Giving The People What They Want: Same Day Permits

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Oyster Bay also unveils upgraded satellite office at Town Hall South

Unveiling the upgraded satellite office at Town Hall South, 977 Hicksville Rd. in Massapequa on July 26 were, from left, Councilman Lou Imbroto, Supervisor Joseph Saladino Department of Planning and Development Commissioner Elizabeth Maccarone and Deputy Commissioner Tim Zike. (Photo by Frank Rizzo)

One of the main points of contact between residents and their town government happens in the process of obtaining building permits. Now, this often cumbersome and frustrating process has been simplified in the Town of Oyster Bay—and for many projects, it can be done in one visit.

In 2016, the Department of Planning and Development processed 6,572 residential and commercial building permit applications, or approximately 28 per day on average. That year, it issued 6,234 permits, all at the main Town Hall in Oyster Bay

On July 26, Supervisor Joseph Saladino and the town board announced the opening of an upgraded department satellite office in Town Hall South, 977 Hicksville Rd. in Massapequa. Saladino also announced the inauguration of the same day permit program at the Massapequa location; it had been available in the main office in the Town Hall in Oyster Bay since April.

“This is what the public has been asking for, and we have delivered it,” said Saladino. “It’s summer. It’s building season. It’s the time that people want to get work done on their homes and grounds and businesses.”

With a nod at Planning and Development Commissioner Leslie Maccarone and Deputy Commissioner Tim Zike, Saladino said, “We knew that this was a department that needed new leadership and many new programs. We set out to revamp the department to better assist our residents. This is a win-win for residents seeking to improve their home and get contractors to work right away.”

“Our communities were hit hard by Hurricane Sandy, so we understand speeding things for them is very important,” added Saladino.

Posing at the Planning and Development Department satellite office are, front row, from left: Councilman Lou Imbroto, Deputy Commissioner Tim Zike, Commissioner Leslie Maccarone, Rick Fiumara, who works at the satellite office, Supervisor Joe Saladino and General Services Commissioner Eric Tuman. In back, with green shirts, are General Services staffers Ed McEvoy (left) and Jason Roncallo, who helped refurbish the office. (Photo by Frank Rizzo)

In addition, said the supervisor, the town’s website has been improved so that permit seekers will know what kind of information and paperwork to bring to the office.

Saladino also pointed out that “we expect to increase revenue to the town because we can get many more permits through while saving taxpayers money and saving time for our busy residents.”

Asked how the same day initiative differed from the past procedure, Saladino responded, “In the past, it took quite a bit of time to get the paperwork processed, but many things don’t need an inspection prior [to approval]. The plans are stamped by an engineer or architect who work regularly in the town and know the regulations, so we know they’re sound. State code actually dictates most of it. But we realize that much of the work that takes place in people’s homes are things that don’t require a lot of time upfront in terms of inspecting the plans.”

He added, “Now, inspectors can go out afterward and ensure that the work was done properly. It’s a much more streamlined, smarter way of doing business—and way more resident friendly.”

Maccarone observed, “In the past, an application would go through a series of steps through different personnel in the department. Now we’ve trained employees to take an application, review it for town zoning and state building code [compliance], calculate the fee and print out the permit.”

If applications need a variance, residents will be given the necessary paperwork so they may immediately begin the process of seeking approvals from the Zoning Board of Appeals.

“What kind of projects are not eligible?” Maccarone was asked.

“Second-story additions, new homes, large interior modifications or major construction,” Maccarone responded.

The satellite office was refurbished “with materials that were on the shelf right here in the town,” said Saladino, who went on to praise the leadership of Commissioner of General Services Eric Tuman and his staff—Ed McEvoy, Glenn Gartmayer, Craig Durkel and Jason Roncallo—“whose craftsmanship, incredible talent and dedication to the town created this state-of-the-art, futuristic satellite office.”

Councilman Lou Imbroto took part in the unveiling and noted that residents have until the end of the year to take advantage of the town’s building permit amnesty program, which was designed to allow residents to obtain the necessary permits required on building improvements previously done to their homes, without incurring stringent penalties. The program runs through Dec. 31, 2017.

Building permit applications are also available online at www.oysterbaytown.com. To contact the Department of Planning and Development, call 516-624-6200.

Eligible Projects

Residents can obtain same day permits for the following:

  • Fencing (more than 4 feet in height)
  • Swimming pools
  • Swimming pool heaters
  • Air conditioning units (free standing)
  • Permanent generators
  • Plumbing fixtures
  • Solar panel systems
  • Sewers, leaching pools and septic tanks
  • Prefabricated gas fireplaces
  • Gas tanks (with necessary prerequisite fire marshal approval)
  • Oil and gas heating units
  • Tennis courts
  • RPZ valves
  • Propane tanks
  • In-ground sprinkler systems
  • Fire sprinkler systems

Source: https://longislandweekly.com/giving-people-want-day-permits/

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Frank Rizzo is a journalist at Anton Media Group. With decades of experience in the industry, he is exceptionally equipped to cover local politics, business and other topics that matter to readers.

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