The mission of the Department of Engineering Services is to promote public safety and welfare through professional oversight of public works projects and private construction activity within the Town. The Department is comprised of the following divisions, each with distinct but inter-related functions:
Engineering – The Engineering Division is responsible for the technical oversight of all public infrastructure projects such as roadway and drainage improvements, parks and beach improvements, municipal parking lots, municipal buildings, traffic control devices, water supply systems, and sewage disposal systems. The Engineering Division utilizes both in-house staff as well as outside professional consultants for design, construction management, and contract administration on all major capital improvement projects undertaken by the Town.
Building – The Building Division is charged with the responsibility of administering the building permit process to ensure that all building construction activity complies with state and local code requirements. Their functions include the review of building and site plans, issuance of building permits and Certificates of Occupancy, and inspection of building construction activity as it progresses.
Fire Prevention – The Fire Prevention Bureau is responsible for promoting fire safety issues throughout the Town. Their functions include the issuance of permits for fire alarm, fire sprinkler, and fire suppression systems, as well as conducting routine inspections of structures and businesses for compliance with Federal, state and local code requirements. The Bureau also administers an on-going fire safety education program.
Dix Hills Water District – The Dix Hills Water District is a public water supply district which is responsible for delivering high quality drinking water to approximately 8,500 homes and businesses in the Dix Hills section of the Town. The district is responsible for the operation and maintenance of 15 water supply wells at 10 sites, as well as over 160 miles of pipe, and almost 1,300 fire hydrants.
top of page
The Engineering Division interacts on a regular basis with the Highway, General Services, Environmental Waste Management, Parks & Recreation, Maritime Services, and the Planning Departments. The division also provides support services to the Town Attorney, Town Clerk, and the Zoning Board of Appeals staff.
The Division of Fire Prevention is responsible for inspections, investigations, and enforcement of the code in the following districts: Cold Spring Harbor, Huntington, Greenlawn, and Commack. The Bureau is also responsible for addressing all complaints and referrals forwarded by the Fire Districts which retain inspection personnel. This Division is responsible for the issuance of all required fire code permits, addressing call-in and walk-in complaints from the public and witnessing acceptance tests of detection and suppression equipment troughout the Township.
Dix Hills Water District
Serving the Towns' residents in Dix Hills, the District must meet the demands put on its systems by their customers, be it the fire department or domestic and commercial use. The District is also responsible for responding to emergencies such as water main breaks, whenever they occur.
For the 2000 Annual Water Quality Report for the Dix Hills Water District please check our Permits & Forms link.
top of page
Q. What is the Suffolk County Tax Map Number of my property?
A. Your Tax Map Number is indicated on the copy of your property tax bill mailed to you annually. All decimals and zeroes are important when referring to this number.
Q. What is the zoning for my property?
A. To get a reliable answer you may check with the Division of Building and Housing or the Department of Planning & Environment. Zone boundaries and multiple lot situations require a detailed determination in some cases
Q. What uses are permitted on my property?
A. Please refer to the Town Code online or available at Town Hall. The Zoning Ordinance is Chapter 198. You may have to consult with a design professional when you determine your Zone.
Q. What are the building setbacks in my area?
A. There is a table or chart of zoning requirements for height area and bulk of buildings in Town Code Section 198-55. A copy of this chart is available at the Building and Housing Division.
Q. Does my property have all necessary Certificates of Occupancy?
A. The Building and Housing staff will do a search of the records (called "a site history") to see if all permits have certificates. Obviously, a site history cannot address work done without permits.
Q. Is a survey of my property on file, and can I get a copy?
A. If a permit was issued after 1960, there may be a MICROFILM copy of a survey. The records will be researched when the request is made in person in Town Hall Room 115. Copies made from a microfilm card cost $ 2.00 each.
Q. Can I get a copy of my CO?
A. If a CO is part of the microfilm record for the building permit, you may come into Town Hall, Room 115 and purchase a copy for $1.00. If duplicate CO (with the raised seal) has to be printed, the cost is $ 30.00.
Q. Is the CO for my house still in effect?
A. Yes, if no alterations were made without another building permit.
Q. In which year were building permits required?
A. Building permits AND certificates of occupancy were required by the Huntington Town Code starting in 1934. For buildings built prior to 1934, a Letter in Lieu of a Certificate of Occupancy may be issued.
Q. Do I have to get a building permit if a previous owner did the work?
A. Yes, the Huntington Town Code requires a permit and CO for ALL construction.
Q. My neighbors are doing work; do they have all necessary permits?
A. If a building permit was issued, one of the conditions is that it must be posted. A person receiving a building permit is also given an 8" x 11" dark pink card to be displayed in plain view.
Q. What is needed to obtain a building permit?
A. Start with a call to the Building and Housing Division (631) 351-2822. We have applications and instructions, and can answer questions based on the specific work proposed.
Q. Can I convert my basement to a bedroom, playroom or other living space?
A. The Building Code of New York State permits habitable space within a basement if minimum ceiling height, smoke detector and egress requirements are met. Contact a building plans examiner for additional information at (631) 351-3204.
Q. What occupations or businesses are permitted in a home?
A. The Town Code has a detailed definition, search using the term "home occupation" (quotation marks not necessary).
Q. I am handicapped, what types of home occupations may I pursue?
A. The same rules apply.
Q. Do I need a permit for a fishpond?
Q. Do I need a permit for a tennis court?
A. As of now, no permit is necessary for a tennis court built on grade. Retaining walls three feet or more in height and outdoor lighting poles over six feet or a fence over six feet do require permits. It is best to discuss the details of the plan with Building and Housing t personnel.
Q. Is a building permit required for new windows?
A. If the header is changed or the opening made wider, then a building permit is required. If the window is made smaller, it may violate the Building Code for minimum natural light and ventillation and openings for emergency egress. It is always a good idea to check with the building plans examiner first - (631) 351-3204. Permits are always required to install skylights.
Q. Is a building permit required for a new roof?
A. Not for simple reshingling or re-covering, but see the next answer! If new gables or pitches are included then a permit is required.
Q. How many layers of shingles can I add to an old roof?
A. The Residential Building Code of New York State permits a maximum of two layers of roof shingles.
Q. Is a building permit required for a fence?
A. A fence over 6 feet in height is deemed a structure under the Zoning Ordinance. A building permit is required for a structure. This would include a fence if the top horizontal element is more than 6 feet above the grade on either side of the fence.
Q. What are the requirements for getting a building permit for a fence?
A. Fences are considered accessory structures and the standard permit application is used.
Q. Must I put the finished side of a fence facing my neighbors?
A. No. For a regular perimeter fence the exterior facing is a matter of individual choice. However, a fence around a swimming pool is more strictly regulated, including no footholds on the outside.
Q. Where may I put a fence on my property?
A. A fence may be built around an entire lot. The location of the fence in relation to the property line is the sole responsibility of the property owner. Also, Section 198-74 of the Town Code details guidelines for limiting visual obstructions on corner lots for fences and vegetation as well.
Q. Will the Town determine my lot line for a fence?
A. No. It is up to the owner. It is good practice to not try to fence the exact lot line, in the case an error is made the fence might have to be removed.
Q. How and where can a fence go on commercial property?
A. The same rules apply. See the Code for specifications where fences are REQUIRED for junkyards lumberyards and car lots etc. (Search under "fence")
Q. How high can a fence be?
A. Six feet except for lumberyards and junkyards, where the fence is set back at least 15 feet
Q. How high must a fence for a swimming pool be?
A. At least 48" for all pools, above and in ground.
Q. Is a building permit required for a pool?
A. Yes, there is a specific permit for pools.
Q. What are the requirements for getting a swimming pool permit?
A. A completed application, appropriate fee, the manufacturer's specifications for installation, and a plot plan for locating the pool.
Q. What are the requirements for the location of a pool?
A. Pools may not be in a front yard or long-street side yard on corner lots, and must be at least five feet from side and rear property lines. If a pool is built in violation of the setback rules, then only the Zoning Board of Appeals may grant a variance after a public hearing. For in-ground pools, the distance separation from your house must be determined by a design professional.
Q. What is the definition of an above ground pool, (can I partially bury it to level)?
A. All pools must be installed in accordance with manufacturer's instructions!
Q. Is a building permit required for a shed?
A. Yes, all sheds of any size require a building permit.
Q. What are the requirements for getting a building permit for a shed?
A. Complete the building permit application, and include four copies of your survey and four copies of the shed plans (or manufacturer's drawings). A site plan may be requested as well.
Q. What are the setbacks for a shed?
A. For a shed under than 200 square feet (e.g. 10' x 20'), a two-foot side or rear yard setback is required in all residential zones. If the shed is 200 square feet or larger, in the R-5, R-7 and R-10 zones the setbacks are still 2 feet. In the R-15, R-20 R-40 and R-80 zones, a shed 200 square feet or larger must be at least 10 feet for a side or rear lot line.
Q. Is a shed a temporary structure if it has no foundation?
A. No, however, a shed less than 140 square feet does not require a footing or foundation but a permit is still required.
Q. Will my shed increase my taxes?
A. Generally, questions regarding the assessment of property should be addressed to the Office of the Assessor.
Q. Is a building permit required for a deck?
A. Yes, if the deck is 8 inches or more above grade, or built with post and girder or ledger board construction of any height.
Q. What are the requirements for getting a building permit for a deck?
A. Complete the building permit application, and include four copies of your survey and four copies of the deck plans. A site plan may be requested as well.
Q. When is a railing required for a deck?
A. A railing is required if any edge of the deck is 30 inches or more above grade.
Q. Does a driveway require a building permit?
A. No, but you will need a curb cut or a highway work permit, issued by the Town Highway Department, whether or not you have a raised curb.
Q. What are the requirements for placing/ paving a driveway?
A. The Zoning Ordinance requires a driveway to be made of an all-weather hard surface material. A 5-foot setback from the side lot line is also required, or ten feet if a commercial driveway is adjacent to a residential zone.
Permits in process
Q. Can a dumpster go on the property while the work is being done?
A. Yes, it must go on the property, not in the street.
Q. What is the fee for my building permit?
A. The fee depends on the size of the project, and may be either a flat fee or based on square footage of the project. Please see the fee schedule
Q. How long does it take to get a Building Permit?
A. From the completed application a permit takes on average 40 workdays. The processing time is longer during the summer months. The biggest single delay in issuing permits is an incomplete application. The Building and Housing Division issues an average of 15 permits each business day, over 4,000 a year, so the staff have plenty of experience and will explain exactly what is needed.
Q. How long is a building permit good for?
A. A permit is valid for one year. The Town Code authorizes a permit to be renewed for a second year, and again for a third, but not beyond that. After three years, if a certificate of occupancy has not been issued, then the permit is NULL AND VOID. The renewal fee for each additional year is one-half of the original permit fee.
Q. Can I come and pick up my building permit?
A. No, due to the volume of permits in process, the staff cannot accommodate special requests and still attend to the other applications.
Q. How do I set up an appointment with an inspector?
A. An information sheet comes with your permit containing the required inspections and the phone number to schedule inspections - (631) 351-2813.
Q. How can I speak with the inspector?
A. Inspectors are in their offices usually from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. and from 3:00 to 3:30 p.m. They are out doing inspections most of the day, but if you leave a phone message, they will respond as soon as possible.
Q. How can I speak with the plans examiner?
A. Just call the office (631) 351-3204. If they are on the phone or reviewing a project with another applicant, leave a message with their voice mail. They will call back as soon as possible.
Q. How can I speak with the electrical Inspector?
A Please see the Electrical Inspector list. They are independent professionals not employed by the Town. Four companies are certified by the Town to perform electrical inspections.
Certificates of Occupancy
Q. What is needed to obtain a CO?
A. That depends on the scope of the project. Typically, you need a building inspection for each phase of the job, including a final building inspection. For site improvement, you will need an engineering inspection for drywells, curbing, retaining walls, and similar structures, and a final engineering inspection. Plumbing work is similar, with phased inspections and a final plumbing inspection. Other documentation that could be required include an electrical certification; a final survey; final approval from the County Department of Health Services; or final approval from the Planning Department.
Q. I had an inspection, when will a CO be issued?
A. When all requirements are met, a Certificate of Occupancy will be printed within three business days. It is up to the project manager to see that all phases of the project are completed and that the proper inspections are requested AND approved.
Q. Can I come in and pick up my C of O?
A. No, in order to deal with the large number of applications as efficiently AND fairly as possible, CO's are mailed after they are signed and sealed.
Q. How much will the proposed work (or completed work) increase my taxes?
A. The Assessor's Office can provide an estimate of the tax implications of your project. Contact that office and have the dimensions of the improvements or new work handy.
top of page
top of page
top of page
top of page