Code Enforcement / Planning


Code Enforcement - 753-1741

The mission of the City of Cortland Code Enforcement Division is to provide for the health, safety, and welfare of the residents and visitors of our community through education, enforcement and impartial application of all laws and ordinances under our jurisdiction.

Code Enforcement is provided by the Code Enforcement Division of the City of Cortland Fire Department. Staffed by career firefighters, the Code Enforcement Division handles all aspects of code enforcement. The daily functions include the issuance of building permits, zone reviews, construction reviews, on-site construction inspections, the enforcement of local laws and ordinances, annual inspections of multiple dwellings, the issuance of plumbing and heating permits and the field inspection of plumbing and heating installations and inspections of places of public assembly.


City of Cortland Codebook

The current on-line version of the City of Cortland Code has been updated through December 31, 2011.


For more information regarding current regulations please contact the Zoning Officer or the Code Enforcement Office (see below).



The Code Enforcement Office is located on the first floor of City Hall, 25 Court Street.

Our office hours are Monday through Friday - 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

We can be contacted by telephone at (607) 753-1741, by fax at (607) 753-6051.

General Inquiries: Administrative Aide Kim Reitano, (607) 753-1741

Report a Code Violation: Call 753-1741 or submit Residential Complaint or Code Violation Form. See also Rental Housing Law (2014) and Rental Housing Information Packet.


Deputy Chief William Knickerbocker
Director of Code Enforcement
Plumbing Inspector

Firefighter Roy Everett
Code Enforcement Officer

Thomas Tobin
Code Enforcement Officer



Also see Zoning for fence permits, historic district guidelines, special use variance, etc.


May is Building Safety Month

May is Building Safety Month

In an effort to encourage the maintenance of buildings and City wide residential housing rehabilitation, the Cortland City Council has suspended building permit fees until December 31, 2016 which includes repair work, alteration, or renovation with a maximum construction value of $20,000 dollars or less associated with owner occupied residential dwellings.

Building Permit ApprovedBuilding permits are still required. Work plans are still subject to Zoning, and review for Building Code compliance. Given the application's thoroughness, a permit of this type can normally be issued within 3-5 days.

Applications can be obtained online or at the Code Enforcement office at 25 Court Street. Call the office for assistance at 753-1741.

In addition to this financial incentive, some residential properties may be eligible for other assistance through a Community Development program.

Before and After


Can the City of Cortland Find You Quickly in an Emergency?

House Numbers

Emergency 911 Address & House Number

The following guidelines will assist you in correctly posting an emergency 911 address number. If you have a question in reference to posting your house number, call the Fire Station at 758-8380, or Code Enforcement at 753-1741.

1. The number shall be displayed in a location visible from the road on which the number is assigned, such as a mailbox easily identifiable from the street.

2. The number should be placed on the house or dwelling unit in an area immediately adjacent to the front door. Numbers must be readily visible from the street and the view of the numbers should not be blocked by trees or shrubs.

3. Numbers may be placed on a sign or post at the entrance to a right-of-way or shared driveway. If the sign serves multiple buildings, the address to each house or unit served by that right-of-way or shared driveway shall be affixed. If the house or unit is not visible from the point at which the individual driveway breaks from the right-of-way or shared driveway, the address number must also be posted on the house or dwelling or unit.

4. Numbers should be at least 4 inches high.

5. Numbers should be plain block numerals, not script or written numbers.

6. Numbers shall be set on a background or contrasting color, preferably white or black. It is recommended that a retro reflective material be used.

7. Do not place number on utility poles, road signs, or anywhere within the road right-of-way (except mailboxes).

8. Temporary display of addresses for new structures shall be maintained during construction.

If you receive your mail at a Post Office Box you must still post the Emergency 911 Address on your property so that it can be located by emergency vehicles.


Vacant Building Placards

Any vacant or abandoned buildings or structures determined to be unsafe pursuant to Section 110 of this code relating to structural or interior hazards must be marked by placards on the front of the structure and on the side of each entrance. Placards are 24 inches square with a red background, and white reflective border and stripes. They bear the date of their application to the building and the date of the most recent inspection.

Vacant Building: Plain Red Vacant Building: Red with Slash Vacant Building: Red with X