Township of Branchburg, NJ
Somerset County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. #76-299; Ord. #78-321; Ord. #78-337; Ord. #81-398; Ord. #83-438; Ord. #89-558; Ord. #91-615; Ord. #98-780; Ord. #99-791; Ord. #2005-984; Ord. #2011-1185; Ord. #2013-1240]
a. 
There is hereby established in the township a State Uniform Construction Code enforcing agency to be known as the Branchburg Township Building Department, consisting of a construction official, building subcode official, fire protection subcode official, plumbing subcode official and such other subcode officials for such additional subcodes as the Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs, State of New Jersey, shall hereafter adopt as part of the State Uniform Construction Code. The construction official shall be the chief administrator of the enforcing agency and he shall be responsible to create any necessary operating rules for the enforcing agency.
b. 
Each official position created in subsection A hereof shall be filled by a person qualified for such position pursuant to P.L. 1975 C. 217 as amended and N.J.A.C. 5:23; provided that, in lieu of any particular subcode official, an on-site inspection agency may be retained by contract pursuant to N.J.A.C. 5:23. More than one such official position may be held by the same person; provided that such person is qualified pursuant to P.L. 1975, C. 217 and N.J.A.C. 5:23 to hold each such position.
c. 
The public shall have the right to do business with the enforcing agency at one office location except for emergencies, and unforeseen or unavoidable circumstances. Said office shall be located at 1077 Route 202, Branchburg, New Jersey 08876.
a. 
The fee for construction shall be the sum of the subcode fees listed in subparagraph 1 through subparagraph 5 hereof and shall be paid before the permit is issued. No construction permit, final or temporary certificate of occupancy, or plumbing permit shall be issued except upon proof that all taxes and assessments then due and owing which affect the premises have been paid.
1. 
The building subcode fees shall be:
(a) 
For new construction, $0.035 per cubic foot of building or structure volume; provided that the minimum fee shall be $100; except Use Groups A-1 to A-4, F1, F2, S1, S2, the fee shall be $0,025 per cubic foot of structure volume. Farm buildings, including commercial farm buildings, shall be $0.0008 per cubic foot.
(b) 
For renovations, alterations and repairs, $30 per $1,000 up to $50,000, $50,001 to $100,000, $25 per $1,000, over $100,000, $20 per $1,000 of estimated cost of work provided that the minimum fee shall be $60.
(c) 
For additions, $0,035 per cubic foot of building or structure volume for the added portion; provided that the minimum fee shall be $60.
(d) 
For combinations of renovations and additions, the sum of the fees computed separately for renovations and additions (see (b) and (c) above) provided that the minimum fee shall be $60.
(e) 
The fee for a permit to construct a sign shall be $2.40 per square foot of the surface area of the sign provided that the minimum fee shall be $75.
(f) 
The fee for roofing or siding (use group R3 or R4) shall be $75 each. Roofing for industrial or commercial shall be $30 per $1,000 of estimated cost.
(g) 
Swimming pools:
In-ground
$200
Above-ground
$75
(h) 
Demolitions:
Industrial, Commercial
$250
Residential, per unit
$100
Residential-Accessory Building
$75
(i) 
To move a building or structure, the fee shall be $250.
(j) 
The fee for new construction for utility sheds, accessory buildings or premanufactured sheds shall be $0.035 per cubic foot.
(k) 
Fences over six feet high $75.
(l) 
Asbestos abatement
$100
Lead abatement
$100
(m) 
Minimum fee for a building subcode permit shall be $60.
(n) 
The fee for a certificate of occupancy for new construction shall be 10% of the total fee for commercial and industrial; farm and residential shall be $75. For additions $75 for commercial and industrial; farm and residential shall be $25.
(o) 
The renewal fee for a temporary certificate of occupancy (TCO) after six months of original issuance and subsequent renewals for residential and farm property shall be $150 and all other uses shall be $200.
(p) 
The fee for a certificate of continued occupancy shall be $200 inclusive of four subcodes: B, P, E & F.
(q) 
The fee for an application for a variation in accordance with N.J.A.C. 5:23-2.10(a) shall be $500 for Class I structures and $100 for Class II and Class III structures.
2. 
The plumbing subcode fees shall be:
(a) 
$15 per plumbing fixture, device or vent stack provided that the minimum fee shall be $75.
(b) 
The fee per special plumbing device, such as a grease trap, oil separator, backwater valve, water cooled air conditioning unit, sewer ejector or grinder and like devices, backflow preventors, steam boilers and hot water boilers shall be $60. R3 and R5 shall be $60. All other use groups shall be $75.
(c) 
$20 per roof drain - industrial and commercial.
(d) 
Minimum fee for plumbing subcode shall be $60.
(e) 
The fee for sewer connections shall be $60.
(f) 
The fee for water connections shall be $60.
(g) 
For cross connections and backflow preventors that are subject to testing, requiring reinspection annually, the fee shall be $50 for each device when they are tested.
3. 
The fire subcode fees shall be:
(a) 
Fire suppression systems:
(1) 
Automatic sprinkler systems:
(i) 
1 to 5 heads: $75.
(ii) 
6 to 20 heads: $100.
(iii) 
21 to 100 heads: $150.
(iv) 
101 to 200 heads: $250.
(v) 
201 to 400 heads: $650.
(vi) 
401 to 500 heads: $550.
(vii) 
501 to 750 heads: $725.
(viii) 
751 to 1,000 heads: $1,050.
(ix) 
Each additional 1,000 heads or part thereof: $600.
(2) 
Fire alarm systems:
(i) 
Each manual pull station installed: $20.
(ii) 
Each detector installed in use group R-3 or R-4: $20.
(iii) 
Each detector installed in any use group: $20.
(iv) 
Emergency lighting and exit signs (each): $15.
(b) 
Standpipe systems:
(1) 
Each two inch or three inch riser: $150.
(2) 
Each four inch riser: $290.
(3) 
Each six inch riser: $290.
(4) 
Each eight inch or more riser: $290.
(c) 
Pre-engineered suppression systems:
(1) 
Each CO2 type system: $100.
(2) 
Each dry chemical type system: $100.
(3) 
Each wet chemical type system: $100.
(4) 
Each Halon type system: $200.
(d) 
Mechanical type systems:
(1) 
Each oven - commercial type or industrial type: $50.
(2) 
Each commercial exhaust hood: $200.
(3) 
Gas or oil fired appliances not connected to plumbing system: $60.
(4) 
Each commercial unit/space heater, gas or oil fired type not connected to plumbing: $60.
(5) 
Each residential unit/space heater, gas or oil fired type not connected to plumbing: $50.
(6) 
Incinerators: $365.
(7) 
Crematorium: $365.
(e) 
Fireplaces:
(1) 
Masonry: $60.
(2) 
Factory built: $60.
(3) 
Solid fuel burning stoves or inserts: $60.
(4) 
Chimney relining: $60.
(f) 
Each fire pump: $250.
(g) 
Flammable or combustible storage tanks:
(1) 
Removals:
(i) 
Each tank up to 2,000 gallons: $75.
(ii) 
Each tank 2,001 to 5,000 gallons: $100.
(iii) 
Each tank 5,001 to 10,000 gallons: $200.
(iv) 
Each tank over 10,000 gallon: $250.
(2) 
Installations:
(i) 
Each tank up to 2,000 gallons: $75.
(ii) 
Each tank 2,001 to 5,000 gallons: $150.
(iii) 
Each tank 5,001 to 10,000 gallons: $225.
(iv) 
Each tank over 10,000 gallons: $325.
(h) 
Each linear foot of a dedicated fire line: $1 per foot.
(i) 
Minimum fee for fire subcode shall be: $60.
4. 
The electrical subcode fees shall be:
(a) 
Electrical devices: light fixtures, receptacles, switches, fractional HP motors, emergency lights, exit signs, communication points, smoke and heat detectors.
1-50 units
$60
Increments of 25
$31
(b) 
Appliances: ranges, ovens, dishwashers, garbage disposals, dryers, electric water heaters, similar devices: $27.
(c) 
Fire/burglar/alarm panels: $60.
(d) 
Whirlpool/spa: $75.
(e) 
Signs: $60.
(f) 
Annual public pool inspection: $150.
(g) 
Pools:
In-ground
$150
Above-ground
$75
(h) 
Heating equipment:
Furnace (each)
$60
Boiler (each)
$60
(i) 
Electric heat:
To 6 kW
$60
Each additional over 6 kW
$50
Over 6 kW
$27
Each additional over 6 kW
$20
(j) 
Services and subpanels:
Up to 200 amps
$75
201 amps to 1,000
$175
Over 1,000 amps
$500
(k) 
Transformers and generators:
To 45 KVA
$75
45 KVA to 112.5 KVA
$125
Over 112.5 KVA
$500
(l) 
A/C equipment:
Under 5 tons
$40
Each additional
$25
5-10 tons
$75
Over 10 tons
$200
(m) 
Motors:
1 HP to 50 HP
$40
50 HP to 100 HP
$100
Over 100 HP
$500
(n) 
Light poles and bollards: $50.
(o) 
Radon: $60.
(p) 
Photovoltaic Systems:
1-50 Kilowatt
$75
51-100 Kilowatt
$150
Greater than 100
$600.00
Minimum Fee
$60.00
(q) 
Minimum Electrical Fee: $60.
5. 
Permit fees - prototype permit - 5% reduction of initial permit fee.
6. 
The elevator subcode fee shall be as per N.J.A.C. 5:23-4.20(c)6 & 7 and N.J.A.C. 5:23-12.
b. 
The Construction Official shall, with the advice of the subcode officials, prepare and submit to the township committee bi-annually, a report recommending a fee schedule based on the operating expenses of the agency and other expenses of the municipality fairly attributable to the State Uniform Construction Code Act.
c. 
In order to provide for the training, certification and technical support programs required by the Uniform Construction Code Act and the regulations, the enforcing agency shall collect, in addition to the fees specified above, a surcharge fee of $0.0006 per cubic foot of volume of new construction. Said surcharge fee shall be remitted to the Bureau of Housing Inspection, Department of Community Affairs, on a quarterly basis for the fiscal quarter 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.
d. 
The Construction Official shall report annually at the end of each fiscal year to the State of New Jersey 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.
a. 
All fees for construction imposed by this chapter, except those fees for subcode inspections not performed by township employees, for reconstruction, alteration or improvement designed and undertaken solely to promote accessibility for a disabled person to an existing full-time residence, or any of the facilities contained therein, shall be waived for the disabled person or for his or her parent or sibling if the disabled person is a full-time resident at the residence for which the permit is sought.
b. 
DISABLED PERSON – As used in this subsection shall mean a person who has the total and permanent inability to engage in any substantial gainful activity by reason of any medically determinable physical or mental impairment, including blindness, and shall include, but not be limited to, any person who is disabled pursuant to the Federal Social Security Act (42 USC § 416), or the Federal Railroad Retirement Act of 1974 (45 USC § 231 et seq.), or is rated as having a 60% disability or higher pursuant to any Federal law administered by the United States Veterans Act. For purposes of this paragraph "blindness" means central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with the use of correcting lenses. An eye which is accompanied by a limitation in the field of vision such that the widest diameter of the visual field subtends an angle no greater than 20° shall be considered as having a central visual acuity of 20/200 or less.
a. 
Widespread catastrophic events are sudden, natural or man-made situations where damage or destruction occurs which impacts a significant number of township residents.
b. 
All fees for construction imposed by this chapter, except those fees for subcode inspections not performed by township employees, for repair, reconstruction, or demolition of buildings or structures damaged during a widespread catastrophic event shall be waived for the owner, tenant, or person responsible for repair, reconstruction or demolition.
c. 
Declaration of a widespread catastrophic event will be made by resolution of the township committee. Such resolution will include the cause of the event; areas impacted by the event and subject to a waiver of fees; and the time frame over which fees will be waived.
[Ord. #75-285]
As used in this section:
a. 
MUNICIPALITY – Shall mean and refer to the Township of Branchburg;
b. 
BUILDING OFFICIAL – Shall mean and refer to the building inspector or other official of the municipality designated to accept applications and issue permits under the building code of the municipality;
c. 
QUALIFIED PERSON OR ORGANIZATION – Shall mean and refer to any person or organization solely engaged in providing technical and professional services of plan review by New Jersey licensed professional engineers or architects, which person or organization has been approved for the purposes hereinafter set forth by resolution of the Branchburg Township Committee.
When application for unusual design or magnitude of construction of buildings or other structures or which may involve a potential danger to the public health and safety from fire, explosion or otherwise, the building official may in his discretion, prior to issuance of either a building permit or any other permit, require that such application, including the plans and specifications, be referred, at the expense of the applicant, to a qualified person or organization as defined herein for advice and recommendation as to their safety of design and compliance with applicable code requirements.
Prior to the issuance of a building permit or any other permit, the fee for such advisory service, which shall be reasonably related to the plan review services required, shall be paid by the applicant to the Township of Branchburg in accordance with the schedule of charges submitted by such qualified person or organization to the township committee prior to its approval of the qualified person or organization, and on file in the office of the township clerk.
[Ord. #81-399]
Every temporary certificate of occupancy shall specify the terms and conditions upon which it is issued and the time during which it shall be valid. Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate the terms or conditions of a temporary certificate of occupancy shall be punished by a find not exceeding $500 or by imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days or both. Each day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate offense.
[Ord. #81-413]
a. 
PUBLIC OFFICER – Shall mean the code enforcement official or any subcode official of the Township of Branchburg in the County of Somerset.
b. 
OWNER – Shall mean the holder or holders of the title in fee simple.
c. 
PARTIES IN INTEREST – Shall mean all individuals, associations and corporations who have interests of record in a building and any who are in actual possession thereof.
d. 
BUILDING – Shall mean any building or structure or part thereof, whether used for human occupation or otherwise, and includes any outhouses, and appurtenances belonging thereto or usually enjoyed therewith.
a. 
The public officer, as hereinabove defined, is hereby designated to exercise the powers hereinafter prescribed by this section.
b. 
Whenever a petition is filed with the public officer by at least five residents of the municipality charging that any building is unfit for human habitation or occupancy or use or whenever it appears to the public officer that any building is unfit for human habitation or occupancy or use, the public officer shall, if his preliminary investigation discloses a basis for such charges, issue and cause to be served upon the owner of and parties in interest in such building a complaint stating the charges in that respect and containing a notice that:
1. 
A hearing will be held before the public officer or his designated agent, at a place therein fixed not less than seven days nor more than 30 days after the serving of said complaint.
2. 
The owner and parties in interest shall be given the right to file an answer to the complaint and to appear in person, through their attorney, or otherwise give testimony and present evidence at the place and time fixed in the complaint.
3. 
The rules of evidence prevailing in the courts shall not be controlling in hearings before the public officer.
c. 
If, after such notice and hearing, the public officer determines that the building under consideration is unfit for human habitation or occupancy or use, he shall state in writing his findings of fact in support of such determination and shall issue and cause to be served upon the owner thereof and parties in interest an order:
1. 
Requiring the repair, alteration or improvement of the building to be made by the owner, within a reasonable time, which time shall be set forth in the order or at the option of the owner to vacate or have the building vacated and closed within the times set forth in the order; and
2. 
If the building is in such a condition as to make it dangerous to the health and safety of persons on or near the premises, and the owner fails to repair, alter or improve the building within the time specified in the order, then the owner shall be required to remove or demolish the building within a reasonable time as specified in the order of removal.
d. 
If the owner fails to comply with an order to repair, alter or improve or, at the option of the owner, to vacate and close the building, the public officer may cause such building to be repaired, altered or improved, subject to township committee authorization, or to be vacated and closed and shall cause to be posted on the main entrance of any building so closed, a placard with the following words: "This building is unfit for human habitation or occupancy or use; the use or occupation of this building is prohibited and unlawful."
e. 
If the owner fails to comply with an order to remove or demolish the building, the public officer may cause such building to be removed or demolished subject to township committee authorization.
f. 
The amount of:
1. 
The cost of the filing of legal papers, expert witnesses' fees, search fees and advertising charges, incurred in the course of any proceeding taken under this act determined in favor of the municipality, and,
2. 
Such cost of such repairs, alterations or improvements, or vacating and closing, or removal or demolition, if any, or the amount of the balance thereof remaining after deduction of the sum if any, realized from the sale of materials derived from such building or from any contract for removal or demolition thereof, shall be a municipal lien against the real property upon which such cost was incurred. If the building is removed or demolished by the public officer, he shall sell the materials of such building. There shall be credited against the cost of the removal or demolition thereof, the proceeds of any sale of such materials or any sum derived from any contract for the removal or demolition of the building. If there are no such credits, or if the sum total of such costs exceeds the total of such credits, a detailed statement of the aforesaid costs and the amount so due shall be filed with the tax collector and a copy thereof shall be forthwith forwarded to the owner by registered mail. If the total of the credits exceed such costs, the balance remaining shall be deposited in the Superior Court by the public officer, shall be secured in such manner as may be directed to such court, and shall be disbursed according to the order or judgment of the court to the persons found to be entitled thereto by final order or judgment of such court. Any owner or party in interest may, within 30 days from the date of the filing of the lien certificate, proceed in a summary manner in the Superior Court to contest the reasonableness of the amount or the accuracy of the costs set forth in the municipal lien certificate. If an actual and immediate danger to life is posed by the threatened collapse of any fire damaged or other structurally unsafe building, the public officer may, after taking such measures as may be necessary to make such building temporarily safe, seek a judgement in summary proceedings for the demolition thereof. Nothing in this section shall be construed to impair or limit in any way the power of the municipality to define and declare nuisances and to cause their removal or abatement, by summary proceedings, or otherwise, nor is anything in this act intended to limit the authority of the enforcing agency or construction official under the "State Uniform Construction Code Act," P.L. 1975, c. 217 (C.52:27D-119 et seq.) or any rules or regulations adopted thereunder.
The public officer may determine that a building is unfit for human habitation or occupancy or use if he finds that conditions exist in such a building which are dangerous or injurious to the health or safety of the occupants of such buildings, the occupants of neighboring buildings or other residents of the township. Such conditions may include, but shall not necessarily be limited to, the following: defects therein increasing the hazards of fire, accident, or other calamities; lack of adequate ventilation, light, or sanitary facilities; dilapidation; disrepair, structural defects; uncleanliness.
Complaints or orders issued by the public officer pursuant to this section shall be served upon persons either personally or by registered mail, but if the whereabouts of such persons is unknown and the same cannot be ascertained by the public officer in the exercise of reasonable diligence, and the public officer shall make an affidavit to that effect, then the serving of such complaint or order upon such persons may be made by publishing the same once each week for two successive weeks in a newspaper printed and published in Somerset County and circulated in the Township of Branchburg. A copy of such complaint or order shall be posted in a conspicuous place on premises affected by the complaint or order. A copy of such complaint or order shall be duly recorded with the clerk of Somerset County.
Any person aggrieved by an order issued by the public officer under this section may, within 60 days after the posting and service of such order, bring an action for injunctive relief to restrain the public officer from carrying out the provisions of the order and for any other appropriate relief. The court may proceed in the action in a summary manner or otherwise. The remedy herein provided shall be exclusive, and no person affected by an order of the public officer shall be entitled to recover any damages for action taken pursuant thereto, or because of non-compliance by any person with any order of the public officer.
In addition to those powers hereinabove granted, the public officer may exercise such powers as may be necessary or convenient to carry out and effectuate the purposes and provisions of this section, including the following powers:
a. 
To investigate the building conditions in the township in order to determine which buildings therein are unfit for human habitation or occupancy or use;
b. 
To administer oaths, affirmations, examine witnesses and receive evidence;
c. 
To enter upon premises for the purpose of making examination: provided, that such entries shall be made in such manner as to cause the least possible inconvenience to the persons in possession;
d. 
To appoint and fix the duties of such officers, agents and employees as he deems necessary to carry out the purposes of this section; and
e. 
To delegate any of his functions and powers under this section to such officers and agents as he may designate.
If any section, clause, sentence or other part of this section or the application thereof to any person or circumstance shall for any reason be adjudged by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder of this ordinance.
[Ord. #92-646]
Pursuant to N.J.S. 17:36-8, no fire insurance company shall pay any claim for fire damages in excess of $2,500 on any real property located within the township unless or until: the insured person submits an official certificate of search for municipal liens certifying that all taxes, assessments or other municipal liens or charges levied and assessed and due and payable against said property have been paid and an official certificate that demolition is not required or that the costs of demolition have been paid, or the township submits a certified copy of a resolution pursuant to N.J.S. 17:36-11. If the demolition has not yet occurred on the date of receipt by the township of a request for execution of the certificate, the insured shall provide on that certificate an estimate of the anticipated costs of demolition. The insurer on notice to the insured shall pay the anticipated cost of demolition to the Township, which shall hold the funds in an interest bearing escrow account in a State or Federally chartered bank, savings bank or savings and loan association in this State.