When do I have to get a Building Permit? 
Generally, if the $ amount for the job is $5000 and up, including labor and materials, then you need a permit. Homeowner labor is valued the same as a contractor. Additionally, if you propose any structural changes to the building, you will probably have to submit engineered drawings. For instance, if you replace 4 windows in kind, in place as existing, you would not need a permit, but if a window opening gets bigger than the existing window, you will have to get an engineer/architect sign off on the proposed construction. Roof repair (storm damage) would not necessarily require a permit, unless the area constitutes a complete re-roof, on 1 or more sides. A leak repair/20 shingle type of repairs do not require a permit. When in doubt, please call the Building Department. We would rather answer 10 questions than issue a summons for non-compliance. 631-749-0772.

Do I need a permit for a generator? HVAC? 
Yes you need a permit because the generator/HVAC system must conform to setbacks and we need an New York State Board of Fire Underwriter Certificate. The cost is  $125.00 and you can get the regular building permit application under the tab Government. 

Do I need a permit for a fence?
Yes, you do need a permit  a fence and also for Residential Entry Gates and they do have to follow some regulations and they depend on which zone you are in as far as height of fence is involved. Refer to Section133-29 of the SI Town Code which is available on a link on the home page. 

Please be aware that home improvements must be performed by a licensed contractor,  holding a Shelter Island license. Not all off-island contractors have a local license. Ask to see it, or call the Building Department to verify 631-749-0772.

Did you know that if you had to reconstruct or rebuild a structure that was already there and you are rebuilding it in-place/in-kind you still need a permit and it must conform to the setbacks. It is not "grandfathered in".


What is an "illicit discharge"?
An illicit discharge is any discharge to a road drain, pond or creek that is not composed entirely of stormwater.

An illicit discharge could be:
· someone dumping or dropping a pollutant (automobile fluids, paint etc) into a road drain or a creek;
· an illicit connection into the conveyance system, like a sewer pipe connected to a road drain; or a pipe that bypasses the
septic system and directly discharges into a creek or bay.

Click here for more information on what is an illicit discharge. 
If you see something you think may be an illicit discharge, you should call the town’s Stormwater Officer at 631-749-0772.

Click here for more information on illicit discharge enforcement.

How does the Town handle these cases?
The Town has a program for responding to calls, whether on the weekends or during the day or night. If you want to know more, click here.

I’ve heard about Stormwater Best Management Practices? What does that mean and why should I care?
Stormwater can pick up pollution as it runs across the ground and roads, and carries those pollutants to our creeks, bays and the underground aquifer which is our drinking water. The pollutions harms the shellfish, can contribute to brown tide, and hurt your health.
There are steps each person can take to prevent this pollution. For more information, click here. 

 Can I get some specific information about stormwater runoff on Shelter Island?
The Town of Shelter Island and Village of Dering Harbor are preparing a Stormwater Management Study. So far, the Inventory of the current issues, policies and laws has been prepared. The next steps are to come up with solutions for problems, together with a way to prioritize and find funding to implement the solutions.
Click here to take a look at the Inventory. 

I’ve heard talk about an MS4 Committee? What does that mean and what do they do?
A number of town officials meet regularly to discuss stormwater issues (also referred to as MS4 pursuant to the federal/state legislation that requires the town to deal with stormwater issues).