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Thread: Question for NYS Sugar makers

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Ulster Park, NY
    Posts
    163

    Default Question for NYS Sugar makers

    Stopped by the local building department today to submit an application for a new sugar house. Sugaring is just a hobby with no plans to turn this into a commercial venture. Soon as I mentioned building a sugar house, the inspector mentioned some rules and regulations and directed me to the following:

    19 CRR-NY XXXIII A 1228 Notes
    NY-CRR
    OFFICIAL COMPILATION OF CODES, RULES AND REGULATIONS OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK
    TITLE 19. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
    CHAPTER XXXIII. STATE FIRE PREVENTION AND BUILDING CODE COUNCIL
    SUBCHAPTER A. UNIFORM FIRE PREVENTION AND BUILDING CODE
    PART 1228. SUGARHOUSE ALTERNATIVE ACTIVITY PROVISIONS

    Current through December 31, 2018

    The first item that caught my attention was 'Alternative Activity Provisions'. The second item was 'Current through December 31, 2018'.
    According to section 1228.4 Definitions.......(e) Alternative activity. An activity, not normally conducted in a sugarhouse, which supports the maple product industry. Examples of such activities include product sampling, pancake breakfasts, educational tours and activities, and the marketing and sale of merchandise.

    Referencing the definition above, my opinion is that these regs do not apply in my situation but would like to hear from other NYS producers. Does anyone know if these regs are still in effect and for NYS (hobby) producers, did the building inspector hold you to these regs ??

    Thanks in advance for all replies.

    Rusty

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Potsdam in far northern New York
    Posts
    742

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    My code enforcement office would not give me a building permit to build a sugar-house. He wouldn't give me a permit to build an agricultural building in the Village either, so we ended up with a permit to build (a mighty fancy) shed. After those initial discussions, no inspections were ever conducted, by anyone, and we've been making syrup there for seven years.I think it really depends on who you've got there to deal with, and whether you can get along with them. As with all interactions with regulating and taxing entities, they simply don't have the budget or staff to follow up on all the regulations. You behave and they'll behave.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    White Creek, NY
    Posts
    13

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    We were not required to get a building permit because it is considered an agricultural building. We also did not need any inspections or anything like that.
    But you better believe that the town assessor pulled in my driveway on a Sunday morning with her tape measure in her hand to see how much they could raise my taxes. And that was before I even finished it!
    2018- 125 Taps, 2,500 gal of sap sold
    2019- 414 Taps, new 12x24 Sugarhouse,
    new 2x6 Raised Flu D&G Evaporator,
    new 400gph D&G RO

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Ulster Park, NY
    Posts
    163

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    Thanks Michael. Your 'mighty fancy' shed approach may be the alternative but he obviously knows my intent. During our discussion, he also told me a slab on grade was not allowed but we were able to work out a remedy to address that concern. Hopefully we can work the building itself to an amicable resolution as well.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Brockport, NY
    Posts
    234

    Default

    An interesting read is the copied link below from Cornell Small Farm's website:
    http://smallfarms.cornell.edu/2017/0...tions-farming/

    A good question to ask is, "am i in an agricultural district?" And a person one removed from your town may be the best first place to start. Over a period of years and different situations I've found the local people in general to have more restrictive interpretations of laws and rules, and better conversations have resulted from county and state folks.
    The questions I've asked have been important too, like "do I need a permit?" "yes" is almost reflexive. And "do i need professional plans and inspections?" "yes" is almost reflexive.
    These are just my thoughts, others may differ. Good Luck!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Catskill Mountains
    Posts
    1,834

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    No law west of Phoenicia in Ulster county. I moved my sugaring operation into part of my house after Irene flooding and love it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Ulster Park, NY
    Posts
    163

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    Just a quick update. After another meeting with the building inspector it was determined that the regulations referred to in my original post do not apply in my case. Moving forward! Thanks to all that replied.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    bennington n.y.
    Posts
    389

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    Quote Originally Posted by Crik View Post
    We were not required to get a building permit because it is considered an agricultural building. We also did not need any inspections or anything like that.
    But you better believe that the town assessor pulled in my driveway on a Sunday morning with her tape measure in her hand to see how much they could raise my taxes. And that was before I even finished it!
    I was under the impression that a ag structure is tax exempt for the first 10 years.
    Sudzy's Purely Maple 2011 125 on vac 200 buckets 30x8 lapierre raised flue 12x20 shanty with 12x32 addition with 9x12 tank room tanks 500g 600g 300g
    [

    url]https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sudzys-Purely-Maple/366440096710159




    https://youtu.be/cK7V6VG2B_k

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Oneida NY
    Posts
    10,439

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    I also was under that impression, until the first tax bill the first year after I broke ground. I broke ground the day before Thanksgiving, 2003. I then got a school tax bill showing a $39,000 assessment increase on the only building on the property, a 16x24 pole type sugarhouse with rough cut board (no batten yet) siding, no electric and only a partial floor made of wood (12' x 16'), 3 slider windows and a 8" smoke stack (homemade into a triple wall and approved by the fire dept). At that point I only had just under $7000 into it.
    Good old spend and tax NY. After I finished the sugarhouse I applied for an Ag assessment, that cut my taxes to under 1/3.
    I did have a building permit, which about 2 years later I discovered I had not needed one for an Ag Structure. Yes, I am a farm and file my taxes as a farm, besides the maple, I also have 4.5 acres of blueberries on another parcel.
    Dave Klish about 1320 taps in '15, doing fewer each year, about 450 planned for 2020 (and after?)
    2012 Mahindra 36 HP 4x4/ loader/cab/heat/AC:-)
    3x8 raised flue evaporator
    250 GPH converted to electric, RO by Ray Gingerich
    6.32 KW solar system, 1.48KW is battery backed up, all net metered
    http://s1041.photobucket.com/albums/...anssugarhouse/
    website: www.cnymaple.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Cabot Vermont
    Posts
    384

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    Some times it is easy to ask for forgiveness than permission on buildings. The town is still willing to charge taxes and it is built the way you want it.
    Blaisdell's Maple Farm

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