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Building Permits , Certificates of Occupancy and Lot Approval

Lot Approval

To get your lot approved, you will need to hire a NYS-licensed Professional Engineer.  You can find one by searching for "Professional Engineers, Consulting Engineers, Civil Engineers, or Sanitary Engineers."  Registered Architects and Land Surveyors with an N exemption may also design septic systems.  Your engineer will complete a design for your septic system and well location onto a blueprint.  The design will be based on the size of your house (the number of bedrooms), the topography of the land, the neighboring wells and septic systems, and the type of soil on the lot, including the depth to rock or groundwater. 

Building Permits

Contact the local municipality for specific directions on requirements for obtaining a building permit in that municipality.

The Process

When you apply for a building permit the local municipality will have you complete the top section of the DBCH SAN 34 form. The building inspector signs and sends the form to Dutchess County Department of Behavioral & Community Health. Some towns may send the form electronically.

The DBCH checks the file for your project to determine if there is a valid approval. If necessary, we may attempt to extend approvals which have expired. Sometimes we will require additional soil tests to confirm the original design. Incomplete applications and applications for which there is no valid approval are sent back to the building department. Subdivision maps and modifications to subdivision maps must be filed with the Dutchess County Clerk in order to be valid.

After file review, the form is sent to one of our District Offices. There, an inspector calls you (the applicant) to schedule a pre-construction conference at the job site. After the inspector and the home owner (and installer) review the proposed system installation in the field, the DBCH will recommend that the municipality issue the building permit. If problems (such as soil conditions not anticipated by the plan or errors in the plan) are found during the pre-construction inspection, no building permit will be recommended and it may be necessary to conduct further evaluations of the lot to determine the acceptability for the arrangements for sewage disposal and water supply.

Certificates of Occupancy

After installation of the sewage disposal system and/or well, but before the final cover is placed, the installer must call the District Office to schedule an inspection. If the system is installed according to the plan and the well completion report is received and acceptable, and (if necessary) the fill certification (HD-5) is received and acceptable then DBCH will recommend the issuance of a certificate of occupancy.

Other Information

Check out the Design and Codes sections for specific details on those topics.

Individuals installing a residential septic system should also review Steps for Building Your Dutchess County Department of Behavioral & Community Health Approved Septic System (Residential Lots Only) in Accordance with DCDOH Policy and Procedure (.pdf).

Tax map numbers are required on all forms and correspondence sent to the Dutchess County Department of Behavioral & Community Health.