PORT CHESTER, N.Y. – There’s still a month and a half left of Port Chester’s housing violation amnesty program, which is aimed at easing penalties for work done on homes without permits.
The current code enforcement program would subject property owners to substantial fines if they failed to close out permits or never obtained permits or certificates of occupancy. While the Building and Code Enforcement departments are proactive in reaching out to property owners to resolve permit issues on a case-by-case basis, the village Board of Trustees decided that an amnesty program would encourage more voluntary code compliance.
“There’s a history in the village of properties going through construction, whether it’s initial construction or alterations that were either done without permits or that were not closed out with the Building Department. We find the problem is large enough that we decided to implement the program for amnesty,” said a Port Chester Building Department official who declined to give his name.
The program was approved in early October and will continue through the end of the year. Residents can go to the Building Department to request research on their properties. The department will then generate a record of the property and allow the owner to correct any issues. The amnesty allows residents a chance to remedy building code violations with reduced or waived fines and fees.
“We’re not punishing people for things that were done 40 or 50 years ago,” said the Building Department official.
Violations vary in scope and scale and can be as big as a house built without a permit or as small as redoing a bathroom or basement without permits.
An application for the amnesty program may be downloaded from the village website, or stop by the Building Department office at 222 Grace Church St., Port Chester.