURT OF MOUNT VERNON. Be sure to write your plate number and state on the front of the check or money order.
I received a parking ticket, but there was a problem with the street sign. What should I do?
Please mail in or drop off your parking ticket with a brief description of such problem within 48 hours of issuance. The problem will be investigated and you will be notified by mail of such findings.
I received a parking ticket because of a broken or fast meter, what should I do?
Please mail in or drop off your parking ticket with a brief description of such problem within 48 hours of issuance. The problem will be investigated and you will be notified by mail of such findings.
I received a ticket and wish to contest it. What do I do in order to plead not guilty?
If you wish to plead not guilty to a summons you must appear on any business day at 8:30 a.m. in the City Court, 2 Roosevelt Square, Mount Vernon, New York no later than 30 days after the issuance of the summons.
What is a SCOFFLAW?
If you have 3 or more unpaid parking tickets issued within 18 months, you may be classified as a parking scofflaw. The State of New York Department of Motor Vehicles will then not allow you to register your vehicle until a Registration Clearance Notice is issued. All Mount Vernon parking tickets under the registered owners’ name (all license plate numbers) must be paid prior to such a clearance being issued.
Payment must be made by cash, certified check or money order.
Why was my vehicle booted or impounded?
Your vehicle may be booted or impounded if you have 3 or more unpaid parking tickets over 30 days old. If so, all Mount Vernon parking tickets under the registered owners’ name (all license plate numbers) plus a boot/impound fee must be paid prior to a release being issued. There is no parking ticket reduction permitted on the booted/impounded vehicle.
Will I receive a penalty if I pay my summons late?
If you do not appear in Court to answer the summons or make payment 30 days after the issuance of the summons, your fine will be DOUBLED and may be further increased or subject you to imprisonment if default continues, and/or the owner may be denied registration renewal and the vehicle immobilized at the owner's expense.
What Properties are Eligible?
Any legally conforming building located within the City of Mount Vernon Community Development (CD) target area that contains five (5) dwelling units or more may be eligible for financial assistance. Properties located outside the CD target area may also be deemed eligible if primarily occupied by low and/or moderate income families. In general, priority shall be made available to owners of buildings that contain ten (10) or more dwelling units.
What are the Loan Terms and Limitation?
In general, the program offers two types of loads that provides property owners with financing of home improvement costs.
- Direct loans - repayable in monthly installments. Minimum $3,000 to $25,000, determined by property size, condition and circumstances of the proposed home improvements.
- Deferred loans - generally made to Senior Citizens/Owner Occupants or other low income homeowners that are repayable upon sale or transfer of property. Maximum of $4,500 per dwelling unit. However, the Agency may approve a loan above the normal limits in exceptional cases.
What Types of Improvements are Eligible?
Priority is given to property conditions that may represent a certified health or safety hazard to the building, its occupants and/or to the general public. Other improvements shall be considered in order of importance with priority given to the overall building improvement, such as roofing, brick pointing, window repair or replacement, elevator safety, heating, electrical, security and any other improvement that generally benefits the building. Individual unit improvements are also eligible and may include but are not limited to the elimination of incipient code violations. Improvements not permitted under this program shall include landscaping and other site improvements that do not directly benefit the health, safety and welfare of building residents or the general public.
How Can I Receive an Application?
To obtain an application please send email or send a letter to the Department of Planning and Community Development, City Hall, Roosevelt Square, Mount Vernon, New York 10550, Attention Director of Housing Programs, With your Name, Address, Phone Number and Email Address.