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Frequently Asked Questions

Planning and Development
Eoin Wrafter, Commissioner


There may be additional FAQs that relate to the topics listed below on the complete
Frequently Asked Questions page.

  Housing Assistance/Community Development  

Q.  Are there funds available for infrastructure, handicapped accessibility or human service program services?

The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program application cycle is annual for municipalities and human service agencies.  For more information contact: (845) 486-3600.

Q.  How can I find information about federal housing subsidies?

Visit the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's HUD in New York for more information on rental assistance, HUD homes for sale and subsidized apartment search.

There are several forms of subsidized housing for senior citizens in Dutchess County.

Q.  Where can I find tenants' rights information?

Visit the following webpage on the New York State Attorney General's website to find information about tenant's rights and other housing issues:  http://www.oag.state.ny.us/bureaus/consumer_frauds/housing_issues.html.

Q.  Does Dutchess County provide assistance for me to fix up my home?

The County has a program to help income eligible seniors with home repairs.  See the application on the web or for more info contact: (845) 486-3600. 

Neighborworks Homeownership Center - The Homeownership Center can help current homeowners review their options for home equity loans and refinancing to pay for home repairs.  They can also advise persons over 62 regarding reverse mortgages.  They can be reached at (845) 454-9288.

Visit the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Home Repairs:  New York  for a list of programs and resources to help homeowners with home repairs and improvements.

Q.  Do I have to pay back the loan I receive from Dutchess County through the Senior Citizen Owner-Occupied Property Rehabilitation Program to repair my house?

Yes. The loan is a 0% interest loan with a 10-year term, repaid in monthly payments. The deferred payment loan is fully due if you move out and/or sell the property.

For more info contact: (845) 486-3600.

Q.  Is there a lien on my house if I receive a loan through the Senior Citizen Owner-Occupied Property Rehabilitation Program?

A lien is placed for a loan or deferred payment loan amount to ensure that the conditions of the county/owner agreement are met.

For more information contact: (845) 486-3600.

Q.  Does Dutchess County provide assistance to build affordable housing?

The County‚Äôs HOME Program provides assistance to private and non-profit developers of affordable housing.

See the application on the web or for more info contact: (845) 486-3600.


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  Land Use and Development  

Q.  What types of development applications is the County required to review?

Development applications to city, town, and village municipal boards that must, according to State Law, be sent to the county are those applications that involve property within 500 feet of any one of the following:

A municipal boundary;
A county or state, existing or proposed, road;
A county or state, existing or proposed, park or recreation area;
A county or state owned property, existing or proposed, on which a public building or institution is located, and;
A farm operation located in a designated agricultural district (does not apply to area variances).

View The Zoning Referral Process (.pdf) for more information.

Q.  Does the Major Projects Report track new construction only?

No.  Although the Major Projects Report is generally intended to track new construction, in some cases projects that represent a significant change in the use of existing structures will be included.  Only projects meeting a certain criteria are included.  For more information, visit our Publications and Maps webpage and click on the latest Major Projects Report. 

To receive the Major Projects Report by mail, please contact Planning and Development at (845) 486-3600.  There is a $6.00 charge to cover printing, postage and handling.

Q.  Can I subdivide my property?

Zoning regulations vary by municipality.  Contact the zoning administrator in the municipality in which the property is located. 

Q.  How can I report a zoning violation?

Contact the zoning administrator or code enforcement officer in the municipality in which zoning violation has occurred.

Q.  Who can I call for questions regarding zoning?

Zoning regulations vary by municipality.  Contact the zoning administrator in the municipality in which zoning issue is located.

Q.  What land use regulations affect my property?

Contact the zoning enforcement official of the municipality in which your property is located.

Q.  When is a building inspection required?

Building Inspections are required during each stage of construction to ensure compliance with construction codes and building plans. Inspections are required at the following stages:

  • Footings before backfilling
  • Foundation wall before backfilling
  • Fireplace before insulating
  • Framing before enclosing (after electrical and plumbing inspections are approved)
  • Heating, Ventilation and Air-conditioning before enclosing
  • Insulation before enclosing
  • Fire Protection equipment before enclosing
  • Final (Certificate of Occupancy) upon completing of all other inspections.

Q.  Whom do I call about a building in disrepair?

Contact the building inspector in the municipality in which the structure is located.

Q.  What inspections are required when buying or selling a house; where can I find information about home inspections?

Contact the building inspector in the municipality in which the structure is located.

For more information, visit the New York State Office of the Attorney General's Home Buying Tips

For further information on licensing requirements for home inspectors, visit the New York State Association of Home Inspectors website.

Q.  What is a Certificate of Occupancy, how do I obtain one?

The Certificate of Occupancy is the municipality's assurance to a prospective buyer or owner that a building or home is legally occupied and that it conforms to zoning, minimum repair and maintenance standards as of the date the Certificate of Occupancy is issued.  You must have a valid Building Permit before you can apply for this Certificate. An owner or his representative can obtain an application for Certificate of Occupancy from the building department in the municipality in which the structure is located.


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  Open Space and Farmland Protection  

Q.  How do we go about applying for a matching grant from Dutchess County to purchase open space or purchase the development rights on private farmland?

For information on the Partnership for Manageable Growth (PMG) Open Space & Farmland Protection program, please visit Planning and Development's Partnership for Manageable Growth webpage or contact Planning and Development at: (845) 486-3600.

Q.  Where can I find the location of and the laws regarding watershed areas, wetlands, protected lands and state-owned lands?

To find information and regulations about New York State's lakes, rivers, watershed areas, wetlands and open space areas, visit New York State Department of Environmental Conservation's (DEC) Lands and Waters webpage.

It should be noted that some towns, cities and villages may also regulate wetlands and watersheds and may even map them. This is in addition to the state requirements. The federal government (Corps of Engineers) can also get involved in wetland regulations.

Q.  What are the regulations regarding dirt bikes, ATVs, and snowmobiles?

For more information on regulations for dirt bikes, mopeds, ATVs, snowmobiles and motorized scooters, visit New York State Department of Motor Vehicle's Frequently Asked Questions.

Q.  How can I find out whether a parcel of land is in an agricultural district?

The Dutchess County Real Property Tax Service Agency has access to this information.   Click on the link to Products and Services then on the link to Price Lists in the left navigation menu of the Real Property Tax Service Agency's homepage for pricing on aerial photography, tax maps, election district maps, agriculture district maps, legislative district maps, highway maps and varous other items. For more information contact, Real Property Tax Service Agency (845) 486-2140.


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  Publications and Maps  

Q.  Whom do I contact to have the 'Plan On It' Newsletter mailed to me each quarter?

Contact Dutchess County Department of Planning and Development, 27 High Street, Poughkeepsie NY 12601, (845) 486-3600; Fax (845) 486-3610; automated response system - Your Dutchess Direct.  See our Publications and Maps web page to access the most recent issue of 'Plan On It'.

Q.  Where can I find soil survey maps?

For soil survey maps or questions, please call the Dutchess County Soil and Water Conservation District at (845) 677-8011. 


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  Statistics  

Q.  Where can I find Dutchess County demographic information and census data?

Dutchess County demographics and census data are available under the Municipalities section of the Dutchess County website as well as on the webpages of Planning and Development.

For more information, contact: (845) 486-3600. 

Q.  Where can I find information about the cost of living in Dutchess County?

For the most current information on the cost of living in Dutchess County, contact Dutchess County Economic Development Corporation at 3 Neptune Road, Poughkeepsie, N.Y. 12601, dcedc@dcedc.com, Phone: (845) 463-5410, Fax: (845) 463-5401.  The US Department of Labor's Consumer Price Index program produces monthly data on changes in the prices paid by urban consumers for a representative basket of goods and services.


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