Apply for a Demolition Permit

Do you need to demolish (knock down) an entire building? You’ll need to get a demolition permit first. Here’s a rundown of what you need — and what you need to do — to get one.

Who can get a demolition permit?

Most requests for demolition permits come from professional contractors. But homeowners can apply for one too. The process is the same.


Step 1.Health and safety certifications

Before you can demolish a building, you need to make sure that you won’t release harmful substances into the air, like asbestos. You’ll need:

  • A copy of your asbestos survey
  • An asbestos abatement letter
  • An air monitoring certificate 

Step 2.Insurance and workers' compensation information

We need to know that the people working on your project are insured. You’ll need to show us:

  • A liability insurance certificate that is specific to the location you’re working on that insures the City of Syracuse (as an additionally insured party under the plan)
  • Workers’ Compensation waiver (CE-200) (if the contractor doesn’t have Workers’ Compensation Insurance)
  • Certificate of Workers’ Compensation Insurance that names the City of Syracuse as the certificate holder
  • A Health Certificate from Onondaga County (call the Health Department at 315-435-1649)

Step 3.Water and hydrant information

Before a building can be demolished, you need to make sure the water supply is turned off. To do this:

  • Call the Water Department at 315-473-8340
  • Ask to have the fire and domestic water service turned off — as well as the supply to any nearby hydrants
  • Pay the $1,000 fee for turning off the domestic water supply

Step 4.Submit your request/Apply for your demolition permit

Send all of the paperwork from steps 1 through 3 by email to

Step 5.Schedule a site visit (if needed)

Smaller residential projects don’t need an inspection from the zoning office. But you will need an inspection if you’re working on a commercial project (including a residential building with 4 or more units).

If your demolition requires an inspection, call us at 315-448-8695 to set up an appointment.


Contact Brian Eisenberg, Assistant Director of Code Enforcement at the Division of Code Enforcement at 315-448-8689.