Property Owner FAQ
Who do I contact about a tree on my property?
If you have a concern with a tree on your property, the Landscaping Department cannot evaluate it for you. We do not have a certified arborist on staff. Please contact a local certified arborist. Some property owners have used the arborists listed below. If you wish to remove a tree on your property, you MUST contact the Operations Department at (716) 357-6245 or CampOps@chq.org for a removal certificate.
AP Tree Care: 716-269-4711
Pioneer Forestry: 716-499-3535
Craig Vollmer: 716-237-0880
Lori Brockelbank: 716-450-0884
Kevin Covey: 716-489-4188
Vince Liuzzo: 716-397-1691
Who do I contact about a tree on Institution property?
Please contact the Operations Department at 716-357-6245 or CampOps@chq.org for questions or concerns about trees on Institution property. Please also contact Operations if you are unsure whether a tree is on your property or the Institution’s.
Why is there a ribbon on my tree?
A ribbon tied to your tree indicates the tree has been selected for evaluation, trimming or treatment. A tree marked with color spray paint in any shape or size means the tree is scheduled for removal.
I’d like to contribute to a rain garden/garden/park accessory, etc. How do I do that?
Thank you for your support! Please call the Office of Advancement at 716-357-6404 and ask to speak to the gift officer responsible for memorial or honorarium gardens/parks/benches/trees.
When are leaves and brush picked up?
For rules, restrictions and other important information about yard trimmings and brush waste please see our Waste Management page.
Where can I leave my garbage after checking out of my rental?
During the nine-week Summer Assembly, dumpsters are provided for property owners. These dumpsters are located in the rear of the Green Lot (formerly overflow) and can be accessed by using the Main Lot entrance. Before and after the nine-week Summer Assembly the dumpsters can be accessed using the entrance on Route 33. The dumpsters are for property owners and their renters ONLY, and only household trash is acceptable. Carpets, cardboard, and furniture are not acceptable. Contractors or others who use them will be penalized. Storage of any household items or trash is prohibited on the outside pathway of a property. More information on trash and discarded materials can be found within the Chautauqua Institution Rules and Regulations, Article XI.
Where do I get a contractor hangtag?
To purchase a new contractor vehicle pass (the type hung on your vehicle mirror), please contact the Campus Planning & Operations Office at 716-357-6245. Contractor vehicle passes are available for a one-time fee of $10 and required for each vehicle used by the contractor.
How do I get permission to close a road for a construction project?
Please contact Jack Munella, Director of Facilities and Grounds, at 716-357-6237 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also contact the Department of Safety & Security at 716-357-6225. We require at least one business day’s notice prior to the day you are requesting closure. Requested road closures are limited in duration with prior permission and may not be permitted if there are circumstances that preclude a closure.
I have an emergency construction project that needs to happen in the summer. What should I do?
Emergency construction projects must first be approved by the Administrator of Architectural and Land Use Regulations. A compliance certificate application must be completed and approved prior to the work commencing. A downloadable form is available here. For urgent matters, please contact the Campus Planning and Operations Office at 716-357-6245 during business hours, or the Department of Safety & Security at 716-357-6225 during non-business hours, for help completing an application and receiving approval quickly.
A contractor has damaged my lawn/property. Who is responsible?
If you find that your lawn/property has been damaged by a contractor, please attempt to contact the contractor directly. Campus Planning & Operations (716-357-6245) is also here to help if you cannot resolve the matter directly with the contractor. As a final resort, you may contact the Department of Safety & Security at 716-357-6225 to file a report.
Can I tear my house down?
No home may be demolished without permission from the Architectural Review Board. Please complete a compliance certificate application and submit to the Campus Planning and Operations office at email@example.com. For the most up-to-date information, please review the Architectural and Land Use Regulations at Property & Construction Resources (chq.org).
Can I build a shed/playhouse/swimming pool/accessory apartment in my yard?
Properties on Chautauqua Institution grounds are located in different zones. Each zone has its own unique set of rules and regulations. To see what your zone allows, please see Chautauqua Institution’s Architectural Land Use Regulations at Property & Construction Resources (chq.org).
Can I borrow tools or equipment from Chautauqua?
No. Our tools and equipment are for Institution use only, due to liability coverage and “wear and tear” concerns.
How do I rent a boat slip?
If you rented a boat slip last year, please contact the Ticket Office at 716-357-6250 to renew the rental of the same slip. Renewals are processed earlier, starting on the date gate passes go on sale, sometime in January each year. New slip rentals (change in slip for previous renters or new renters) can be reserved on a first come, first served basis starting May 1 each year by contacting the Central Dock at 716-357-6245.
When will docks be installed or removed?
While the exact schedule is determined by weather and vendor availability, public dock installation begins by Memorial Day weekend, beginning with the Central Dock. Removal begins toward the middle or end of September.
How do I know when the lake is not suitable for swimming?
Signage will be posted at operating beaches identifying when swimming is not permitted whether it be because bacteria or harmful algal blooms are present or because no lifeguard is on duty. We will also update chqstatus.com.
Where can I go fishing?
Anyone with a fishing license can fish at the public dock located at Miller Park, adjacent to Miller Bell Tower and the Pier Building.
Where can I park on the grounds?
During the nine-week Summer Assembly, parking is permitted in designated lot or on-grounds spots only. Paid parking passes are required even if you are parking at your own home during the summer, and may be obtained at the Ticket Office or tickets.chq.org. During non-summer months, parking passes are not required. Automobile street parking is permitted as long as streets remain passable for emergency vehicles, which may be as large as fire trucks. Parking anything other than an automobile in the North, South or Main lots is prohibited without prior written permission from the Campus Planning and Operations Office.
Can I park my car at my house?
You may park your car at your house if you have a legal parking space that is eligible for a parking pass. Legal parking spaces must be 8’6” x 20’, behind the plane of the house. If you meet this requirement, you can contact the Campus Planning office at 716-357-6245 to purchase a parking pass. For more details, please review the Chautauqua Institution Rules and Regulations, Article VI.
How many parking permits can I purchase?
The number of parking permits you are permitted to purchase is determined by certain criteria and the location of your home. The maximum amount of parking spaces allowed on private property is two, though many properties are limited to zero or one. To see the criteria and additional details, please review the Chautauqua Institution Rules and Regulations, Article VI.
Who do I contact to report someone parked illegally?
How do I list my property to rent?
The Accommodations Office at Chautauqua Institution hosts an online rental directory where property owners and managers who manage private rental properties on the grounds of Chautauqua Institution can list and advertise their properties for a nominal annual fee. The online listings are managed by the property owner or manager with the assistance of the Accommodations Office. Please visit the Private Accommodations Rental Directory for current listings.
What are the minimum rental standards?
Rental standards define baseline rental requirements and ensure accurate information for all properties that participate in the Accommodations Office’s rental program. The full definition of these standards can be found here. These standards are intended to be an informative framework to meet fire, safety and other code requirements; maintain consistent rental property standards; comply with truth in advertising; and build the brand of Chautauqua Institution.
What are the fees associated with renting a property?
Property owners who rent must register with the Chautauqua County Finance Department and pay a 5% occupancy tax if they rent on an overnight basis for greater than fourteen (14) days per calendar year, and which is advertised in any manner for such use (1.c). The tax shall not be imposed upon a permanent resident; defined as an occupant of the rental property for at least thirty (30) consecutive days. That local law is defined on the county website. Please contact the Chautauqua County Finance Department directly for further assistance or questions regarding the occupancy tax. Chautauqua Institution charges an annual rental fee based on sleeping capacity to any property that rents for seven (7) days or greater per calendar year. Please contact the Chautauqua Institution Finance Department at 716-357-6212 for further information if you intend to rent your property.
I’d like to purchase some land within the Chautauqua Institution grounds. How do I do that?
If you are interested in purchasing land within the Chautauqua Institution grounds, please contact the Campus Planning and Operations Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do I stop water from coming onto my property from the neighbor’s property?
If you are unable to resolve the matter with your neighbor, contact your contractor for solutions in managing the water flow such as a sump pump or dry well. Maintenance of storm water on private property is regulated by the Town of Chautauqua and the New York State Property Maintenance Code as well as the Chautauqua Institution Rules and Regulations, Article XI.
Are there quiet hours?
Quiet hours run from 12 a.m. until 7 a.m. For more details and the most up to date information, please review the Chautauqua Institution Rules and Regulations, Article III. You may contact the Department of Safety & Security at 716-357-6225 if quiet is not being maintained as described in the Rules and Regulations.
Are there noise level caps?
The allowable decibel level, measured at the property line, is 65 decibels. To see if the noise level is above the allowable decibel level, please contact the Campus Planning and Operations Office at 716-357-6245. We will come to your property to measure the decibel level and determine if it exceeds the allowable 65 decibels at the property line. More information on noise levels can be found by reviewing the Chautauqua Institution Rules and Regulations, Article XI.
There is a stray animal in our neighborhood. What should we do?
If you find a stray animal (domestic or wild) in your neighborhood, please contact Town of Chautauqua Animal Control at 716-753-7342.
How do I find out who owns a piece of land on the grounds?
To find information about a property, visit the Chautauqua County GIS: Chautauqua County Parcel Viewer 2.0 (arcgis.com). Chautauqua Institution does not provide property owner contact information.
Where do I get a bicycle registration?
Please contact the Department of Safety & Security at 716-357-6225.
Where can I charge my electric car?
There are currently only a handful of EV chargers available in public parking lots at Chautauqua. The charging stations are marked on the Institution map with the symbol below:
Chautauqua Institution is aware that electric vehicles are becoming more popular and we expect to add more charging stations to Institution parking lots beginning in 2022.
Can drones be flown on the grounds?
Drones may not be flown within the grounds Chautauqua Institution.
I want to put a sign on Institution property. How can I get permission?
For the most up to date information, please review the Chautauqua Institution Rules and Regulations, Article XI.
Where is the lost and found?
Yes, the Lost and Found is operated by the Department of Safety & Security. Lost and Found can be reached at 716-357-6314 or by visiting the Lost and Found office on Massey Avenue during the Summer Assembly Season. During the fall, winter and spring, contact the Department of Safety & Security at 716-357-6225.
What are the hours of operation for the Department of Safety & Security?
The Department of Safety & Security is open 24 hours a day year-round.
What are the hours of operation for the fire department?
If an emergency, please call 911. The Chautauqua Volunteer Fire Department is not open to the public.
Access to the Grounds
How can I get guest passes onto the grounds?
During the nine-week Summer Assembly, every individual must purchase a gate pass to enter the grounds. There are several different types of passes. You can view them all, check rates and purchase online at tickets.chq.org. Passes may also be purchased during certain hours (depending on time of year) at the Ticket Office, at the Main Gate Welcome Center on Massey Avenue. Gate passes are not required during other seasons, though tickets may be required for entry into events taking place on the grounds.
What time do the gates close during the nine-week Summer Assembly?
All gates remain closed during the nine-week Summer Assembly. Most gates are staffed (and therefore accessible) until 11 p.m. The Main Gate auto gate is staffed 24 hours during the summer assembly season.
What time do the gates close when it is not summer season?
All gates are open during non-summer months between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. Between the hours of 6 p.m. and 6 a.m., access to the grounds is available only through the Main Gate auto gate, which is staffed 24 hours. Chautauqua Institution reserves the right to change these times and dates as necessary.
The streetlight in my neighborhood is not working/too bright/not bright enough. How can we change that?
Most of the streetlights are maintained by the Chautauqua Utility District. Please notify the Chautauqua Utility District of issues with a streetlight by contacting 716-357-5865.
How can I get my water pressure increased?
Water pressure is an issue that needs to be addressed by the Chautauqua Utility District. You can contact CUD at 716-357-5865.
The power is out at our house. What can we do? How long will it be out?
Please contact our local power utility, National Grid, at 1-800-642-4274.
Where can I go sledding?
Sledding is permitted at College Hill Park, at Pratt and Prospect avenues.
Why haven’t the snowplows come down my street?
It takes time to cover the entire grounds when plowing through some of our narrow streets. You may contact Buildings and Grounds during weekday business hours at 716-357-6208 or the Department of Safety & Security at 716-357-6225 after hours to inquire about when your street will be plowed. We will also post updates on road and weather conditions here at chqstatus.com.
Why is my street so icy?
As a conservation-minded lakeside community, the manner in which we care for our grounds in the winter months is different from some neighboring regions and municipalities. In normal conditions, we utilize special “shoes” on our plow blades. These “shoes” prevent the blades from scraping the road surface completely, protecting the roads from plow damage, while allowing the surface to be both passable and snowy enough for winter activities. For icy conditions, the Institution maintains a very conservative approach to road treatments to prevent damage to the lake and our vegetative environments. This approach includes the use of grit sand in place of road solvents/salts in icy conditions. In some cases, this means conditions may not be favorable for short periods of time during severe weather events. During severe events that bring more than normal levels of snow or ice, we assess conditions to determine if more aggressive measures are required. In those cases, we deploy very limited quantities of road solvent in targeted areas where needed for more intensive traction. We recommend wearing specialized shoe grippers when walking around the grounds during severe weather and ask that vehicular traffic be minimized.
How and where can I obtain a “winter sticker?”
Winter stickers allow property owners’ vehicles access through the gates without stopping to scan during non-summer months. Stickers are available at the Department of Safety & Security on Massey Avenue.