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Frequently Asked Questions

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Department: Department of Planning & Community Development

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  • Planning General
    • Is my property subdividable?

      The Planning Division cannot answer whether a property is subdividable or not.  That decision is made by the Planning Board.  Planning Division staff can provide background information on the property such as if it has ever been before the Planning Board in the past, if it is generally steep or wet, etc.  A property owner should hire their own professional to investigate a property for potential subdivision.  Planning Division staff cannot recommend engineers or architects but a property owner may review past Planning Board agendas for examples of firms that do work in the Town of Cortlandt.

    • How long does the process of Subdivision or Site Plan Approval Take?

       It varies on a case by case basis, however expect at least 6 – 12 months at a minimum.

    • I want to sell a small piece of property to my neighbor. Does this action need Planning Board Approval

      Yes.  However, refer to Section 265-13(D) of the Town of Cortlandt Subdivision Regulations for a definition of a “lot line adjustment”.  If your project meets the requirements of a lot line adjustment the process can usually be completed in two months.  If the amount of property to be transferred is greater that that allowed by a lot line adjustment, the transfer is considered a subdivision.

    • I want to subdivide my property but I think it may contain wetlands. What do I do?

      To determine if wetlands exist on your property, you should submit a copy of your property survey and a request for wetland flagging to the Planning Division.  The Planning Division will send a request to a Town approved Wetland Consultant who will submit an estimate of the cost to delineate the wetland.  You pay the Town the cost, plus a 10% administration fee and the wetland will be delineated.  See Chapter 179 of the Town Code “Freshwater Wetlands” for more information.

      Contact the planning division with any questions (914) 734-1080.

    • I want to put up a sign at my business. Does that require Planning Board Approval?

      The Town has recently changed the sign ordinance to permit a staff level review and approval for certain signs.  These sign applications are still referred to and reviewed by the Architectural Advisory Council. Please check with Planning Division for specific information.   After the staff approves a sign, the applicant still needs to go the Code Enforcement Division to obtain a Sign Permit.

      With respect to new construction and site plan approvals, signs are approved by the Planning Board.  The Planning Board referrs sign applications to the Architectural Advisory Council for a recommendation.  The Planning Board approves the aesthetics and location of a sign.  If a proposed sign is larger than is allowed on the building the applicant most apply to the Zoning Board of Appeals for a variance.  After the Planning Board approves a sign, the applicant still needs to go the Code Enforcement Division to obtain a Sign Permit.

    • How do I get information regarding a recent or past Planning Board case?

      The Planning Division maintains the Planning Board files and subdivision maps.  To find out if the Town has any information associated with a property you must have the Section, Block, and Lot Numbers (Tax Map Number) for the property.  If a file exists, you may view the file in the Planning Division or request the information via a FOIL (Freedom of Information) Request.  FOIL Requests are filed in the Town Clerks Office. 

      Please be advised that the Planning Division maintains and stores older files in a cold storage room location.  It may take some time to research the stored files.

    • Where do I get information on Permitted Uses and area requirements for my property?

      The Code Enforcement division administers the Zoning Ordinance that designates permitted land uses and area requirements for construction.  (914) 734-1010.

    • What Zoning District is my property located in?

      The Code Enforcement division provides information regarding Zoning District. (914) 734-1010 or you may view your property on our WebGIS system.  


    • How do I apply for a Variance from the Zoning Ordinance?

      The Zoning Board of Appeals grants relief, a variance, from the Zoning Ordinance.  Applications to the Zoning Board of Appeals are obtained from and filed with the Code Enforcement Division.  (914) 734-1010.

    • How do I obtain my Section Lot, Block numbers?

      To obtain a Section, Lot, and Block Number, call the Tax Assessor’s Office, (914) 734-1040.  You will need the property address.  You may also view your property on our WebGIS System.

    • Where can I get FEMA, floodplain information?

      The Engineering Division provides local administration of the National Flood Insurance Program