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Permits, Laws and Regulations

There is a great deal to know about keeping our community safe. Below are some Town requirements that may be of interest to you. Click on any subject to see more details.



Building permits can be obtained from the Building Department and are required for various types of structures, including but not limited to building construction, additions, alterations or demolition (other than ordinary repairs); swimming pools, signs; storage sheds; decks; basement finish and generators. Applications for building permits must be accompanied by the appropriate types of information required by the Building Department and may require submissions of duplicate copies of plans and specifications, including plot plan drawn to scale. State and local standards and technical specifications apply to any building construction work done within the Town of Pittsford. A building permit application is available in the Department of Public Works at Town Hall (11 South Main Street) or may be downloaded HERE. For more information call (585) 248-6265.


Mandatory Licensing of Dogs
The New York State Agriculture and Markets Law requires that all dogs four (4) months of age or older be licensed each year. A certificate from a duly licensed veterinarian must be presented showing that the dog has been vaccinated against rabies. In the case of a spayed female dog or a neutered male dog, a veterinary certificate or affidavit of this is required. Failure to license your dog may result in the issuance of an appearance ticket.

Running at Large Prohibited
It shall be unlawful for any owner of a dog or dogs to permit such dog or dogs to be at large in this town. For the purposes of this section, a dog lawfully hunting in company with a duly licensed hunter need not be leashed. Each dog owned by the same owner, regardless of its identity, and found to be at large in violation of this section shall constitute a separate offense by the owner under this section.

Biting, Chasing or Harassing Persons Prohibited
It shall be unlawful for any owner of a dog in the town to permit or allow such dog to bite or chase another dog or domesticated animal in a potentially dangerous manner; or to bite, chase or otherwise harass any person, in such a manner as reasonably to cause intimidation or to put such person in reasonable apprehension of bodily harm or injury.

Causing Damage or Destruction to Property, or Committing Nuisance Prohibited
It shall be unlawful for any owner of a dog in the town to permit or allow such dog to cause damage or destruction to property or commit a nuisance upon the premises of a person other than the owner of such dog. (This includes defecating upon the premises of another person.)

Habitual Loud Howling or Barking Prohibited
It shall be unlawful for any owner of a dog in the town to permit or allow such dog to engage in habitual loud howling or barking or conduct itself in such manner so as to habitually annoy any person other than the owner or person harboring such dog. For more information call (585) 248-6240.


Door to door sales and solicitation are not permitted in residential neighborhoods without the prior consent of the resident of the property, except for persons soliciting or collecting for a bona fide charitable organization or on behalf of any school class in the Pittsford School District, (585) 248-6210. (NOTE: Political, religious and non-profit organizations are exempt from our code.)


No fence or hedge more than three feet in height shall be erected or be maintained in front of the front setback line. No fence behind the front setback line shall exceed six feet in height. All fences shall be constructed so that the finished side faces outward from the premises with the backers and/or supports facing inward toward the property owner's side of the premises, (585) 248-6265.


Permits are required for fire alarm systems. All information is kept strictly confidential. Contact the Fire Marshal's office at (585) 248-6265 to request a permit form.


The Pittsford Town Fire Marshal inspects chimneys after fires; establishes and enforces fire lanes; responds to fire calls when requested by the Fire Chief, checks fire hydrants for obstructions; inspects yards and fields for the presence of rubbish and hazardous materials; conducts annual fire safety inspections of buildings or structures with areas of public assembly; and, gives out fire alarm information, (585) 248-6265.


Monroe County has a hazardous waste collection facility and home owners can contact them at (585) 760-7600 to make arrangements for disposal of the following items: adhesives, aerosols, ammonia, antifreeze, batteries, bleach, boric acid, bowl cleaners, brake cleaners, brake fluid, brush cleaners, cements, charcoal lighters, cleaning fluid, degreasers, disinfectants drain cleaners, drain openers, dry gas, epoxies, ethers, glues, hair dyes, hair removers, iodine, lacquers, (used) motor oil, muriatic acid, nail polish, nail polish removers, oil based paints, oven cleaners, paint removers, paint thinners, permanent wave solutions, photo chemicals, rubbing alcohol, rust removers, solvents, spot removers, turpentine, wood polishes, and wood preservatives.


The outdoor storage of junk, abandoned or non-operable motor vehicles, or the used parts of vehicles, is prohibited. A vehicle is considered to be a junk vehicle by the Town of Pittsford if it is not validly registered and lacks a current inspection sticker. The owner will be served written notice to remove said vehicle from the premises on which it is located within ten days of the notification, (585) 248-6265.


The following licenses/permits are issued by the Town Clerk, upon payment of the appropriate fee & proper documentation, (585) 248-6210

1. Conservation Licenses. Resident & non-resident (fishing, big and small game, etc.;
    including discounted licenses for senior citizens).
2. Dog Licenses (yearly license required for all dogs four months of age & older).
3. Marriage Licenses.
4. Handicapped Parking Permits (no fee).
5. Fireworks Permits ($75.00 fee).
6. Going Out-Of-Business Licenses (required for all going out-of-business sales).


It is the Town Highway Department's policy to replace mailboxes that are damaged by the town during snow plowing operations with a standard rural mailbox and 4" x 4" wood post. Since there is no statutory or legal authority which grants a property owner or resident along a public highway the right to place a mailbox in the highway right-of-way, replacement of mailboxes is done as a courtesy and only the standard replacement can be provided, (585) 248-6270.


All buildings shall bear or display at least one set of the street numbers assigned to it. Such numbers shall be Arabic in design and be a minimum of four (4) inches in height, or they may be in script form of equal size and equally legible and visible, and mounted in a secure fashion to the building's front wall, or to a porch or fixed appurtenance. Street numbers should be illuminated at night and trees and shrubs shall not block said numbers, (585) 248-6265.


Parking of any vehicle on public highways is prohibited from November 15 to April 1.


The Town of Pittsford Planning Board is comprised of 7 volunteer residents appointed by the Town Board. The Planning Board is charged with review and approval of subdivision plans and site plans. Subdivision approval is required when someone wishes to subdivide a property into two or more parcels.

The subdivision approval process is designed to provide for the orderly growth and coordinated development of the Town and is designed to safeguard the community and assure that the requirements and standards for land subdivision protect the public health, safety, and welfare. Coordinated development is achieved through a technical plan review process by a development review committee which consists of some 13 Town, County and State agencies, neighboring communities, and interested residents. The site plan approval process is similar except that it deals with the development of non-residential structures and/or additions. Review regulates location of buildings, parking lots, lights, landscaping, and any other site improvements, (585) 248-6260.


Firms or corporations conducting the business of plumbing within the town are required to obtain an annual plumbing license from the Building Department prior to conducting such business. State and local regulations apply to all plumbing work, as well as installation, alteration or repair of wiring for electrical lights, heat or power and signal systems operating fifty volts or more, in or on any real property within the town.


Property owners should keep their premises free of all litter, physical hazards, rodent harborage and infestation, stagnant ponds of water due to improper drainage and other unsafe, unclean, or unsightly conditions. Any discarded refrigerators stored in a place accessible to children must have any locking devices and all doors completely removed. Brush, grass, and weeds should be cut, trimmed, and removed. These property maintenance requirements apply to residential, commercial and industrial properties alike.


Garbage is picked up by private collectors. Property owners are responsible for arranging for regular collection from their premises and for providing sufficient receptacles. Special arrangements must be made through a private hauler regarding collection of used tires or additional household items other than trash (such as fencing, bedding, rugs, appliances, etc.). Under county and town law residents are required to recycle newsprint, glass, and plastic materials. Neighborhoods may choose to set up a Refuse District - find complete imformation at


Community sewer service is available to about 70% of the Town. Privately owned septic systems are used for sewage disposal on those lands not within reach of public sewers.

Under the direction of a three-member elected Board of Commissioners, a staff of 9 people operates and maintains about 200 miles of sanitary and storm transmission main and 10 pump stations. In addition, the staff is actively engaged in reviewing and monitoring the design of new utilities, inspection of their construction, and planning for the Town's future needs. Sanitary sewage is treated by the Monroe County Department of Environmental Services – Pure Waters, at the VanLare Treatment Plant, near Lake Ontario.

Crews are available 24 hours a day, every day of the year, for emergency service and repair of underground sanitary and storm water facilities. The staff is also available to assist in the location of town-owned underground utilities when property owners are planting trees, setting fences, digging pools, etc. We welcome the opportunity to be of service!

The Operations Center is located at 3899 Monroe Avenue and is open weekdays from 7:00 AM to 3:30 PM, Monday through Friday. You can phone the office at (585) 248-6490.

If you have a sewer emergency on weekends, holidays or after normal business hours, help can be obtained by phoning (585) 248-6212.


The commercial areas of Pittsford include the Village and the malls and shops on Monroe Ave. The village has shopping and restaurants on Main and State Streets, in Northfield Commons off State St. and on Schoen Place along the canal. Canal cruise boats operate during good weather. The Monroe Ave. commercial area has department stores, specialty shops and a variety of restaurants.


A permit must be obtained from the Building Inspector before any sign, temporary or permanent, may be erected, altered, moved, or changed. Excluded from the permit requirements are traffic control, governmental and street name signs. An application for a sign permit must be accompanied by a scale drawing showing dimensions, proposed design, the legend, colors, materials, structural details, and a location or plot plan specifying other required information. Height and size restrictions apply, and all signs must be maintained in good repair, free from all hazards, such as faulty wiring and loose fastenings, with neatly maintained display surfaces.


Each year the Town Highway Department repairs and improves roads within our town. Town roads are inventoried periodically and placed on a maintenance schedule, as part of an ongoing effort to increase the life expectancy of our roads.

Also each year, the Department of Public Works and the Highway Department plan and implement sidewalk and gutter replacement along our town roads. The goal of the Town is to keep our sidewalks as safe and functional as possible.


Typically Town right-of-ways are, 60' wide which results in an 18' section of "lawn" behind the gutter. This area is reserved for public utilities and improvements.

Permission for all work within the town's right-of-way must be approved by permit by the town's Highway Superintendent. This includes the construction within the right-of-way driveways, fences, as well as the planting of trees, shrubbery and any ornamental landscaping (such as berms, rocks, and flowers). Sprinkler systems and/or invisible fencing are not allowed within the right-of-way, and the Town will not be responsible for any damage to them.


In order to control the orderly development of the town, it is necessary to plan for the future use of land, taking into consideration the community values that exist at present. The Pittsford Zoning Ordinance divides the town into residential, commercial, and industrial districts. Within these districts certain uses are permitted which are compatible with the type of district in which they are located and which must comply with certain standards established for those uses. 

Special permit and site plan review procedures enable the town to carefully consider those uses requiring a more comprehensive review due to their nature and/or intensity of use. In addition to regulating what types of uses are permitted in a particular district, the Zoning Ordinance sets forth standards as to where and how a structure may be located on a lot, including such things as minimum yard area, percentage of lot coverage, and building height. those, uses or structures which do not meet current zoning standards but which lawfully existed prior to such standards being in effect are known as non-conforming and are legal under the law. 

After issuance of a building permit and development of the land in accordance with the conditions of the permit and the zoning regulations, a certificate of occupancy of the building or structure is issued. This certificate verifies that the building or structure and the proposed use thereof comply with all of the applicable zoning regulations. To further implement the zoning regulations, procedures exist for the hearing of appeals from decision made by the Building Inspector or other administrative officer in the enforcement of the regulations and for the granting of variances from regulations. These cases are handled by the Zoning Board of Appeals, (585) 248-6260.