Town of

Collapsed Deck
Decks can be very dangerous if not built to current code standards

Code Enforcement and Zoning Office

PO BOX 240
604 Main Street
Morristown, NY 13664
315-375-6510 main number or 315-375-8572 direct line



Hours of Operation:

Monday through Thursday

8:30 AM to 3:30 PM


8:30 -Noon  

Also by appointment. Please allow 24 hours notice for appointments.

Christopher Sherwin ()
Phone: Cell 315-408-0689
Is a permit required for painting a house?
A rumor has been circulating that a permit is required for painting. That is not true. A permit has never been required for painting.
Are inspections included in the cost of the permit?
Yes, all inspections are included in the cost of the permit.
Are engineered or architectual plans required for an addition under 1,500 square feet?
No, engineered or architectual stamped plans are not required for additions that are under 1,501 square feet.
Are 'hurricane' tie downs required on all roof trusses or rafters?
Yes, some type of rafter/truss tied down is required on all roofs. If Enginnered trusses are used, the uplift in pounds per foot is located on the truss details. That figure is used to determine the strength of the tie down to be used.
Are all commercial plans done by an architect or engineer?

All commercial plans need to be stamped by a design professional (architect/engineer) for new construction, including additions and remodels that require a change in structural components.

If the commercial remodel does not effect any structural component and is under $20,000 in calculated cost, then stamped plans are not required.

What is considered commercial?
Any non-residential building that is not covered in the NYS Residential Code is considered commercial.
Can the Code Officer changed engineer/architect stamped plans?
No code officer can change stamped plans, only the design professional can make changes.
Do all storage sheds require a permit?
Only storage sheds over 144 square feet require a permit. All sheds need to follow Zoning setback requirements.
Does an inspection have to be requested by the owner/builder/contractor?
Yes, all inspections have to be requested. No inspection will be performed unless an adult over the age of 21 years is present at the time of inspection to talk to and walk with the Code Enforcement Officer.
Is a permit needed for farm buildings?
If the building is used for livestock, feed, tack, milking, and farm impliments, no permit is required. A barn style building is not exempt if it is used as a garage to house a boat, RV, personal vehicle, etc. That building would be classified as a garage.
Are floor drains allowed in residential garages?
For years the public was under the impression that DEC did not allow residential floor drains in garages, but this office found out that DEC does allow them and recommends that the floor drains to daylight (end of pipe visible above ground). This drain cannot end in the septic system.
Do I have to buy a code book to find out what the codes are?

No, a code book is not necessary. There are several ways to learn what the code says

  • Call your local Code Enforcement Officer
  • A free reading copy of the NYS Codes can be found here
  • Call the NYS Code regional representative for your area. Whitney Russell is the NYS Code rep for Morristown.

Northern New York

Whitney Russell

PO BOX 341

Lake George, NY 12845

(518) 441-1895   FAX (518) 668-5369

What if I disagree with the Code Enforcement Officer on a particular NYS code?

If you still disagree with the Code Enforcement Officer's interpretation a NYS Code after a thorough discussion with them, or the Code Officer does not have the authority to offer relief from the code in question, you are encouraged to exercise your right to ask the State for an interpretation or a variance (relief) from a particular code.

You can contact the regional State Codes representative here:


Northern New York

Whitney Russell

PO BOX 341

Lake George, NY 12845

(518) 441-1895 FAX (518) 668-5369


The variance request form is located here:

Once you have discussed the code in question with Mr. Russell and submitted the form to him, a variance hearing will be scheduled in Syracuse to hear your case. Most times the Code Enforcement Officer for Morristown will offer support of your request by letter, or verbally to State representative, or in person at the variance hearing in Syracuse.


What if I disagree with the Code Enforcement Officer on a Morristown Zoning code?
Morristown has a Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) that issues interpretations and variances that over-ride the code officer on Zoning issues. If the Code Enforcement Officer has denied your request, then you are encouraged to ask for a variance or an interpretation from the ZBA. You can get the request form from the Code Enforcement Office or the Town Clerk.
Are Certificates of Occupancy issued by the Code Enforcement Officer?
Yes, the code officer issues all certificates of occupancy or temporary certificates of occupancy. An architect or engineer can submit an inspection report to the code officer for a project they have inspected, but by NY State law only the code officer can issue the final certificate.
Permit Application 2012 (PDF - 115.2 KB)

Codes application 2012

Permit Fee Schedule (PDF - 478.2 KB)
Permit Fee Schedule (PDF - 478.2 KB)