Building & Code

The Building Department (BPD) encompasses Code Enforcement and Engineering. The department handles the MS4 or storm water program, code complaints, building permits, rental occupancy permits, and vacant buildings.

Building Permit Applications & Additional Forms

Permits are issued in order to ensure that appropriate plans and documents have been reviewed and resulting construction is inspected to satisfy local, state, and federal requirements.

All building permit application forms can be found here: Building Permits Applications & Additional Forms

Permits are issued in the Permitting Hours listed below. The Building Counter is located on the second floor of City Hall in room 23. 

M: 9:00am-1:00pm & 2:00pm-4:00pm

T: 9:00am-1:00pm & 2:00pm-4:00pm

W: 9:00am-1:00pm & 2:00pm-4:00pm

Th: 9:00am-1:00pm & 2:00pm-4:00pm

F: 9:30am-1:00pm & 2:00pm-4:00pm

*Hours are subject to change.

Over-the-Counter Plan Review is available, but it is recommended that you call and schedule an appointment in advance. For the Building Department please call 518-233-2127 or email For Zoning and Planning questions please call 518-233-2130 or email Joseph Seman-Graves.

Vacant Buildings
The BPD tracks vacant buildings, compiles building registrations and patrols vacant buildings for code violations. View information on the vacant building registration requirements (PDF). New Yorkers are encouraged to call 800-342-3736 to report "ZOMBIE" Properties in their neighborhoods.

Rental Property Information

Own a rental property? The City of Cohoes requires residential occupancy permits (ROPs) every 3 years or with every change in tenancy. Inspection of each rental unit costs $40. Contact the Treasurer’s office at 518-233-2111 to pay for your inspection.  All inspection time and dates will be setup by the code office at 518-233-2127.

MS4 Storm Water Program

The City of Cohoes is an MS4 - municipal separate storm sewer system - permitted by NYSDEC. As such Cohoes is responsible for overseeing any change in topography. The City Code Online details the MS4 restrictions and submission requirements for those who would like to alter the topography of land.

In addition, the BPD accepts telephone complaints about MS4 violations, such as dumping in catch basins or illegal connections. Contact BPD offices with questions about any of the aforementioned items from vacant buildings to MS4 regulations.