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It is possible depending on the project. Please review the Tax Assessment Chart to identify the tax implications of your project.
Any work involving changes to the exterior of your property will require a zoning review. Some interior work, such as finishing a basement or the addition / subtraction of a bedroom, will also require a zoning review. In these cases, you will be asked to submit a copy of your plot plan (property survey) so that the Zoning Official can review your project for compliance with the zoning ordinance.
If you cannot comply with the zoning ordinance for any reason, you must obtain a variance from the Planning Board before your project can proceed. The Zoning Official is charged with the responsibility of enforcing the zoning ordinance but may not waive its requirements. That power is granted by law to the Planning Board. If your project requires a variance the Zoning Official will explain the application process to you.
Remember, construction permit applications for projects which change the footprint of the building, lot coverage, or use of the space may also require a zoning approval.
A construction permit grants permission to do most kinds of work on a dwelling or other type of building. The purpose of a permit is to allow our officials to observe the progress of the work to ensure it meets code. The permit consists of six different subcode sections as needed. They are:
In general, if it is more than a repair of a building, electrical, plumbing or fire element, a permit is probably required. The New Jersey Uniform Construction Code states, “A building or structure shall not be constructed, extended, repaired, removed or altered…” without construction permits except for ordinary repairs. If in doubt, a call to the office is recommended. (973) 402-9410 Ext. 630
If a construction permit is required, the homeowner or contractor applies for the permit. The permit application requires information about the construction project including who will perform the work and what, when and how the work will be done. Sketches, drawings, plans or other documentation of the work will have to be submitted for review, as will payment of the appropriate permit fees upon approval.
If you are using a home improvement contractor be aware that the Contractors’ Registration Act requires all home improvement contractors to be registered with the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs. The Office of Construction Codes is barred from issuing construction permits to an unregistered home improvement contractor who is required to register.
After the permit application is completed, it is reviewed by the subcode official who will determine if the project is in compliance with the construction codes, zoning ordinance and other municipal or state ordinances and statutes. Applications may be approved, disapproved, or additional information and clarification may be requested.
If the permit application is rejected, the applicant is notified of the reason and may opt to correct and resubmit or appeal the decision. If it is approved, it is processed by the office, the applicant pays the calculated permit fees and a permit is issued.
The construction permit is the document which grants legal permission for construction to start. Each major phase of construction must be inspected to make certain the work conforms to the appropriate code, the permit, and the approved plans. As construction proceeds, the applicant refers to the inspection schedule and calls the Construction Office to schedule the various inspections.
Upon completion and final inspection of all work, the Construction Official issues a Certificate of Occupancy (CO) or a Certificate of Approval (CA), the formal document which marks the completion of the construction project. Note that the work is not considered complete until all inspections have been completed and the Construction Official issues the CO or CA.
Some home maintenance does not require a Construction Permit; however, there are maintenance projects that do. By clicking the link below, you will find a listing of items requiring a permit and zoning application. If your project is not listed, please call the Building Department to confirm whether you need one or not at (974) 402-9410 x630.
Getting a permit brings you the services of the Building Department's inspectors for building, plumbing, electric and fire. The inspector approves each phase of the construction process while checking to see the work is done safely and properly.\
Work without a permit is illegal and can pose serious complications for you when you sell your house. Penalties for failure to obtain a permit prior to construction are up to $2,000 for each offense [N.J.A.C. 5:23-2.31 (e)]. Work done by the homeowner requiring a permit must be inspected to ensure the work has been done according to code. There are also legal and financial liabilities if you don't obtain a permit. Any fire and homeowner's insurance you have will be invalidated if you do work without a permit. If there is a fire in your house, the insurance company may use the illegal work as an excuse not to pay on your claim.
The size and scope of your project will determine the length of time for the review process--i.e.. a roofing permit will take a couple of days, an addition/alteration could take one week, a new home could take up to the maximum allowed, 20 business days. The completeness of the information submitted with your permit can greatly assist with the review and approval process.
The cost of permit is determined by the size and scope of your project. Two fees are determined for the permit. The first fee is determined by local ordinances and the second fee is determined by the New Jersey State Department of Community Affairs based on either the dollar amount of the work to be done and, if applicable, the total cubic volume of the new space to be built. Please review the Town's fee schedule by CLICKING HERE.
A reputable contractor should be able to determine whether a permit is needed before the work is performed. However, it is ultimately the homeowner's responsibility to acquire the necessary permits before any work is performed. Therefore, check with the Building Department to confirm what is required prior to beginning your project.
Either the homeowner or the contractor can schedule inspections. However, if you are using a contractor, be sure to establish who will be calling in for inspections before the work begins.
Final inspections should be completed before the final payment. A contractor who hasn't received final payment is more likely to come back and correct a failed inspection versus a paid one. The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs Rule: N.J.A.C. 13:45A-16.2(a)10.ii states: "For inspection on construction permits for: building, electric, plumbing, fire protection or elevator, final payment to the contractor is not required to be made before a final inspection is performed."
Please call the Building Department at 973-402-9410, ext. 630 so this can be corrected. A "retro" permit can be generated requiring the same fees and inspections as a regular permit. Please note, since this is a time-sensitive situation and the permit may take several weeks to process, please call the Building Department as soon as possible to get the process going.
Yes, when the final inspections required are completed and passed, you may by request, receive the appropriate certificate stating the permit has been closed out and all inspections completed, otherwise the certificate will be placed in your construction file.
Please call the Building Department at 973-402-9410, ext. 630 to check the inspection status of the permit. If needed, we will schedule the necessary inspections to close out the permit and issue the required certificate.