Office of Building & Planning

Responsibilities and Services

The City of Cohoes’ Office of Building and Planning strives to assure quality in the construction and land development process by effective administration of a multitude of local, state, and federal building and land use codes. The Office of Planning and Building is guided by and committed to excellent public participation, customer service, and helping attain the highest possible quality of life for all Cohoes citizens.

The Department of Code Enforcement is responsible for ensuring that all housing, service-oriented, and commercial development within the City of Cohoes is mindful of the health, safety and welfare of occupants by meeting city, state, federal, and international building code and standards. Everything from large industrial uses to a residential deck falls under the Department of Code Enforcement’s scope of work.

The Office of Planning is responsible for all matters pertaining to the interpretation and application of the City’s zoning ordinances. The City Planner prepares and coordinates the preparation of information that leads to the update of the Zoning map, Zoning ordinance, and the Comprehensive Master Plan. The City Planner coordinates grant applications and administration with various departments. The City Planner also serves as staff for the Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA), Historic Preservation and Architectural Review Board (HPARB), and the Traffic Commission. In addition, the City Planner serves on other regional committees and boards, including the Capital District Transportation Committee (CDTC) Planning Committee, as a stand in for the CDTC’s Policy Board, and as a member of the Matton Shipyard Advisory Committee.

The Office of Engineering provides planning, design, construction inspection, construction administration, and project management services for capital improvement projects to City infrastructure including City-owned buildings, streets, sidewalks, bridges, and parks. In addition, the City Engineer is responsible for the issuance of various permits and approvals for construction related activities in the City of Cohoes, for the maintenance of city maps, and for the preparation of special reports. The City Engineer also represent Cohoes on the Albany County Stormwater Coalition Board of Directors, and on the Albany County Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) POOL Communities Corporation Board.

Contact Before You Start

The Office of Building and Planning should be contacted prior to starting any project that effects one of the areas noted above. Generally, a permit is required for any electrical, plumbing, energy, swimming pool, or out-building construction work performed. The Office of Building and Planning should also be contacted if the use and/or tenant of any property is changing – including a new business moving in, or the change in the number of rental units at a property.  

Permit and application forms are available online, at City Hall, or may be requested by sending an email.