City of Oneonta

Code Enforcement Office

258 Main St
City Hall
Oneonta, NY 13820
Telephone: (607) 433-3435
Fax: (607) 432-0945
E-Mail:  CodeEnforcement@oneonta.ny.us

Robert Chiappisi - Code Enforcement Officer
John Hester - Code Inspector
Joseph Schlafer - Code Inspector
Lee Adele Ferris - Ordinance Inspector
Jaime Young - Code Clerk

Important Links
Lead in Paint, Dust and Soil                              Municipal Code
Unsafe Buildings                                             Tenants Rights Guide        
NY State DEC Short Environmental Assessment Form

Duties of the Code Enforcement Office
Public Interface
The Code Enforcement Office maintains a very active public interface. The Code Enforcement Office plays a major role in preserving the integrity of the City of Oneonta's neighborhoods, buildings and overall quality of life within the City. The office is active in a number of housing and municipal code enforcement procedures which directly involve landlords, tenants, and the general public. The Code Enforcement Office performs rental and downtown building inspections, reviews and adjusts bar occupancy levels, monitors fraternity and sorority activities, monitors potential and actual public assemblages in residential and other buildings, and seeks prosecution of cases in City Court.

Rental and Downtown Housing Inspections
General housing code inspections of rental properties constitute a major function of the Code Enforcement Office. Inspections are performed by various inspection entities of electrical systems, heating systems, smoke detector systems, and sprinkler systems (where installed). General housing code inspections are performed by the Code Enforcement staff. Electrical, heating system, smoke detector systems and sprinkler system inspections are performed by contractors, independent inspections agencies, and property owners. The number of property owner funded inspections has increased dramatically due to a database monitoring system. The Code Enforcement Office also relies on public reporting of substandard rental and and other housing units.

Review and Adjustment of Bar Occupancy Levels
Bar occupancy levels are based on square footage of floor area and number of exits. The Code Enforcement Office has cited a need to develop a procedure for enforcement of the occupancy limits in the City's drinking establishments. The development and execution of the procedure could be a cooperative effort by the Code Enforcement Office, the Fire Department, and the Police Department, and the general public. Fire safety in over-occupied drinking establishments is a major safety issue.

Monitoring of Fraternity and Sorority Activities
The City of Oneonta, in 1987, instituted a Special Use Permit procedure that all fraternities and sororities had to comply with. The Special Use Permit was put into place due to the adverse conditions of many of the City's fraternity and sorority houses. The Special Use Permit process has had a dramatic effect on the functioning of the legitimate fraternities and sororities. Day to day maintenance at these properties has greatly improved since the permit process was initiated.

Illegal Public Assembly Uses of Buildings
After many years of monitoring large assemblies of people in residential buildings, sometimes referred to as "student parties," the Code Enforcement Office has determined that most have been initiated by SUNY Oneonta fraternities. These large assemblages of people are a threat to safety. Eviction and the threat of eviction, have had some effect on reducing the number of large assemblages. Fire Department and Code Enforcement meetings with fraternity and sorority group leaders has also had the effect of stopping the use of some buildings for this type of activity. Recent cooperative efforts with SUNY Oneonta has been effective in controlling off-campus behavior and has had a significant impact on the recognition of the danger of illegal public assemblages.


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