Town of Brookhaven Residential Building Permit Requirements & Process

Also, here again are links to pamphlets detailing what is allowed and what requires a building permit:
As mentioned previously, the last civic meeting featured an in-depth discussion on the residential permit process in general, with a focus on decks & sheds as these commonly result in homeowners having to obtain approval after the fact and perhaps also having to appear before the Zoning Board.   Provided below is more in-depth guidance as provided by the Town of Brookhaven.  However, please contact the Town of Brookhaven Building Division directly for assistance with your specific situation.
Decks & Porches Brochure
Shed Flyer

Please share this e-mail with your friends and neighbors who might benefit from this information.

Why do I need a Building Permit?
 It’s the law! The Town of Brookhaven Building Division is responsible for the administration and enforcement of the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code and Brookhaven Town Code Section 16-3.

When is a Building Permit Required?
 A Building Permit is required for New Homes, Additions, Alterations, Manufactured Homes, and Accessory Structures. Accessory Structures most commonly include detached garages, sheds, decks, gazebos and swimming pools. “A permit shall not be required for minor repairs to existing plumbing systems.”
Alternations Requiring Permits: 
• Structural changes:
Moving internal wall
• Pool; both in ground and above ground
• Fences which meet certain criteria
Over 6 feet tall
Over 4 feet tall in front yard
• Fireplace or Wood burning Stove
• Deck more than 6 inches off ground
• External cosmetic changes if house is in an historic district
• Shed more than 144 square feet (12x12)
• Gazebo more than 144 square feet
• Accessory apartment
• Finished basement (see definition of basement)
• Garage conversion (to non garage use)
• New / Replacement HVAC system
• HVAC conversion to gas
• Solar panels
• Major plumbing system modifications
• Curb cut change – Highway Department
• Driveway apron change (decorative) – Highway Department
• Large garden structures, especially those which restrict a driver’s view
• Outside basement entrance
• Detached Garage
• Barn
Alterations not requiring Permits: 
• Kitchen Remodel
• Window replacement / remodel (except historic district)
• New or replacement roof / new or replacement siding
• Electrical system upgrade (i.e. new panel)
• Driveway and related work (note driveway must be hard surface, i.e. asphalt or concrete)
• Shrubbery and trees

• Bring paperwork (architectural plans et al) to building department (1st floor of town hall – behind guard desk).
• Meet with initial reviewer / reviewer provides form package for completion / reviewer checks package to ensure it’s complete. Scheduled appointments are available through online system.
• Meet with permit examiner / if all is in order building permit is issued.
• Note: one of the forms is a structural affidavit – this will identify any missing permits / certificates of compliance. These need to be addressed as part of the permit issuance process.  The Town has access to aerial views allowing the Town to validate the structural affidavit.
• The building permit is good for one year. Extensions are available and may be requested on line.
• During building Town inspectors must be called in to review various stages of constructions. Details will be included in the building permit package.
• Once the construction is complete a final survey must be completed (by a licensed professional such as an architect).
• The final survey and certain other paperwork are submitted to the building department for issuance of a certificate of compliance. The other paperwork will be specified in by the building department and will include items such as a tax assessor statement.

Other matters:
• When there is existing work which was done without a permit, appropriate fees/penalties must be paid.  These fees are three times the standard fees.  Architectural plans are not required but appropriate descriptions must be provided to the Building Dept.
• Existing work done without a permit must be addressed prior to sale of property.
• The building department will research original certificates of occupancy and certificates of compliance and surveys, for a fee.