Permit & Inspection Services

Department of Permit & Inspection Services Reopening Plan

As we begin 2021, the Department of Permit and Inspection Services will be conducting business within city hall on an appointment basis only. Until further notice, please call 851-4949, 851-5527 or 851-5621 to schedule an in-person appointment. Appointments can be made for the following divisions within the department:

  • Permits
  • Plan Review
  • Licenses
  • One and Two Family Dwellings
  • Multiple Dwellings
  • Electrical
  • Plumbing
  • Fuel Devices
  • Court
  • Demolitions
  • FOIL
  • Research

The Department of Permit and Inspection Services (DPIS) strongly encourages the public to use our digital plan submission and online permitting services that can be accessed through the department’s webpage on the City of Buffalo website. The DPIS also has the capacity to schedule video meetings or conference calls which can be arranged by contacting the Chief of the respective division.

For individuals who come into City Hall for an in-person appointment or meeting, please bring the least number of friends, family, and associates as possible. Individuals will be required to use Personal Protection Equipment such as masks, hand sanitizer, etc. and to observe proper social distancing. As such, only one (1) individual at a time will be able to research in our Permit Office. Please remember to bring your own pen.

Inspectors will be working a 60/40 schedule divided between field and office time. The inspector you wish to speak with will only be in City Hall on specific days. If it is urgent matter, please contact the respective chief, supervisor, or person in charge of answering questions for the division as to how to best address the matter.

Any unforeseen complications that are not resolved in a timely manner may be referred to Assistant Director Tom Brodfuhrer 851-4900 for attention.

NEW: OSHA COVID-19 Construction Work Safety Guidance

Construction employers and workers in Buffalo are advised to follow new health and safety recommendations from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). Note that these guidelines create no new legal obligations, but contain recommendations that are advisory in nature and informational in content. Different construction work tasks are categorized under different risk levels. The risk of exposure to COVID-19 can be limited with administrative and engineering controls, safe work practices, and personal protective equipment (PPE). 

Description of Services

The Department of Permit and Inspection Services oversees all development and uses on private property in the City of Buffalo, ranging from a new patio in a residential backyard to the construction of a new multi-story office building. Our mission is to guide residents and property owners through the license and/or permit process. We review and inspect these projects to ensure safety and compliance with the New York State Building and Fire Code, the Buffalo Green Code, and all other appropriate codes or ordinances.

Department Objectives

  • Review and issue permits for new buildings, additions, changes of use, remodeling, repairs, flat work, decks, sheds, and demolitions on residential and commercial sites.
  • Determine if projects are compliant with the City of Buffalo Green Code, New York State Building Code, and all other applicable codes and ordinances. This includes referring projects to other departments for approval (i.e. Preservation Board, Zoning Board of Appeals, Planning Board, Public Works for Encroachment on R.O.W., Common Council), and reviewing building plans for code compliance.
  • Organize preliminary meetings with architects, engineers, developers, and property owners in order to address questions and concerns at the conceptual stage of a project.
  • Inspect projects throughout construction to ensure compliance with City and State Codes and issue a close out document (i.e. Certificate of Occupancy, Certificate of Compliance).
  • Inspect properties to encourage and enforce property maintenance for the benefit of all residents.
  • Issue licenses for all contractors, retail businesses involving food, entertainment/recreation type businesses, dealers of second hand merchandise, sales of any kind occurring outside (mobile or stationary peddler), property managers, parking lots, and many others.
  • Address consistently non-compliant properties/owners with tickets, board-ups, clean & cut requests, or referral to housing court.