Zoning Officer, City of Schenectady

DISTINGUISHING FEATURES OF THE CLASS: This position exists in the City of Schenectady and involves responsibility for the administration and enforcement of the municipal zoning ordinance and other applicable laws, statutes, ordinances, codes, rules and regulations related to the use, development and construction of land, property, and buildings within the municipality.  The incumbent investigates and answers complaints, determinations of violations, and processing of applications for zoning change.  The incumbent in this position performs field and office work in connection with the enforcement of the city's zoning ordinance. The work is performed under the direction of the Principal Planner and Assistant Planner with general supervision provided by the Director of Development with leeway allowed for exercising independent judgment in carrying out details of the work. The incumbent does related work as required.


Provide public information and explanations on requirements of the City zoning ordinance, subdivision code, and the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA);

Review building and occupancy permit applications and accompanying plans/specifications for compliance with the zoning ordinance;

Provides staff assistance necessary for efficient operation of the Board of Zoning Appeals and as directed, the Historic District Commission or the Planning Commission including:

1. Review and acceptance of applications for variances, special permits, subdivisions, site plan review and other authorizations on their behalf.

2. Prepare, arrange, and provide notice for meetings, appeals, and public hearings as required by law.

3. Prepare and file the minutes, testimony, transcripts, decisions and other records as required.  Maintain records and files.

4. Prepare maps, field inspections, reports, correspondence, and other information as may be necessary to support or assist in decisions by the Board or Commission. Coordinate staff recommendations necessary for review of major projects.

5. Coordinates Corporation Counsel legal advice as necessary to ensure proper conduct, findings, and procedure.

6. Regularly conducts site inspections to witness complaints or verify compliance with the Zoning Ordinance, sign permits, fence permits, and decisions of the Board of Zoning Appeals, Planning Commission, and Historic District Commission.

7. Transmits to the Building Inspector and applicant any requirements or safeguards made as a condition of Board or Commission approval.

8. Provides training and orientation in the City's zoning ordinance to new Board or Commission members. 

9. Provides assistance for the development of Board or Commission budgets in the preparation of the City’s Annual Budget.

Assists and advises the Building Inspector in the enforcement of the zoning ordinance;

Prepares required forms, notices and correspondence relating to his/her assignment;

Assists property owners in the preparation of appeals for review by the aforesaid boards or commissions;

Reviews plans and specifications submitted in connection with building construction and repair and issues building permits;

Investigates violations and complaints dealing with building codes, housing standards, zoning ordinance, fire prevention codes and multiple residence law;

Assists in prosecuting violators of the housing, zoning and multiple residence laws of the City of Schenectady and the State

Reports violations and works with other departments on matters of mutual interest;

May be required to act as a technical advisor to boards or commissions established under the zoning ordinance;

Ascertains compliance of new construction, alterations, and commercial tenancy changes with requirements placed on project by the Zoning Board Appeals, the Planning Commission, and the

Historic District Commission;

Assists with the initiation and completion of studies on effectiveness of the zoning ordinance;

Works with the Planning Commission, Development staff and Corporation Counsel to amend and revise zoning ordiances as necessary.

Prepares reports and official documents as required.

Performs a variety of related duties as required.


Thorough knowledge of the local zoning ordinances and related laws; good knowledge of zoning development controls including subdivision codes and State Environmental Quality Review Act; working knowledge of New York State planning and zoning statutes; working knowledge of impact and relative compatibility of land uses and development principles and practices relative to zoning; ability to understand and follow complex oral and written instructions; ability to understand and explain provisions of zoning ordinances in clear non-technical terms; ability to prepare records and reports; ability to establish and maintain cooperative working relationships with public officials, contractors and the general public. Physical condition commensurate with the demands of the position.


 (A) Graduation from a regionally accredited or New York State registered college or university with a Bachelor’s degree in planning, architecture, engineering or a related field and one year of experience in building construction, or code enforcement and zoning activities; OR

 (B) Graduation from a regionally accredited New York State registered two-year college with an Associate’s degree in one of the fields listed in (A) above and three years of experience as described in (A) above; OR

(C) An equivalent combination of experience and education as outlined in (A) or (B) above.


Must possess a valid NYS driver's license at the time of appointment and must maintain such license throughout the duration of employment.