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Onondaga County Clerk
401 Montgomery St.
Room 200
Syracuse, NY 13202

Phone: (315) 435-2226
Office Hours:
Mon - Fri:  8:30a - 4:00p

Must be in line by 3:45 in order to file documents.


Syracuse-Onondaga County Guide to the Subdivision Process

Follow this guide in order to ensure that you take the proper steps necessary to subdivide your property.

1. Local Municipality
The first step in determining whether or not your proposed plans are likely to be approved is to see your local municipality’s development authority. Contact your Village, Town or City government and ask them to review your preliminary sketch.

Signatures Required :
In a town : Signature of the town supervisor or planning board chair
In a village: Signature of the village mayor or planning board chair
In the City of Syracuse: Required signatures include:

  • City Planning Commission Secretary – Contact City Zoning Office, City Hall Commons, 201 E. Washington St., call 448-8640. (After the map is filed, the applicant must call the City Zoning Office with the filing date and map number)
  • City Engineer – Contact the Deputy Commissioner of Public Works Technical Services, Room 401 City Hall, call 448-8200.
  • City Assessor – Room 130 City Hall; call 448-8280.

2. Onondaga County Department of Transportation
If the subdivision is located on a county road, you'll need approval from County DOT. If it is not a county road, you should contact your local Highway Dept. to seek approval for driveway location.

  • To determine whether or not you need County DOT approval, contact :
  • Terry Morgan
    Civil Engineer II
    Onondaga County Department of Transportation
    1100 Civic Center
    421 Montgomery St. Syracuse, NY 13202
    Email: terrymorgan@ongov.net
    Phone: 315-435-3176 Fax: 315-435-5744
  • The applicant should contact the Onondaga County DOT as early in the planning process as possible to discuss how the property will be accessed from the road. If a lot is subdivided after September 2, 1986, the DOT can deny access if any of the new lots do not meet the minimum sight distance requirements.
  • If your house, driveway or septic system is designed before you seek DOT approval, you run the risk of having your access permit denied if there is not adequate sight distance. Be sure to contact the DOT before you purchase your final design plan.

3. Onondaga County Health Department, Division of Environmental Health
The Onondaga County Health Department is required to review and stamp all subdivision maps before they are filed in the County Clerk’s office. The focal point of their review is to help ensure the responsible subdivision of land and subsequent construction with respect to sewage disposal and water supply, whether public or private.

  • An applicant should contact the Health Department as early in the planning stages as possible. Health Department laws and policies dictate procedures to be followed for every subdivision of land that is being filed, regardless of the size or type of the project (from single lot creation to large subdivisions with hundreds of lots). The Health Dept. recommends Licensed Land Surveyors email a copy of the proposed plan to jtill@ongov.net for review prior to preparing final plans for signature.
  • Contact the Bureau of Public Health Engineering at 315-435-6600 to discuss Health Dept. requirements for subdivision plan endorsement.

4. Three Mile Limit Review, Street Names & Street Addresses
This step is required in order to ensure that your subdivision map shows the proper street names and street addresses.

  • First determine whether or not your subdivision is within three miles of the City of Syracuse; see map below or call 448-8640 if you need help with this determination. Note that the following towns are entirely outside the three mile limit: Elbridge, Fabius, Lysander, Marcellus, Otisco, Pompey, Skaneateles, Spafford, Tully, and Van Buren.
  • If your subdivision is WITHIN the three mile limit, contact the City Zoning Dept. at 448-8640 for the procedure that must be followed.
  • If your subdivision is OUTSIDE the three mile limit, you must call 435-2611 to have a compliance letter issued by the Syracuse Onondaga County Planning Agency, 11th Floor of the John H. Mulroy Civic Center.

5. Certification of Real Property Tax Status

  • If the subdivision is outside of the City of Syracuse, a private abstract/title company must provide certification that all real property taxes have been paid. Some companies have offices in the County Clerk’s Office, on the second floor of the Onondaga County Court House. Any private abstract/title company can provide the certification.
  • If the subdivision is in the City of Syracuse, the City Finance Department will provide the certification. Contact Room 110 City Hall, call 448-8300.

6.File your map at the Onondaga County Court House

This is the final step in the subdivision process. Approved subdivision maps are to be filed with the County Clerk, Room 200, Onondaga County Court House, 401 Montgomery St., Syracuse. The filing fee is $10.00. For more information call 435-2226/2227.

.Subdivision Map Requirements

A. The subdivision map must be:

  • Printed in black ink on either linen, cloth backed paper, or Mylar.
  • No larger than thirty-six by forty-four inches (36”x 44”).
  • Clear and legible for reproduction. (No folded or bent maps).
  • Signed in black ink by all required officials. Only original signatures are acceptable.
  • All stamps must be in black ink.

B . The subdivision map must include the following information:

  • Tract name (cannot be Farm Lot or Military Lot)
  • Property location by town, city or village
  • Farm/Military Lot and/or block numbers
  • North arrow
  • Certificate of Licensed Land Surveyor: “We (or I) hereby certify that this is an accurate subdivision plat prepared by us (or me) on (date). This subdivision plat meets the current standards stated in the NYSAPLS Code of Practice for Land Surveys pertaining to All Boundary/Title Surveys. The subdivision boundary closure is (boundary closure precision). This map is not valid without the original seal of the surveyor.”

C. Onondaga County subdivision map standards required for filing:

  • Each new lot will have a definite designation number or letter per the new map.
  • Each amended lot will have a definite designation per the new map to avoid confusion with the original lot designation as shown on a previous subdivision map (e.g. Lot 10 becomes Lot 10A).
  • Existing parcels or lots to be added to or subtracted from will have a definite designation per the new map depicting all necessary conveyances.
  • Each line or curve of all new or amended lots must clearly show all necessary geometry.
  • Shorelines will have a tie line with geometry for closure.
  • The map shall have absolutely no disclaimers preventing the use of said map as a legal descriptor for any new or amended lot or lots shown.
  • All amended maps or resubdivision maps must recite which existing map # they are amending & clearly describe which lots or areas are being amended & why.

“Syracuse-Onondaga County Guide to the Subdivision Process”

Revised 11/17/2011 by M. Ann Ciarpelli, John Swayze, Terry Morgan, Jeffrey Till, William Kehoe & Kathleen Guthrie

download a copy of this information here

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