Borough of South River, NJ
Middlesex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of South River 12-30-1976 by Ord. No. 1976-41 (Ch. 129 of the 1977 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
General penalty — See Ch. 1, Art. I.
Land use procedures — See Ch. 50.
Fees — See Ch. 155.
Fire prevention — See Ch. 169.
Subdivision and site plan review — See Ch. 295.
Zoning — See Ch. 350.

§ 129-1 Adoption of standards.

That certain code known and designated as the "State Uniform Construction Code," P.L. 1975, c. 217 (N.J.S.A. 52:27D-119 et seq.), is hereby adopted as the Construction and Building Code of the Borough of South River, for the control of buildings and structures as herein provided; and each and all of the regulations, provisions, penalties, conditions and terms of the aforesaid documents are hereby adopted and made a part hereof, as if fully set out in this chapter, except where contrary to the additions, insertions, deletions, amendments and changes.

§ 129-2 Copies on file as public record.

Three copies of the Construction and Building Code adopted by this chapter, with any additions, insertions, deletions and amendments clearly marked, have been placed on file in the office of the Borough Clerk and shall remain on file in such office for use and examination by the public.

§ 129-3 Enforcing agency established; subcode officials designated.

An enforcing agency is hereby established in the Borough of South River, New Jersey, as required by the State of New Jersey, P.L. 1975, c. 217, in the Department of Administration of the State Uniform Construction Code Act. The enforcing agency shall be further known and designated as the "South River, New Jersey, Building Department," located at 48 Washington Street, South River, New Jersey 08882.
A. 
Construction Official. A new title and position is hereby established in the Building Department of Construction Official, who shall be the Chief Administrator of the enforcing agency, and he shall be certified by the Department of Community Affairs as provided in the regulations.[1] Further, the Construction Official shall be appointed by the Mayor and Council and shall hold such office for a period of four years.
[1]
Editor's Note: "The regulations" refers to the regulations established by the Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs.
B. 
Subcode officials.
(1) 
The following subcode officials shall constitute the enforcing agency under the Act: Construction Official, Plumbing Inspector, Electrical Inspector and Chief Combustible Inspector, and their assistants, who are appointed for four-year terms with the exception of assistants or trainees for whom the Commissioner of Community Affairs may establish separate requirements.
(2) 
The subcode officials as provided in the Act shall be appointed by the Mayor and Council and shall be certified as provided in the regulations promulgated by the Department of Community Affairs. Their appointments are for four-year terms under the Act (P.L. 1975, c. 217, Section 8c; N.J.S.A. 52:27D-126c).
(3) 
In lieu of the appointment of an Electrical Subcode Official or a contract with an electrical on-site inspection agency, the existing electrical inspection authorities may continue to operate as per N.J.A.C. 14:5-71.1 et seq. until the Borough of South River directly contracts with same, but in no case shall such existing electrical inspection authorities continue after January 1, 1978, except in conformity with Article 36 of the Regulations of the New Jersey Administrative Code. The Plumbing Inspector currently employed by the South River Board of Health shall be removed therefrom and shall assume the position of Plumbing Subcode Official pursuant to the law made and provided therefor and under the terms and conditions hereof.
(4) 
Nothing shall prevent one person from serving in more than one position for which he is certified and qualified. However, more than one person shall not be appointed concurrently to the same position.
(5) 
In lieu of any particular subcode official created in Subsection B, an on-site inspection agency may be retained by contract pursuant to N.J.A.C. 5:23.

§ 129-4 Organization of enforcing agency; central permit office.

A. 
Construction Official.
(1) 
The Construction Official shall serve as the chief administrator of the enforcing agency. He shall establish the day-to-day operating routines of the agency.
(2) 
The Construction Official shall, with the advice of the subcode officials, prepare and submit to the Mayor and Council, biannually, a report recommending a fee schedule based on the operating expenses of the agency and any other expenses of the municipality fairly attributable to the enforcement of the State Uniform Construction Code Act.
B. 
Subcode officials shall enforce the provisions of those subcodes for which they are responsible, in accordance with Part II of the regulations, and for which they are qualified in accordance with Part IV of the regulations and for which they have been appointed by the Mayor and Council. Each subcode official shall be responsible for the administration and enforcement of the appropriate subcode, subject to the Construction Official. However, each subcode official shall have exclusive decision-making authority with respect to the technical provisions of his subcode.
C. 
The enforcing agency shall report annually, at the end of each fiscal year, to the Bureau of Housing Inspection, and not later than July 31, the total amount of the surcharge fee collected in the fiscal year. In the fiscal year in which the regulations first become effective, said report shall be for the third and fourth quarters only.
D. 
Central permit office. There shall be maintained, under the direction and supervision of the Construction Official, a central permit office at 48 Washington Street. This office shall receive applications for construction permits and plan review; issue construction permits and certificates of occupancy; collect fees, penalties and fines; and issue notices and orders. The office shall be open during normal business hours at times to be determined by the Construction Official.
E. 
Schedule of hours and records of Construction Official. The Construction Official shall be available for consultation and discussion during normal business hours at scheduled times to be determined by the Construction Official. All inspections shall take place between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on business days, or while construction is taking place, or in cases of emergency, or with the permission of the owner or his representative. Further, there shall be maintained in this office a central file system for each property in the municipality for which a permit has been issued or requested or for which an action has been taken by the municipal enforcing agency. The files shall contain all information, including inspection reports, correspondence, etc., relevant to each application for a construction permit, certificate of occupancy, variance, and so forth, as may be directed by the Department of Community Affairs and/or the governing body of the Borough of South River, New Jersey. The files shall contain and indicate the storage location of all plans and specifications too bulky for storage in said file, and still further, are public records. The Borough will maintain all files unless the Department shall rule otherwise.

§ 129-5 Duties of Construction Official.

A. 
The Construction Official shall:
(1) 
Provide that applications are available and assist the public in preparing the applications, whenever necessary.
(2) 
Upon receipt of the application, review the application and determine the proper fee for the work required.
(3) 
Collect all fees and penalties and ensure that funds are properly accounted for.
(4) 
Review all applications for completeness as to form and for verification of prior approvals. He may request additional documentation concerning prior approvals whenever it is deemed necessary.
(5) 
Ensure that the proper subcode official shall have an adequate time period to review appropriate applications, plans and specifications.
(6) 
Ensure that all requests for variation are properly prepared, documented and referred to the appropriate subcode officials.
(7) 
Issue the construction permit upon reviewing the approval of all appropriate subcode officials.
(8) 
Record all notices of violations upon receiving notification of the appropriate subcode official, and determine all penalties for noncompliance with the penalty notices.
(9) 
Ensure that all required inspections are scheduled and performed.
(10) 
Ensure that the reports of all inspections are completed and properly filed.
(11) 
Record stop-work orders, upon notification of the appropriate subcode official.
(12) 
Ensure that all final inspections have been completed prior to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy.
(13) 
Issue the certificate of occupancy upon receiving the approval of all appropriate subcode officials.
(14) 
Ensure, in the case of a change of use, or upon a request for a new certificate of occupancy, that each subcode official gives an approval based on an inspection and the review of all submitted data before issuing a new certificate of occupancy.
(15) 
Prepare and obtain reports required in the regulations.
B. 
Nothing contained herein shall prevent the Construction Official from overruling a decision of a subcode official if he is qualified and certified in that subcode pursuant to Part IV of the regulations.

§ 129-6 Duties of subcode officials.

The subcode officials shall:
A. 
Review those aspects of the application, plans and specifications appropriate to his subcode for approval and release to the Construction Official for issuance of the permit.
B. 
Receive, directly from the applicant, and review applications for minor or emergency work for approval and release to the Construction Official for issuance of the permit.
C. 
Comply with the time limitations for review as determined by the Construction Official.
D. 
Review requests for variations as necessary.
E. 
Perform all required inspections.
F. 
Issue notices of violation in the name of the enforcing agency and notify the Construction Official of same. The subcode official may issue verbal orders at the job site and shall record such orders in his inspection report.
G. 
Complete reports of all inspections performed.
H. 
Issue stop-work orders in the name of the enforcing agency and notify the Construction Official of same.
I. 
Perform final inspection and notify the Construction Official of approval in order that he may issue certificates of occupancy.
J. 
Make inspections, review submitted data and notify the Construction Official of approval in the case of a change of use or a request for a new certificate of occupancy.
K. 
Assist the Construction Official in the preparation of all reports required in the regulations.
L. 
Attend meetings and hearings as required by the regulations.
M. 
Issue documentation and certification, such as cut-in cards of utilities and/or public agencies if required by the code, the Commissioner and by law.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Original § 81-7, Adoption of subcodes by reference, which immediately followed this section, was deleted at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).

§ 129-7 Fees.

A. 
Construction permits. All construction fees shall be payable to the Construction Official at the central office at 48 Washington Street. The fees are calculated to reasonably cover the municipal cost as required in the regulations of the Department of Community Affairs and will be the sum of the subcode fees as follows:
(1) 
Plan review. Twenty percent of the construction fee shall be the plan review fee paid at the time of submission of an application for a permit. The amount of this fee shall then be deducted from the amount of the fee due for a construction permit when same is issued. Plan review fees are not refundable.
(2) 
Plan review waiver. The construction permit shall be reduced 20% when a plan review is waived.
(3) 
Partial plan review. For projects that do not require plan review for all subcodes, the fee shall be the appropriate percentage of the subcodes which are applicable.
B. 
Volume computations for building fees. For the determination of the permit fees, the volume of the structures shall be computed as follows:
(1) 
Structures with a basement or cellar. The volume of the structure shall include all enclosed dormers, porches, penthouses and other enclosed portions of the structure extending from the basement or cellar floor to the mean height of a pitched roof or the average height to the top of the roof beams of a flat roof.
(2) 
Structures without a basement or cellar. For structures without a basement or cellar, the volume shall be based on the height measured to a level located 1/5 the distance from the first-floor level to the bottom of the footings, but not to exceed 2 1/2 feet below the first-floor level.
(3) 
Open sheds. For open sheds and structures of a similar character, the volume shall be measured within the perimeter of the roof for a height from grade line to the mean roof level.
C. 
Building, plumbing, electrical and other fees shall be as provided in Chapter 155, Fees.
[Amended 12-13-1978 by Ord. No. 1978-32; 7-28-1979 by Ord. No. 1979-35; 11-12-1981 by Ord. No. 1981-52; 11-14-1985 by Ord. No. 1985-30; 5-6-1992 by Ord. No. 1992-14; 11-10-2003 by Ord. No. 2003-42]
D. 
State of New Jersey surcharge fees.
[Amended 5-6-1992 by Ord. No. 1992-14]
(1) 
The surcharge is based on the volume of the structure as computed in Subsection B above and shall be at the rate provided in Chapter 155, Fees.
(2) 
Said surcharge fee shall be remitted to the Bureau of Housing Inspection, Department of Community Affairs, on a quarterly basis for the fiscal quarters ending September 30, December 31, March 31 and June 30, and not later than one month next succeeding the end of the quarter for which it is due. In the fiscal year in which the regulations first become effective, said fee shall be collected and remitted for the third and fourth quarters only.
E. 
The fee for pursuing an application to the Middle Department Inspection Agency, Inc., or any private third-party on-site inspection agency shall be 15% of the permit fee for the subcodes being enforced by the private inspection agency.
[Added 11-14-1985 by Ord. No. 1985-30; amended 5-6-1992 by Ord. No. 1992-14; 5-10-1995 by Ord. No. 1995-15; 11-29-2000 by Ord. No. 2000-40]
F. 
All fees pursuant to this chapter shall be rounded to the nearest dollar.
[Added 11-29-2000 by Ord. No. 2000-40]

§ 129-8 Right of entry for inspection.

A. 
The owner of any premises upon which a building or structure is being constructed shall be deemed to have consented to the inspection, by the enforcing agency and the Department, of the entire premises and of any and all construction being performed on it until a certificate of occupancy has been issued.
B. 
An inspector or team of inspectors, on presentation of proper credentials, shall have the right to enter and inspect such premises and any and all construction thereon for purposes of ensuring compliance with the provisions of this chapter and code or to require the removal or termination of the unlawful use of the building or structure in violation of the provisions of the code or of the order or direction made pursuant thereto.

§ 129-9 Notice of violation; order to terminate.

A. 
The Construction Official shall serve, either personally or by certified mail, return receipt requested, a notice of violation and orders to terminate on the person responsible for the erection, construction, alteration, extension, repair, removal, demolition or use of a building or structure in violation of the provisions of the code, or in violation of a detailed statement or a plan approved thereunder, or in violation of a permit or certificate issued under the provisions of the code; and such order shall direct the discontinuance of the illegal action or condition and the correction of the violation.
B. 
The notice and orders shall contain at least the following information; the name and address of the owner or lessee; the address at which the violation has occurred; the name and business address of the person upon whom service is made if it is other than the owner; the name and address of the person to whom the order is directed; a citation to the sections of the code violated; an order to terminate violations within a time specified in the order; and the amount of the penalty assessed, if any, and a citation to its statutory and regulatory source and, if cumulative, an explanation of the method of computation; and shall be signed by the appropriate subcode official and the Construction Official.
C. 
Unless an immediate hazard to health and safety is posed, the Construction Official shall permit such time period for correction as is reasonable within the context of the violation.
D. 
Extensions. The Construction Official may grant extensions of time specified whenever he shall determine that, despite diligent effort, compliance cannot be accomplished within the time specified in the notice. If, however, such extension shall be for a period in excess of three working days, the Construction Official shall require a written application of extension stating the need upon which he shall rule, in writing, and which shall be made a part of the permanent file of the project.
E. 
Corrections. If the notice of violation and orders to terminate have been complied with, the Construction Official, in addition to any other available remedies likely to bring about compliance, may request the legal counsel of the Borough to institute the appropriate proceeding at law or in equity to restrain, correct or abate.

§ 129-10 Violations and penalties. [1]

A. 
Any person or corporation, including any officer, director or employee of a corporation shall be subject to the penalties in Chapter 1, Article I, General Penalty, for the following:
(1) 
Violation of any of the provisions of the Act or the code for each such violation after expiration of the time period delineated in the notice and order to terminate and shall be subject to a further penalty for each week in which he fails to comply with any such order. The time period for such weekly penalty assessment shall begin to run from the day after the date set for compliance in the notice and orders to abate. Though all violations may, for purposes of administration, be sent in one form of notice and orders, each shall be considered a separate order and shall be computed as such for purposes of this subsection.
(2) 
Failure to comply with a stop-construction order for each day of failure to comply.
(3) 
Construction of a structure or building in violation of a condition of the construction permit for each violation and any further violation of the construction permit occurring after receipt of the notice and orders to terminate the original violations of the construction permit.
(4) 
Making a false or misleading written statement or omitting any required information or statement in any application or request for approval to an enforcing agency or the Department for each such false or misleading statement or omission unless the Construction Official shall determine, in writing and as part of the permanent file, that such was of no consequence or the result of inadvertence.
B. 
Anyone who knowingly refuses entry or access to an inspector lawfully authorized to inspect any premises, building or structure pursuant to this Act or who unreasonably interferes with such inspection shall be subject to the penalties in Chapter 1, Article I, General Penalty.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).

§ 129-11 Notice of penalty assessment; order to pay; collection.

A. 
The Construction Official shall serve, either personally or by certified mail, return receipt requested, a notice of penalty assessment and an order to pay a penalty, whenever he shall not have done so in the original orders and notice.
B. 
The notice and order shall contain at least the following information: the name and address of the owner or lessee; the address at which the violation has occurred; the name and business address of the person upon whom service is made if it is other than the owner; the name and address of the person to whom the order is directed; in the case of a violation of any of the subsections of this chapter, a statement of the subsection violated and the specifics of that violation; and a statement of the total amount of the penalty due or, in the case of a weekly assessment, accruing each week that the violation remains.
C. 
The penalties pursuant to this section may be collected in a summary proceeding pursuant to the Penalty Enforcement Law (N.J.S.A. 2A:58-1 et seq.). Jurisdiction to enforce such penalties is conferred upon Judges of the Municipal Court in addition to the courts specified by N.J.S.A. 2A:58-2. Suit may be brought by the Borough or the State of New Jersey. Payments of a money judgment pursuant hereto shall be remitted, in the case of a suit brought by the Borough, to the Municipal Treasurer and, in the case of a suit brought by the State of New Jersey, to the State Treasurer.
D. 
The Construction Official may avail himself of the monetary penalty assessment provisions hereinabove described, whenever such shall be likely to assist in bringing about compliance.

§ 129-12 Stop-construction orders.

If the construction of a structure or building is being undertaken contrary to the provisions of the code, or other applicable laws or ordinances, the enforcing agency may issue a stop-construction order in writing, which shall state the conditions upon which construction may be resumed and which shall be given to the owner or the holder of the construction permit or to the person performing the construction. If the person doing the construction is not known, or cannot be located with reasonable effort, the notice may be delivered to the person in charge of or apparently in charge of the construction. No person shall continue, or cause or allow to be continued, the construction of a building or structure in violation of a stop-construction order, except with the permission of the enforcing agency to abate a dangerous condition or remove a violation, or except by court order. If an order to stop construction is not obeyed, the enforcing agency may apply to the appropriate court as otherwise established by law for an order enjoining the violation of the stop-construction order. The remedy for violation of such an order provided in this subsection shall be in addition to and not in limitation of any other remedies provided by these regulations or the law or ordinance.

§ 129-13 Unsafe structures.

A. 
All buildings or structures that shall become unsafe or unsanitary or which contain deficient or blocked exitway facilities or which constitute a fire hazard or are otherwise dangerous to human life or the public welfare or which, by reason of illegal or improper use or occupancy, shall be deemed unsafe buildings or structures shall be taken down and removed or made safe and secure. A vacant building unguarded or open at a door or window shall be deemed a fire hazard and unsafe within the meaning of the code.
B. 
Examination and record of damaged structures. The Construction Official shall examine every building or structure reported as dangerous, unsafe structurally or constituting a fire hazard; and he shall cause the report to be filed in a docket of unsafe structures and premises, stating the use of the structure and the nature and estimated amount of damages, if any, caused by collapse or failure. He shall cause to be noted all violations of the applicable construction permit, the code and other applicable laws and regulations. All inspections pursuant to this section shall be between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on business days, or when construction is actually being undertaken; provided, however, that inspections may be conducted at other times if the enforcing agency has reasonable cause to believe that an immediate danger to life, limb or property exists or if permission is given by an owner or his agent, architect, engineer or builder. No person shall accompany an inspector or team of inspectors on any inspection pursuant to the code, unless his presence is necessary for the enforcement of the code or unless consent is given by an owner or his agent, architect, engineer or builder.
C. 
Notice of unsafe structure. If an unsafe condition is found in a building or structure, the Construction Official shall serve on the owner, agent or person in control of the building or structure a written notice describing the building or structure deemed unsafe and specifying the required repairs or improvements to be made to render the building or structure safe and secure, or requiring the safe building or structure or portion thereof to be demolished within a stipulated time. Such notice shall require the person thus notified to immediately declare to the Building Official his acceptance or rejection of the terms of the order.
D. 
Restoration of unsafe structure. A building or structure condemned by the Construction Official may be restored to a safe condition, provided that change of use or occupancy is not contemplated or compelled by reason of such reconstruction or restoration, except that if the damage or cost of reconstruction or restoration is in excess of 50% of its replacement value, exclusive of foundations, such structure shall be made to comply in all respects with the requirements for materials and methods of construction of structures hereafter erected.
E. 
Posting unsafe notice. If the person addressed with an unsafe notice cannot be found within the Borough after diligent search, then such notice shall be sent by registered or certified mail to the last known address of such person, and a copy of the unsafe notice shall be posted in a conspicuous place on the premises and such procedure shall be deemed the equivalent of personal notice.
F. 
Upon refusal or neglect of the person served with an unsafe notice to comply with the requirements of the order to abate the unsafe condition, the Construction Official shall, in addition to any other remedies herein provided, forward the matter to the legal counsel of the jurisdiction, or, in the case of the state, to the Attorney General, for an action to compel compliance.
G. 
Nothing herein is intended to limit the right of the Borough of South River to adopt Housing, Property Maintenance or Public Health Code enforcement rules pursuant to any other law, ordinance or judicial decision of this state.

§ 129-14 Emergency measures.

A. 
When, in the opinion of the Construction Official, there is actual and immediate danger of failure or collapse of a building or structure or any part thereof which would endanger life, or when any structure or part of a structure has fallen and life is endangered by the occupation of the building or structure, the Construction Official is hereby authorized and empowered to order and require the occupants to vacate the same forthwith. He shall cause to be posted at each entrance to such building a notice reading as follows: "This structure is unsafe and its use or occupancy has been prohibited by the Construction Official, and it shall be unlawful for any person to enter such building or structure except for the purpose of making the required repairs or of demolishing the same."
B. 
Temporary safeguards. When, in the opinion of the Construction Official, there is actual and immediate danger of collapse or failure of a building or structure or any part thereof which would endanger life, he shall cause the necessary work to be done to render such building or structure or part thereof temporarily safe, whether or not the legal procedure herein described has been instituted.
C. 
Closing streets. When necessary for the public safety, the Building Official may temporarily close sidewalks, streets, buildings and structures and places adjacent to such unsafe structures and prohibit the same from being used.
D. 
Emergency repairs. For the purpose of this action, the Building Official shall employ the necessary labor and materials to perform the required work as expeditiously as possible.
E. 
Costs of emergency repairs. Costs incurred in the performance of emergency work shall be paid from the treasury of the jurisdiction, on certificate of the Construction Official, and the legal authority of the jurisdiction shall institute appropriate action against the owner of the premises where the unsafe building or structure was located for the recovery of such costs.

§ 129-15 Effect on other regulations and previously issued permits.

A. 
Nothing contained in this chapter or the code shall be deemed to affect, repeal or invalidate the Borough's Zoning Ordinances or the regulation or licensing of any trade or profession engaged in construction work.
B. 
A building, plumbing or electrical permit issued under valid construction regulations prior to the promulgation of the code and this chapter shall remain valid, and the construction of any building or structure may be completed pursuant to and in accordance with said permit. The construction of any building or structure stated before the promulgation of the code and this chapter that did not, as of the date of the beginning of the construction, require a construction permit may be completed without a construction permit.
C. 
All construction regulations incorporated in any act of the State of New Jersey or of the Borough presently in effect or validly promulgated or enacted by any board, department, commission or agency thereof shall be superseded and of no other force and effect from and after the effective date of this chapter and the State Uniform Construction Code, namely, January 1, 1977.
D. 
Any law or regulation addressing areas for which the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs shall not have promulgated a subcode may continue in effect until such time as a subcode therefor is adopted.