Zoning Division

The Zoning Division is responsible for the administration, compliance, and maintenance of the City of Ithaca Zoning Ordinance and other applicable regulations related to the use and development of land, property, and buildings within the City of Ithaca. 

The Zoning Division reviews development and renovation plans for compliance with the Zoning Ordinance, makes determinations regarding compliance, and facilitates projects by guiding developers and property owners toward solutions that comply with the Zoning Ordinance and related regulations. The Zoning Division also serves as a resource to Planning Division and Building Division staff on zoning issues.

The Director of Zoning Administration serves as the Secretary to the Board of Zoning Appeals and oversees the Zoning Appeals process. In collaboration with relevant boards and committees, the Director of Zoning Administration also recommends revisions and drafts amendments to the City of Ithaca Zoning Ordinance.

Zoning Division Areas of Responsibility

  • Reviews property development and renovation plans for compliance with Zoning Ordinance and makes compliance determinations.
  • Works with Director of Planning and Development, City staff, and developers on all new land use and building development proposals to discuss land-use implications.
  • Works with developers to achieve their project’s goals within Zoning Ordinance guidelines, to avert the need for a Use Variance or Area Variance from the Board of Zoning Appeals.
  • Reviews applications for zoning changes, Zoning Variances, and Special Permits, and makes recommendations to the Planning and Economic Development Committee and the Board of Zoning Appeals.
  • Coordinates with the Building Division, Planning Division, and other City departments on all new development and construction projects that need one or more Zoning Variances from the Board of Zoning Appeals.
  • Guides applicants in preparing their Zoning Variance applications to the Board of Zoning Appeals. 
  • Provides professional/technical advice and guidance to the Board of Zoning Appeals.
  • Performs research on cases seeking Use Variances from the Board of Zoning Appeals.
  • Provides professional/technical assistance to City staff in implementing and enforcing land use law and related ordinances.
  • Trains City staff in zoning administration and enforcement.
  • Plans, organizes, develops, and drafts updates and revisions to Zoning Ordinance and regulations, in collaboration with relevant boards and committees; and recommends updates and revisions to Common Council.
  • Applies comprehensive knowledge of Zoning Ordinance to guide the development of a new Zoning Ordinance that will be more useful and easily understood.
  • Assists Planning & Development Board, Planning & Economic Development Committee, and other City boards/committees formed by Common Council in preparing and adopting the City of Ithaca Comprehensive Plan, as well as any amendments made subsequent to its adoption.
  • Explains Zoning Ordinance requirements to the public and City officials.
  • Assists in preparing zoning-related legal cases for prosecution and Article 78 appeals to the New York State Supreme Court.

Contact Us

  1. Phyllis Radke
    Director of Zoning Administration

    108 E. Green St.
    3rd Floor
    Ithaca, NY 14850

    Ph: 607-274-6550
    Fx: 607-274-6558

    Office Hours
    Monday - Friday
    9:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
    CLOSED: Wednesdays, 9:00-10:15 a.m.

    Staff Directory