City Charter & Codes

The City of Amsterdam and Government Charter

Get more information on the legal framework for organizing and operating the government in the City of Amsterdam. You can view the City of Amsterdam and Government Charter here.

A Little About the Codes Department

The Division consists of 3 NYS Certified building and code enforcement officers, who are separated into two units: housing / codes and buildings. The Division is charged to ensure that all buildings, structures, and premises, regardless of use or occupancy, are subjected to the Administration and Enforcement of New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code, the New York State Energy Conservation Construction Code Multiple Residence Law and the City of Amsterdam Zoning Law and Subdivision of Land.

Along with housing and zoning ordinances or other appropriate regulation of the city of Amsterdam, The Division shall exercise its powers in due and proper manner so as to extend to the public protection from hazards of fire and inadequate building construction.

In addition, the Division reviews, registers, and investigates all bona fide housing complaints regarding residential and commercial premises, building construction, zoning, and property maintenance that allege the existence of conditions that fail to comply with the Uniform Code and / or local law.

Housing & Property

Amsterdam is committed to providing a safe, clean, and enjoyable environment for all residents. Home, building or property owners in the City you have certain responsibilities that play an integral role in helping the City maintain a high standard of living for residents, increase property values and encourage visitors.

By maintaining your property, you can help spur investment in our community, thus helping grow our community, lower tax rates, and increase employment opportunities.

Property Owner Duties & Responsibilities

  • Maintain your lawn regularly and remove snow from sidewalks in winter.
  • Keep your yard and surrounding property clean, free of clutter and unlicensed vehicles
  • Keep your house in good repair including paint, replace broken windows and hand railings.
  • Maintain a safe environment for tenants by adhering to local and uniform codes.
  • Pay your property taxes; your taxes support our schools and your services.
  • Obtain a Building Permit (PDF) when making repairs or alterations. Not sure? Contact us.

Resident Duties & Responsibilities

  • Follow City laws and ordinances: Noise (including loud car stereos and mufflers), Fire, and Animal laws etc.
  • Keep your city beautiful: Dumping and littering are illegal and are punishable by fines and possibly jail.
  • Neighborhood Watch: Together we can make our community safer by reporting crimes as they happen.
  • Pedestrians have the right-of-way: Not only is this a courtesy it is a State Law—but remember, it does not give you the right to walk in the middle of the road or impede traffic: this is called jaywalking.

Purchase City-Owned Property

If you are interested in acquiring city-owned property to rehabilitate it, we require that you FOIL request any open code violations with the City Clerk and make an appointment with a code enforcement officer to go through the property before you apply, as property is sold on an "as is" basis.

Once you have seen the property, you may apply to our Property Disposition Coordinator, Robin Waldron. When the City is prepared to sell the property, you will be required to pay an application fee of $100 (non-refundable). You must also submit copies of your financial statements. The financial statements must show that you have adequate funding to cover the amount you are bidding on the property and the amount of the estimated repairs that you listed in your Property Disposition Application (PDF). The Property Disposition Coordinator may meet with you to discuss the application in detail.

The completed application and commentary of the Property Disposition Coordinator will then be forwarded to the Property Disposition Committee and Corporation Counsel for review. The Property Disposition Committee may ask for an interview with the applicant if further information is warranted.

The approved application, with recommendations of the Property Disposition Committee, will be forwarded to the Common Council of the City of Amsterdam for deliberation and final approval. A resolution will be enacted delineating final terms and the property turned over to you. Within the first months of ownership, the new owners are expected to bring the building up to code or face legal action from the City of Amsterdam.