Submission Checklist

After a determination has been made concerning a specific site for you business, your next endeavor is the preparation of a formal submittal application package.


1. Get The Information You Need

Your first step should be to contact the local building inspector/zoning enforcement officer of the municipality in which your project will be located. Since most of these local officials are part time positions, a call ahead to set up a time to meet should be made. You'll find names of these individuals and a phone number of the municipal office here.


At this meeting, you will have a chance to discuss your project and get some guidance from the local official as to what you review process will consist of. This is when you should get a copy of the local zoning ordinance, all application forms and hopefully an application checklist.


Several municipalities have incorporated this checklist either into their application forms or developed separate lists for the applicants’ use. Most zoning ordinances will have detailed application requirement lists included as part of the local law section addressing the specific type of permit required. If neither option is available to you, you can easily create one. All that is required is the copy of the local zoning law that you received when you made initial contact with the building inspector/code enforcement officer and a list of what type of actions are required in order to site your project. These actions could include a use permit, special use permit, site plan review or a use or area variance. These specific requirements vary from municipality to municipality.


During your initial meeting the local official should provide you with all of the applications for each of the actions necessary. If he/she does not, simply ask him for a list of what permits you must apply for. For reference, we have included copies of applications packages for each Town, Village, and City, for Site Plan Review and Approval, Building Permits, and Zoning Board of Appeals actions here.


2. Three-Part Checklist


After you have this list of required actions and/or the applications, open the local zoning law to the index pages. Most ordinances have separate sections addressing each of the actions. Identify the first action; let’s say it is a special use permit. In the section of the zoning ordinance entitled special permits or specially permitted uses you will find a list of the general standards that must be met in order for the special use permit to be approved. These standards constitute your first list. Secondly, depending on the type of business, supplemental requirements may also be applicable. These are generally listed by use in the zoning ordinance section entitled “special conditions or safeguards for certain special permitted uses”. This is the second part of your checklist. The third and final part of the checklist is an overall submission package checklist. This list consists of an item completed application, SEQRA environmental assessment forms, required number of plot plans and of course a check made out in the appropriate amount for the application fee. Additional submittals may include an Agricultural Data Statement, driveway approval letter or permit, a list of abutting property owners, etc.


3. Get Advice

Some towns have applicant’s workshop meetings or “Application Night” a few weeks prior to each planning board meeting. At these informal conferences, applicants can meet with board members to discuss their proposed project and get a better understanding of what may or will be required for their specific application. This is generally an invaluable investment of time for the first time applicant.